The Collection

turtle hatchery afrochic diani

Elewana Afrochic works hand in hand with Diani Turtle watch to help the species thrive. We currently have four nests in our hatching grounds with a total of 398 eggs expected to hatch around Easter time.

Stay tuned for updates as we work to save these endangered species.

Come and stay with us at Elewana AfroChic Diani in April and you may witness the hatching of these very special baby turtles!!

Video of Green Turtle eggs carefully being buried in our hatchery

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The Elewana Collection has appointed new General Managers at Elewana Sand River, Philip and Nini Valentine. The couple have worked in Kenya for years and have a combined strength managing and running operations in the wild. Philip has a passion for conservation and has expert knowledge of the Masai Mara with a flair for operations. Nini ‘s strength lies in hospitality and working with people, their combined forces are the perfect match to manage Elewana Sand River.

Located on the banks of a river from which it has taken its name, Sand River Masai Mara is located within the Masai Mara National Reserve, close to the Tanzanian border. Situated on a secluded and picturesque site, Sand River Masai Mara replicates the heyday of exclusive tented camps of the late 1920’s.

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With 20 years extensive management experience in Africa being associated with top hospitality brands, such as Ishasha Wilderness Camp in Uganda, Hotel Cardoso in Maputo to some of the top hotels in Kenya including The Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi. Andrew combines operational abilities with the vision to grow team members, whilst ensuring quality and service is maintained to the highest standard.

A visit to Elewana Kifaru House is to plunge into the timeless tranquility of Africa. Located within the world-famous Lewa Conservancy, home to East Africa’s healthiest black and white rhino populations, this bijou property, appropriately takes its name from the Swahili word for rhino.

From Our Partners

Black Leopard in Loisaba

Most of the wildlife in Kenya lives outside of government parks and reserves, so it is critical to work with communities that are sharing land and resources with the wildlife that we want to protect. To better understand the ways that people are interacting with and perceiving leopards, in June 2017 a collaborative partnership between San Diego Zoo Global and Loisaba Conservancy was set up to conduct social and ecological research on the local leopard population in and around Loisaba.

Researchers from San Diego Zoo Global have been using camera traps at Loisaba Conservancy and neighbouring properties in order to understand population dynamics of leopards, and the mechanisms that drive human-wildlife conflict to assess the efficacy of management decisions aimed at mitigating conflict.

We are very excited to hear that these camera traps have captured rare footage of melanistic leopards, otherwise known as black panthers. Melanism is the result of a gene that causes a surplus of pigment in the skin or hair of an animal so that it appears black.

“Regionally we’ve heard reports of black leopards living here in Kenya, but high-quality footage or imagery to support these observations has always been missing,” said Nicholas Pilfold, Ph.D., San Diego Zoo Global scientist. “That’s what we’ve provided here with our cameras, and now we’re able to confirm what has been long suspected about black leopards living in Laikipia County.”

“Black panthers are uncommon, only about 11% of leopards globally are black. But black panthers in Africa are extremely rare. Our new paper confirms black leopards living in Laikipia County, Kenya, and our observations in the paper are collectively the first confirmed cases in Africa in nearly 100 years. It is certain black panthers have been there all along, but good footage that could confirm it has always been absent until now.”

Only a single recorded sighting had been confirmed, as recently as 2017, when in 1909 a photograph was taken in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was stored in the collections of the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Their range across much of the continent has shrunk by at least 66 percent due to habitat loss and prey decline.

African leopards are listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Habitat loss and fragmentation, competition for prey, conflict with livestock and farmers, and hunting have reduced the number of leopards throughout Africa, although the total extent of this population decline is still unknown.  

Guests staying at Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp and Elewana Loisaba Star Beds may be lucky enough to spot this rare and beautiful leopard. They can also learn about the cutting-edge conservation efforts in the area and our Partners, who strive to protect our wildlife and work with the communities to ensure this prime ecosystem is remains as it should.

Credit Ami Vitale

In 2018, Loisaba Conservancy had the pleasure of hosting Ami Vitale. At the end of January, there was an Instagram takeover for a few days where she shared content for Lion Landscapes highlighting the work that they are doing in the region.

Nikon Ambassador and National Geographic magazine photographer Ami Vitale has traveled to more than 100 countries, bearing witness not only to violence and conflict, but also to surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. In 2009, after shooting a powerful story on the transport and release of one the world’s last white rhinos, Ami shifted her focus to today’s most compelling wildlife and environmental stories.

Repost from Ami Vitale: Loyanae Lonolngiro herds livestock outside of the enclosure where the animals sleep at night with a lion alarm outfitted by Lion Landscapes at Loisaba Conservancy in Laikipia, northern Kenya.

In Laikipia, livestock owners have found and are finding ways to coexist with lions, leopards, hyenas and wild dogs. They are amazing for doing this. We owe them enormous gratitude for being so tolerant in the face of threats to their livelihoods and even their lives. @lionlandscapes works to support these livestock owners wherever possible. Among other undertakings, @lionlandscapes Rangers are trained to visit livestock enclosures, spot practices that could make livestock vulnerable to lion attacks and help livestock owners better guard their livestock from lions. 
To learn more, follow Lion LandscapesLoisaba ConservancyThe Nature ConservancyThe Peregrine Fund and Tusk who are working together to promote coexistence between humans and lions for the benefit of people and nature in northern Kenya.

Staying at Elewana Collection’s Loisaba Tented Camp and Loisaba Star Beds helps ensure Loisaba Conservancy remains a catalyst for conservation, wildlife research and community development.

Loisaba’s mission is to protect and enhance critical wildlife diversity, abundance and habitat in the landscape, which sits on the western edge of one of Kenya’s most important elephant movement corridors. The profit from #LoisabaTentedCamp and #LoisabaStarBeds, along with revenue from livestock, brings us closer to achieving our ultimate aim of creating a sustainable conservancy providing protection of endangered species and their habitat, as well as over 300 jobs to the local community.

Photo by Ami Vitale. Shot on assignment for The Nature Conservancy.

Mawingu the female semi blind black rhino

Sadly we report that Mawingu, the female semi-blind black rhino, fell from a steep slope and broke her neck at the end of January.

Mawingu, born semi-blind, was moved to Lewa from Lake Nakuru National Park years ago. For the many years she lived on Lewa, she managed to traverse the Conservancy easily despite her disability. She was 35 at the time of her death, which constitutes a 'full life' for black rhino.

During her lifetime, Mawingu gave birth to 9 calves. Some were lost to predators as she was unable to protect and care for them, and others, such as the famous Elvis, Lola and Kitui, were handraised by keepers to ensure their survival.

The Lewa-Borana Landscape is home to more than 170 black and white rhinos, constituting 14% of Kenya's rhino population. Mawingu lived a full life, which is how it should be for all rhinos.

Conservation at its best in Tarangire

We are extremely proud of the work done in the Randelin WMA. The WMA (Wildlife Management Areas) concept provides communities with economic benefits and the Tarangire ecosystem is expanded for the wildlife. Protecting these areas are essential to the conservation of our wildlife and working with the communities within Tarangires is the key to its success.

The Tarangire ecosystem in northern Tanzania covers approximately 25,000 square kilometres and is a key habitat for many East African savanna mammal species. Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Tarangire Elephant Project uses research and training to ensure that local communities, TANAPA and other conservation partners have the information and resources needed to sustainably manage and benefit from this ecosystem. The project celebrated 25 years of elephant research in 2018 – during which time over 1,000 elephants have been individually identified and are monitored monthly. 55 new elephant births were recorded and Tarangire is currently one of the few elephant populations in Africa where elephants die of old age. As part of the project’s ongoing work supporting community conservation, a new a Community Customary Right of Occupancy (CCRO) established the Makuyuni elephant dispersal area and game scouts covered over 7,500 km of anti-poaching patrols in Simanjiro. Several reports were published on wildlife abundance and distribution across the Tarangire-Simanjiro-Makame ecosystem further underpinning effective protection of this important landscape.

Come and stay at Elewana Tarangire Treetops and experience this incredible ecosystem for yourself, with is stunning landscape and abundant wildlife. Situated in a community led Wildlife Management areas, known as Randilen, guests of Elewana Tarangire Treetops enjoy a secluded and private safari experience. The luxury tree-top rooms, elevated above the ground afford incredible views over the tops of surrounding marula and baobab trees. With a wide private balconies, each are lavishly furnished using natural materials that are blended with contemporary Africana décor, to provide guests with a unique and most memorable safari experience.

Encasing an impressive baobab tree, the spacious and tranquil reception, lounge and dining room overlook the swimming pool and a waterhole that sees a steady flow of wild animal visitors. As the camp is located in the WMA, activities such as bush walks and night game drives are possible, which are not permitted in many other areas. Bush walks allow guests to get “up close and personal” with nature, and experience the bush to a more intimate degree. Alternatively, a night game drive with the option to go off road, in the African bush affords the opportunity to see an array of creatures who prefer the cover of darkness, the African bush hosts a different assortment of creatures after the sun goes down.

Elewana In The Community

empower us to empower others

Currently Shanga welcomes over 20,000 visitors a year and we would like your support in spreading the word and build awareness so others can visit Shanga and empower people with disabilities.

Shanga is a social enterprise with an interactive workshop currently employing over 30 people with disabilities in Tanzania, located at Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge. At the workshop you will see glass blowing, bead making, tailoring, jewellery making, metal work, weaving and Tinga Tinga Painting. We are proud to have the first and still the only fully functioning glass-blowing department in Tanzania. In making our products we utilize recycled materials in numerous ways.  This demonstrates our commitment to the preservation of our unique and sensitive environment.

By including Shanga in your itineraries, you and your clients will be assisting with our work towards creating a positive impact in our local communities and environment. Increasing our footfall has the potential for us to increase our workforce which has a positive impact in our local community. Increase in production uses more materials which results in more recycling and less waste. Currently we recycle over 100 tons of waste per year - the more we can use, the less goes into land fill, thus contributing to the preservation of our sensitive environment.

The Shanga workshop is open for free tours and fun interactive activities every day from 9am to 4:30pm. We recommend at least an hour to cover a tour and a visit to our shop for an ethical shopping experience. When shopping at Shanga your clients are providing direct support to all our staff, ensuring their families’ economic stability. Additional activities can be offered and tailored to your client’s availability and preferences.

View Shanga Brochure

Proudly we would like to highlight some of our recent achievements;

  • Finalist in the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2019 in the category “Investing in People”
  • Number one shopping destination in Arusha since 2016.

If you would like to discuss anything further about Shanga please contact Ruth This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the website

Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge is a welcoming retreat of aromas, gourmet food and vibrant gardens. A visit to Traders Walk is a must with a collection of 5 on site boutiques including Shanga, a Tanzanite Centre and the Soko Giftshop that is stocked with all sorts of wonderful gifts. Finally relax at Kahawa, a Coffee shop with freshly brewed coffee and delicious home-baked cakes.

Digital migration in schools

Last year, the Land & Life Foundation established strategic partnerships with the Lewa Education Programme in order to provide training on the use of Government issued tablets within all our supported schools. The aim is to raise a generation of computer literate conservationists that can keep up with the current trends in technology.

To help achieve this goal, Land & Life Foundation received a generous donation of 15 complete desktop computers from Elewana Collection, which are currently being distributed - 3 desktops per school. The computers will benefit the faculty in many ways; printing, accessing teaching resources online, and supporting the use of the tablets in the classrooms as a teaching aid.

The schools that have currently received computers include Mwaroni Primary School, Ololomei Primary School and Embiti Primary School, the remaining three schools will be allocated the remaining desktops next month; Esiteti Primary School, Ura Gate Primary School and Kachiuru Primary School.

If you would like to support this initiative and help us bring East African rural areas into the digital age, kindly make a donation today!

Travel Updates

the best time to visit kenya for avid birders

East Africa is renowned for its beautiful and colourful array of birds. The avifauna of Kenya include a total of 1105 species, of which 8. Listings include the Jackson's Francolin, Clarke's Weaver and Sharpe's Longclaw, 75 are accidental, and two have been introduced by humans. The Amani Sunbird, Clarke’s Weaver, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Hinde’s Pied-babbler and Fischer’s Turaco are some of the birds listed as endangered here. The lilac-breasted roller is the official bird of Kenya, with it incredible blue and lilac feathers that stand out making it one of the many birds that are strikingly beautiful.

After the rains is one of the best times to travel to Kenya, an explosion of colour can be seen across the wilderness with the kaleidoscope of butterflies that arrive following the blossoming of wild flowers. April, May and early June are ideal to witness a dramatic change that see a host of bird arrivals followed by October and November, where a number of migratory bird species pass through. Some of these include Carmine and European Bee Eaters, Eurasian Rollers, European Swallows, Hobby Falcons, Eurasian Marsh Harriers... to name but a few.

In the northern regions of Meru with its semi-arid landscape, those of you that are enthusiasts can enjoy the arrival of Carmine and European Bee Eaters, Eurasian Rollers, European Swallows, Hobby Falcons, and Eurasian Marsh Harriers, as they pass through during the month of November. At Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Conservancy Hides can be booked to view birds around the swamp, which include the White stork migration during the earlier months of the year in addition to Crowned Cranes that also arrive in large numbers.  The rolling savannahs of the Masai Mara and diverse topography is breath-taking making it ideal for a variety of birdlife all year round with the additional migrant arrivals from February to early April of the stock variety; White Storks, Open billed Stork and European Storks that flock to the area followed by the remarkable migration of the Wheatear. In Amboseli, the endless plains and the dramatic backdrop of Mt. Kilimanjaro looking over the Pleistocene lake basin that houses a temporary lake, Lake Amboseli, is brimming with life after the rains and hundreds of flamingos make this their new home, adding to the dramatic scenery.

Reasons to Book Mid Season

flipi flopi

After fourteen days and 500 kilometers on the water, the Clean Seas-Flipflopi expedition has arrived at its final destination: the island of Zanzibar on the 7th February 2019. The nine-metre, rainbow-coloured dhow made entirely from re-used plastic and flip flops, collected from Kenyan towns and beaches,  is an inspiring story of innovation to overcome one of the biggest challenges facing our world today: Plastic pollution.

Flipflopi’s team of sailors – led by captain Ali Skanda – arrived on the island just in time for the Sauti za Busara, or ‘African sounds of wisdom’ festival, a celebration of East African culture, creativity and values. “We are delighted to welcome UN Environment’s Clean Seas-Flipflopi expedition to Zanzibar. The voyage itself, and innovative spirit behind it, are symbolic of what we can do to make a difference,” said Ali Iddi, second Vice-President of Zanzibar. “Zanzibar is committed to the fight against plastic pollution and will continue to work closely with all its citizens to find solutions to our ever-evolving environmental challenges.”

The Flipflopi expedition left the Kenyan Island of Lamu on 23 January. Along the way, the crew docked at six Kenyan and Tanzanian coastal towns, where they were welcomed by local communities, schools and government officials. The momentum of the voyage has unleashed historical commitments in every port of call, including the official closing of the Kibarani dumpsite in Mombasa and the pledge of 29 establishments including 22 hotels, to minimize their plastic waste.

Watch the video

Now that the Flipflopi has reached the final port of the expedition, the boat will be prepared for a journey to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, where Heads of State, environment ministers, environmental activists, innovators, NGOs, and CEO’s of multinational companies will gather for the Fourth United Nations Environment Assembly – the world’s highest-level environmental forum – from 11-15 March 2019. The next big expedition departing in 2021 from Lamu on the Kenya coast, the Flipflopi will sail south along the coasts of Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and onwards into South Africa taking between 3 and 4 months, to reach Cape Town.

Elewana Collection has made considerable efforts to reduce its carbon footprint on the world around us. In the last couple of years we have made great strides in reducing single use plastic, starting with the #banthebottle initiative, eliminating our use of plastic water bottles, and then at the beginning of 2018, we were the first property group in East Africa to eliminate the use of plastic straws across all our properties. We offer biodegradable paper straws and encourage guests to go to #warwiththestraw. Our Beach properties, Elewana AfroChic Diani and Elewana Kilindi Zanzibar continuously work with the local communities to clean the beaches and educate the school children in our Wildlife Warrior programs to be conscious of the environment.

5 Plastic Facts:

  • 12.2 Million tonnes of plastic enters the Ocean every year
  • A single plastic bag can take 500 years or more to degrade
  • Only 14% of all plastic produced is recycled
  • By 2020 the ratio of plastic to fish by weight will be 1:1
  • Plastic can’t bio-degrade, it just breaks up into smaller pieces

Better connections from Africa to USA with Ethiopian Airlines

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Ethiopian Airlines has restructured its entire US network, with the addition of a new route, as well as adding frequencies and shifting gateways. Changes are scheduled to take effect between June and August this year.

The airline will increase flights to Washington DC from daily to 10 weekly. The new flights will fly via  Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, departing Addis Ababa in the morning and arriving in Washington DC in the evening.

The current three weekly flights to Chicago will be increased to five weekly.

For the planned daily flights to New York, four will operate via Lomé, Togo, to Newark and three will fly via Abidjan to John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport.

Ethiopian Airlines will add a new gateway, Houston, which will replace Los Angeles. The route will be served three times a week via a West African hub. The new Houston flights will be the only connection between Houston and Africa and will be operated by a Boeing 787.

Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde GebreMariam said: “The US is among our most important markets owing to the presence of a large African community and growing business and tourism ties with Africa. Our new route structure, with additional frequencies to multiple gateways and the opening of the new route to Houston, is aimed at responding to the market demand and offering the best possible connectivity to over 60 African destinations.

“On board our flights, our customers will continue to enjoy our premium and award-winning service on the most technologically advanced commercial aircraft, the Boeing 787. In line with our Vision 2025 strategic roadmap, we will keep on expanding our US and African network so as to facilitate people-to-people ties and the flow of investment, trade and tourism,” concluded GebreMariam.

Ethiopian Airlines has been growing its international destinations, and now serves more than 119, including the recently launched flights to Manchester, Moscow and Mogadishu.

Tourism Update will publish flight schedules as soon as they become available.

Good news for those looking to travel to Diani Ukunda

afrochic diani beach

Ukunda Airstrip is set to be renamed Diani National Airport as the government intensifies efforts to expand it to attract bigger airlines and more visitors to the South Coast of Kenya..

Unlike the little known Ukunda, Diani is known in global tourism circles for its white sand beaches. The Tourism ministry’s director of public communication Mulei Muia said the renaming of the airport will attract more charter flights to the region.

“Its significance is basically to attract more tourists to Diani, and hence open up the tourists resort town to big charter flights into South Coast. That is going to be a big boost for the tourism sector," Mr Muia said.

The airport is set to be renamed from April 25. Ukunda Airstrip is mainly used by visitors to Kwale County, primarily Diani, followed by Tiwi and Msambweni. It is increasingly becoming busy due to growing number of tourists.

Tourism players have welcomed the renaming of the airstrip terming it as a milestone in enhancing tourism.

Elewana Afrochic - Diani Beach

Diani Beach is a magical location of white sands, rustling palm trees, and warm Indian Ocean waters. Elewana AfroChic enjoys beach front ocean views and delicious sea breezes on a quieter, more secluded section of Diani Beach. Each en suite room is uniquely designed with coastal furniture and fabrics, and amenities to take care of your every need. The crystal clear fresh water pool laps up against the terrace where guests have the option of dining or relaxing with the view of the ocean across the pool and shaded garden. The hotel has earned itself a reputation for a “home away from home” atmosphere, excellent seafood and friendly service.

Voted as one of the top 25 beaches in the world in the Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice awards, Diani Beach is the ultimate holiday destination with a wide variety of activities and excursions on offer. A plethora of water sports from scuba to snorkelling; deep-sea fishing to sailing; day trips to Shimba Hills National Reserve and Mombasa City, are just a few of the many activities available. And of course there is always the favourite coastal pastime of relaxing and soaking up the sun. With such a variety of options, visitors to Diani have the ability to make their holiday what they want.

Awards & Voting

Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp

Ecotourism Kenya promotes responsible tourism practices within the tourism industry and encourages the adoption of best practices in the use of tourism resources, working with local communities and managing wastes and emissions.

Grace Nderitu., Chief Executive Officer for Ecotourism Kenya stated ‘Ecotourism Kenya has high regard for Elewana’s contribution to sustainable tourism and conservation and are thrilled that Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp has joined 4 other Elewana properties and 35 other facilities in Kenya that have achieved the highest level of tourism certification standard thereby displaying the Gold Eco-rating mark’, after conducting an on-site eco-rating assessment audit of Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp, for the purpose of certifying the tourist accommodation facility’s compliance to ecotourism principles and best practices. The audit was based on the Eco-rating Certification Standard and performance assessed using the following criteria;

  1. Conservation
  2. Community empowerment
  3. Cultural preservation and promotion
  4. Business Practices i.e. health and safety, fair marketing practices.

The luxury camp in Loisaba Conservancy opened in May 2016 and upon our first application for an eco-rating that year, we were award with the Silver level for a duration of two years. Last year we submitted our application to renew and we are delighted to announce that we have achieved a Gold Eco-Rating Certification from Ecotourism Kenya.

Together with our Partners, Loisaba Conservancy we continue to support and develop the local community and various conservation projects and strive to ensure our carbon footprint is kept at a minimum.

Congratulations to the team for their commitment and passion to ensuring we were presented with this prestigious award.

Elewana Loisaba Star Beds

Elewana Collection would like to acknowledge the team at Elewana Loisaba Star Beds for achieving a Silver Eco-Rating on their first application.

Ecotourism Kenya, defines Ecotourism as ‘the involvement of tourists in environmental conservation activities directly linked to addressing human development needs, and promotes equitable sharing of benefits accrued from tourism with local communities while supporting their nature conservation values’. Their vision is to bring together conservation, communities and tourism in a responsible manner and the principles governing ecotourism include;

  • Encourage travel to natural areas
  • Minimize impact of tourism activities on natural attractions
  • Recognize and build awareness about local conservation values and their importance to society
  • Provide direct benefits and empowerment for local people at destinations without retrogression on environmental, cultural or local living standards.
  • Respect local people, their customs and culture
  • Support sustainable development of local economies through direct involvement and participatory decision-making

Ecotourism Kenya conducted an on-site eco-rating assessment audit of Elewana Loisaba Star Beds, for the purpose of certifying the tourist accommodation facility’s compliance to ecotourism principles and best practices. Together with our Partners, on the Loisaba Conservancy, we continue to support and develop the local community and various conservation projects and strive to ensure our carbon footprint is kept at a minimum.

Congratulations to the team for their commitment and passion to ensuring we were presented with this prestigious award.


'Capturing The Love'

Photos of the Month Valentines day Collage 2019