Elewana Elsa’s Kopje celebrated its 20th Anniversary at the beginning of July with a very special guest of honour, Virginia McKenna who joined guests for a number of memorable events that took place from the 3rd to 6th July 2019.
James Haigh, Director of Sales and Marketing, The Elewana Collection comments “We feel extremely privileged that Virginia joined us at Elewana Elsa’s Kopje to celebrate the 20th anniversary. Virginia was the guest of honour at the opening of the property 20 years ago, so it is very fitting that she joins us this year. We also celebrated the hard work that has been invested by staff and guests at Elewana Elsa’s Kopje. With over 20 years in conservation, sustainability and helping the surrounding communities, it is testament to this work that Elsa’s and the surrounding area has thrived over the last 20 years”.
Click here to read some of the highlights from the three days, video interview with Virginia McKenna and a collection of photos old and new.
We are pleased to announce that eight brand new custom built 4x4 game viewing vehicles are now operational at Elewana Sand River Masai Mara and two have just arrived at Elewana Kifaru House. The spacious and custom built Toyota Landcruiser have been exclusively designed for the Elewana Collection with the following unique features;
We constantly strive to ensure our guests have the ultimate safari experience, we have worked with elite suppliers to ensure we get the best design for our fleet of custom 4x4 vehicles so that each guest has that enhanced game drive experience. Every vehicle is driven by Elewana’s elite team of Safari Guides who are passionate about sharing their knowledge on Kenya’s incredible diversity of fascinating animals, unforgettable places and captivating cultural heritage.
We encourage families to experience East African, as there is no better place to enjoy a truly memorable safari with one’s family.
Our many a varied local East African cultures all treasures children, and our activities and wildlife fascinate parents and children alike. Our small boutique properties allow for personalized and flexible mealtimes, and many of our properties also offer accommodation specifically designed for families.
When booking the Family units at the Kenya or Tanzania properties we provide exclusive use of vehicle for those traveling with children.
Elewana Collection offers a range of activities, such as bush breakfasts, nature walks and game drives in our custom 4x4 vehicles with an elite team of guides. To help you plan your safari, below are the child specific activities at each of the Elewana properties;
The above activities apply to both Elewana Loisaba Lodo Springs and Elewana Loisaba Star Beds (please note that there is no swimming pool at the Star Beds).
Note: Please check when booking, as some of these activities are at an additional cost and need to be arranged in advance.
Every member of the Elewana team wants to ensure each individual has an exceptional experience, if there is anything we can do to make your stay better (within reason), just ask and we will do everything possible to make it happen from watching the children, so the parents can enjoy a peaceful dinner to cooking the kids favourite meal or even washing their favourite soft toy, returning it as quickly as possible (weather permitting). We will go out of our way to make it special for the whole family.
Responsible tourism is a key focus for each and every Elewana Collection property, be it revenue-sharing projects that support local conservancies, sponsorship of schools or conservation initiatives. Property managers are passionate about their local environments and communities, and constantly strive to find new and sustainable eco-friendly ways to protect and support them. One of these being the conservation of turtles.
Local Ocean Conservation: Watamu Turtle Watch have launched their campaign to raise awareness of the environmental and conservation challenges on the Kenya coast, which is famous for its pristine beaches, turquoise warm waters and exceptional marine life. This idyllic holiday destination is home to iconic sea species, including various endangered turtles. Maybe you’ve been lucky enough to visit, or perhaps it’s on your bucket list!
Unfortunately, this tropical coast is rapidly changing as a result of climate change and its unpredictable impacts, as well as unsustainable practices and ever-growing plastic pollution. These challenges are big and complex. But Now You Sea hope.
For over two decades, Local Ocean Conservation have been meeting these challenges head-on to help save the endangered sea turtles and other marine species. Not many people recognise that Sea Turtles are an amazing indicator species for ocean health. This means their health, presence, absence or abundance reflects the environmental conditions of the ecosystem they inhabit. So, if we protect and enhance the environmental elements that sea turtles need to thrive, humanity and other species also benefit!
Local Ocean Conservation’s 22-year track record
Local Ocean Conservation plans to scale-up their programmes and build on skills and capabilities of the organization, in order to realise these initiatives, they need to raise funds. They have recently launched a crowdfunding campaign called Now You Sea Turtles, which will run until mid-August 2019 and their goal is to raise USD 250,000
You can be a part of this journey by supporting their crowdfunding campaign, Now You Sea Turtles.
Please help us spread the word so that together we can protect sea turtles and the environments they and many others rely on to survive.
In July, the Elewana Collection was pleased to support the Colobus Conservation, when they held their Golf on the Beach Tournament, an event designed to promote awareness for the threatened Angolan colobus monkey as well as raising money to help refurbish their vet clinic, to improve the health of the primates. The organisation was established in 1997 in response to an outcry from local residents about the high number of deaths of colobus monkeys on the Diani Beach road.
This year the aim was to raise funds for the maintenance of the Colobridge project. Each year more than 55 monkeys are hit by vehicles while crossing the Diani Beach Road, and to address this, Colobus Conservation has installed 32 bridges allowing safe crossing for primate species as well as other wildlife. Colobus Conservation needs to raise $13,000 a year to cover maintenance of all 32 bridges, so all funds raised from this year’s Golf on the Beach will go directly towards Colobridge maintenance.
The Elewana Collections is proud to support this worthy cause.
With the birth of our 100th calf, the Lewa- Borana Landscape is now a Key 1 black rhino population, just the third in East Africa.
‘Key 1' rating is given by the IUCN’s African Rhino Specialist Group to identify significant populations that are stable, increasing and have achieved continental importance. We are optimistic about the future of this critically endangered species - we recorded ten rhino births last year and no mortalities.
Geoffrey Chege, Lewa's Head of Conservation and Wildlife, has steered various efforts in support of the black rhino's recovery on Lewa, Borana and beyond for the past 15 years. He says: "This has been a dream come true for us. We have steadily grown our rhino populations from 15 individuals in 1984 to the 100 black and 94 white rhinos we have today. Reaching the 'Key 1' milestone is a great motivation for our team."
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy covers 65,000 acres of pristine African wilderness. With dramatic views of snow-capped Mt Kenya to the south, and the arid lands of Tassia and Il Ngwesi to the north, Lewa showcases a range of wild habitats from highland forests, wide open grasslands, melt-water mountain springs and acacia woodland and supports over 440 bird species. More than 70 different animal species roam the vast grasslands at the foot of Mt Kenya.
Elewana Collection has two properties located in the Conservancy, Elewana Lewa Safari Camp and Elewana Kifaru House, which are the only two tourism properties owned by the Conservancy itself, with the aim of boosting the conservancy’s revenue through camp occupancy. All profits and conservancy fees generated by each camp are reinvested directly into the conservation and community efforts of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
The 20th edition of the Safaricom Marathon was recently held on Lewa, with 1,400 brave participants who came from all over the world to run wild and conquer the Lewa course, all for conservation and development.
It was a great honour to welcome special runners and guests including the First Lady of Kenya, Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta, who ran the first 5km with the kids and energised the crowd! The Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed flagged off the race alongside Meru County’s governor Kiraitu Murungi and board chair Michael Joseph.
“We’re proud of hosting another successful edition of this amazing race together with Tusk and Safaricom” according to a spokesperson for Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. The marathon is one of the toughest races in the world, and the only one to take place through a wildlife reserve at an altitude of more than 5,500ft above sea level. A large part of the course is uphill, through rolling savannah plains and across acacia woodland. There’s no respite from northern Kenya’s harsh sun, and participants battle the dust whipped up from the dirt road.
A 61,000-acre area of protected land, the conservancy is home to critically endangered black rhino and Grevy’s zebra, as well as elephant and the big cats. The wildlife is can move freely and are not blocked from the course – runners often pass herds of zebra or giraffe lingering in the distance. “We’ve been trying to train the lions to become vegetarian but we haven’t succeeded,” Tusk CEO Charlie Mayhew said in the briefing the night before the race, drawing a nervous laugh from the crowd.
Led by conservation charity Tusk and LWC, the idea to organise a marathon though the reserve came from a conversation between Mayhew and the then-CEO of Lewa conservancy in the late nineties. Over the years Tusk has raised $5m for conservation efforts in Lewa and across Kenya. The conservancy and the neighbouring communities who live in the area are supported by funds raised by the marathon.
From just 180 runners two decades ago, the race has grown to 1,400 participants from more than 27 countries. Runners from across Kenya take part, including wildlife rangers carrying full kit who represent the neighbouring conservancies, and warriors from local communities. The full marathon was won by Duncan Maivo at 2hr 20min, and Emmah Kilole at 2hr 50min in the women’s race.
To the winners, runners and spectators, thank you all for being involved and supporting this initiative that makes a difference to conservation and communities!
Photos: Bobby Neptune
The influx of cattle during the 2017 drought meant that many of the wild dog in Laikipia were wiped out by canine distemper, a virus spread from domestic dogs. Over the last few months, we have seen an increase in sightings of these endangered animals - we are delighted to welcome them back in the area!
The African wild dog (Lycaon pictus), also known as the Cape Hunting dog or Painted Wolf, is one of the world’s most endangered carnivore species. Once found widely distributed across sub-Saharan Africa in woodland, savannah, shrubland and grassland, they are now listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as they have sadly disappeared from over 90% of their former range. They are now only found in fragmented populations mainly in southern and eastern Africa, and are thought to number fewer than 6,600 individuals.
African wild dogs disappeared from Laikipia at the start of the 1980s due to the combined effects of persecution and disease, but were recorded back in the area during 2000. In 2003, the minimum population estimate was 150 wild dogs in 11 packs.
Although wild dogs are now a protected species, they remain at risk of extinction due to increased conflict with humans in competition for space. Their ranging behaviour in pursuit of prey means they require very large areas to support viable populations.
Increased use of land for farming and the expanding human population means that wild dogs are being forced into small, unconnected areas. As a result of their extensive territories, even large fragments may only contain very few individuals; too small to sustain a viable wild dog population as not enough genetic variation is present to provide a sustainable population, leading to localised extinctions.
The highest priority for the conservation of African wild dogs is dealing with habitat fragmentation. A crucial part of the work that is done at Loisaba, which is to help protect vital wildlife corridors for all species to safely cross.
Staying at Elewana Collection’s Loisaba Tented Camp, Loisaba Star Beds and Loisaba Lodo Springs 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 Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp, Elewana Loisaba StarBeds and Elewana Loisaba Lodo Springs, along with revenue from livestock, brings Loisaba Conservancy closer to achieving the 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.
Our partners: Loisaba Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, San Diego Zoo Global, Space for Giants, Lion Landscapes, Northern Rangelands Trust
The Land & Life Foundation can now assist high school graduates of the Wildlife Warrior Program- the question of ‘what next’ became a defining one for everyone; the scholars themselves and for the entire Land & Life team.
The ultimate aim of the program is to take its top conservation scholars to tertiary level of education. Since its launch in 2014, the Wildlife Warrior Program has already worked with over 2,000 children living in prominent wildlife areas. The Land & Life Foundation model now offers support and guidance to the graduating scholars who will be the next leaders and champions in Tourism and Conservation.
The Land & Life team have developed two options for graduates to consider; the Daniel Mukenye scholarship Award given to an outstanding scholar who is passionate about wildlife and conservation and/or an Internship Program at one of the Elewana properties.
In our previous newsletters, we focused on Dancun Mugambi who is this year’s beneficiary of the Daniel Mukenye Scholarship. Today, we highlight the success of Joel Lepuyapui, who began his internship at Elewana Elsa’s Kopje, Meru.
Joel Lepuyapui is 21 years old and is the first born in a family of five siblings. He joined the program in 2015 after receiving the WWP scholarship award. Over the years he has shown a great deal of enthusiasm for all aspects of conservation. It’s been just under a month since he got offered the internship at Elewana Elsa’s Kopje and he is keen on seizing this amazing opportunity to springboard his career in Tourism with a passion for conservation. The experience will expose him to the dynamics within the industry with which he will acquire tangible skills that will be a boost in his career aspiration. Ultimately, he would like to further his conservation career by joining the Kenya Wildlife Service.
We are very lucky at Shanga to be approached by individuals & organizations offering assistance. Assistance that over the years has come in a multitude of sized packages. On Saturday 20th July assistance came in 25 very big boxes and this time not just for Shanga but for friends and neighbors in our wider community.
In October 2018 Michelle was making the arrangements on behalf of Wildscapes Foundation (www.wildscapesfoundation.org/), who has a long affiliation with The Wheelchair Foundation (www.wheelchairfoundation.org/) for the distribution of wheelchairs to be donated around Tanzania. She approached the Shanga Foundation looking for potential recipients for these donations. Initially we nominated six members of the Shanga team. Then Michelle asked if we knew anyone else connected to our community who we could nominate as they had a few extras.
During a very short discussion with the Shanga team we had a list of 19 others to nominate. Through Michelle’s support these 19 friends and neighbors of Shanga staff were added to the recipients list.
The recipients were invited to come to Shanga’s Workshop at 10.00am but some arrived even before our gates opened at 8.30am. They shared tea and a chat with our staff while waiting. While they patiently waited to receive their chairs and have them fitted they got to see what happens at Shanga.
Times like these are an emotional event for everyone involved. Stories of pain, hardship and challenges are shared. One gentleman’s smile was gratitude enough “I am so grateful; this is the first time in over two years I am no longer bound to the ground and floor.”
A young lady & her family were so excited with the prospect of her being able to go out with them and no longer being house bound all the time.
Another wouldn’t leave until he had assistance to reattach the bells from his very old chair to his “… beautiful new red one.”
The appreciation from all who came can be summed up by one older gentleman’s comment “God bless all (those that made this happen) in abundance and continue with your good works.”
On behalf of everyone at Shanga we would like to send a huge thank you to Michelle, the Wildscapes Foundation and The Wheelchair Foundation, their founders who had the vision and their team that make days like this possible. ASANTE SANA.
Shanga is a successful social enterprise which employs people with disabilities to create unique, high quality and handmade jewelry, glassware and homewares, incorporating recycled materials into many of our products. Shanga products are sold in Tanzania and around the world, with all profits being reinvested back into the development of new products; researching and implementing additional recycling methods into our activities. Shanga’s purpose-built, open workshop is located in the grounds of Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge and is a wonderful experience for visitors to meet the inspirational staff, to view and participate in the creative process behind Shanga products.
James Haigh, Director of Sales & Marketing will be attending PURE 2019 in Marrakech from the 8th – 12th September. We are looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones during an exhilarating five days of meetings, networking events and the magnificent Awards Ceremony.
Elewana Collection will be located as usual on the Atta Stand should you wish to drop by
We want to Change your World at PURE LIFE EXPERIENCES …
Kenya Airways said it will increase frequencies to three regional tourist destinations in Kenya’s Mombasa, as well as Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in July and August due to huge demand. The airline said the increased frequency will also cover the Juba in South Sudan and Rwanda’s Kigali routes as a result of increased demand during the peak travel season.
Ursula Silling, Kenya Airways chief commercial officer said the key routes and additional frequencies are part of Kenya Airways’ network expansion strategy which is essential to the ongoing financial turnaround. “The additional frequencies will ensure we serve our customers better, more efficiently and in a timely manner. This will also play an important role in growing our business in addition to supporting the tourism industry,” Silling said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
As part of the airline’s five year plan, the Kenyan carrier will continue to invest in its network and new routes, including an increase in capacity for both long and short haul destinations.
Silling said the coastal city of Mombasa will see an increase of two flights to 12 daily with customers travelling to Kilimanjaro enjoying an additional flight bringing the total flights to two daily.
He said the Juba, Zanzibar and Kigali routes will each see an additional flight with four flights to Juba per week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday), five flights to Zanzibar per week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday) and daily flights to Kigali.
The official said the airline will also increase passenger seating capacity for leisure destinations by operating the Boeing 737-800 to Livingstone, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and South Africa’s Cape Town with a similar aircraft flying to Mauritius on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
According to Silling, the airline recently increased frequencies to Rome, Geneva, Mauritius, New York, Libreville, Mogadishu and Malindi. He said Amsterdam, Paris, Bujumbura and Cape Town frequencies have also been increased.
“One of our priority areas is the financial turnaround of the organization with a key focus on network expansion, customer excellence and prudential financial management,” Ursula said.
Kenya Airways served an average of 13,258 passengers daily in the last financial year, an increase from 12,484 in 2017.
Not long ago, Emirates signed a Codeshare partnership agreement with LATAM Airlines giving travellers from the region better connectivity from Brazil. Now South African Airways has signed codeshare and frequent flyer agreements with Brazilian airline Gol - Linhas Aéreas (GOL) giving travellers from Brazil the opportunity to enjoy direct flights from Sao Paulo to South Africa and connect onwards to East Africa.
SAA acting Chief Executive Officer Zuks Ramasia said the airline is pleased with the agreement which is of strategic importance.
"We are extremely pleased with this agreement which comes at an opportune time and gives strategic impetus to our strategy of growing partnerships globally to offer our customers more travel options. It is an important step in the execution of our strategy and gives our customers, through our direct flights to Sao Paulo, a number of further travel options to explore Brazil," said Ramasia.
Ramasia said the mutually beneficial agreement will offer GOL customers the chance to explore the riches of Africa.
Source: All Africa
Air India plans to resume direct flights between Mumbai and Nairobi from September 27.
“We are planning to launch a direct flight to Nairobi in view of the immense tourism potential in that area,” said Ashwini Lohani, Air India Chairman and MD, quoted by Press Trust of India in an interview.
The flight will operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Flight AI961 will depart Mumbai at 04h00 and arrive in Nairobi at 07h30. The return flight AI962 will depart Nairobi at 09h00 and arrive in Mumbai at 17h30. A Boeing 787-8 will be used on the route.
The new service is expected to cut travel time between Nairobi and Mumbai to six hours, saving time spent in long stopovers in Dubai. Currently flying time is between ten and eleven hours.
Source: Daily Southern & East African Tourism Update
Combine our bush and beach properties…or choose your own combination with our Circuit Discount and enjoy up to an extra 20% when booking 12 nights or more with Elewana
With so many places to explore in East Africa and so much to experience, from the majestic landscapes of Amboseli with Mt. Kilimanjaro as its backdrop to the crystal blue waters of Zanzibar steeped in the history of the spice trade, not forgetting the rolling savannahs of the Masai Mara with unforgettable wildlife encounters… so many destinations, so many choices. Choose your own combination with our Circuit Discount and get the most out of your stay with us.
The following Circuit Discounts are available when combining any of our Bush and Beach Properties excluding Arusha Coffee Lodge.
Circuit Discounts are valid for all seasons, both on Game Package and on Full Board rates. Circuit Discounts are not combinable with any other special offers
No. of Nights
Enjoy unique destinations and one-of-a-kind experiences around the world with the newest DISCOVERY hotels, which now include Capella Hotels & Resorts' properties in Singapore, China, Bali and Germany.
Elewana DISCOVERY is a loyalty programme like no other. When you join, you’ll be rewarded with savings of 10% or more through Member Rates, along with hotel benefits such as complimentary internet access and bottled water. Your membership is extended across all Elewana hotels as well as more than 500 luxury hotels in the DISCOVERY collection. Become an Elewana DISCOVERY member today and start enjoying recognition and rewards around the world.
As a member of Elewana DISCOVERY, you’re entitled to special benefits during your stay, plus special Local Experiences - authentic activities meant to connect each traveller more deeply with their destination and make each stay unforgettable.
by MICHELLE JANA CHAN
"How could you possibly love traveling 300 days a year," asks English primatologist Dame Jane Goodall, 84, "when it’s just hotels and meetings, all the lines at security, the terrible pat-you-downs and how they treat you like a criminal?" Goodall details her flights for the next few months: Bangkok, Taiwan (which she loves), Beijing, Chengdu, Hong Kong, then Greece, Spain, and France. She drags around a suitcase she named the Coffin, full of books, a single-cup electrical-heating element and a jar of Marmite, and always carries a stuffed toy monkey called Mr. H. Yet the pioneering researcher-turned-activist doesn’t plan to change her schedule any time soon. Her lectures are near-evangelistic, often provoking tears and ovations. "They’ve been selling out, sometimes 5,000 seats in one day," she says. Goodall was 10, reading Dr. Doolittle and Tarzan, when she decided "to live with wild animals in Africa." After school, a friend invited her to Kenya and she worked as a waitress to save up for her boat passage to Mombasa in 1957. There she met the paleontologist Louis Leakey who gave her the opportunity to work as a chimpanzee researcher, even fast-tracking her place at Cambridge so she would be qualified. She then spent half a century observing the chimpanzees at Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania, tearing up the book on what we thought we knew of animal behavior and inspiring a cultish obsession with our closest relative in the animal kingdom.
Elewana Collection has had the honour of hosting Jane Goodall on a few occasions at Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge, when we celebrated the International Day of Forests and Dr. Jane Goodall planted a tree in the grounds with children from the neighbouring local schools. We also had the privilege of hosting a fundraising Cocktail evening at the Lodge for the Roots & Shoots foundation.
Dr. Goodall has been an inspiration to millions. She conveys a clear, undisputed message; “We all matter, We are all connected, We all have a part to play in the world and if we choose to play that part we can and will make a difference”. It is a message that has both resonated throughout the world whilst giving hope to each of us, moving people across the planet to conserve the natural world, which we all share and to care a little more for others.
There are a number of other inspirational women listed that have connections to East Africa, including Karen Blixen, who travelled to Kenya to start a coffee farm with her husband, her story was made famous by the book and film ‘Out of Africa’. The other is Nyaruach, a single mother of two living in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, who lost her family and now wants to help women and children of war not to give up hope.
Click here to be inspired to travel by these 30 women.
By Gwen McClure
You’d be hard-pressed to find a country that doesn’t offer any natural assets, but some are more naturally gifted than others. Though the natural beauty of a country might seem like a tough thing to rank, the World Economic Forum took on the task, ranking 136 countries by what natural resources they offer for the 2017 Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report.
So, what makes a country quantifiably the most naturally beautiful? The report takes into account several factors, including the number of World Heritage natural sites, the total known number of species and protected areas, and the natural tourism digital demand. And, of course, they also looked at the attractiveness of natural assets. World Heritage natural sites are recognized as having “outstanding universal value.” Natural tourism digital demand measures how many searches are related to the country and specific key words, including “beaches,” “animal watching,” and “diving.” Finally, a survey on how much sway the natural assets of a country had in bringing in tourists helping the WEF finalize the rankings.
Starting from number 15, here are the top ranked countries for natural resources. See where Kenya and Tanzania are ranked.
Reports coming in the Masai Mara on the wildebeest migration is phenomenal, as thousands of animals flood into the area, making for spectacular crossings and unbelievable moments captured.
Our guests, The Callin Family staying at Elewana Sand River, Mara shared these incredible videos;
13th July: Breath taking moments on a game drive watch thousands of wildebeest streaming into the Reserve.
7th July: High speed action as a lioness targets a herd of wildebeest in the Sand River just below their tent, movement in all directions. Click here to witness the action. (Note: vast numbers of wildebeest on the far bank - the plains are dotted with thousands of gunu’s – guests don’t have to leave camp to marvel at the sheer numbers).
6th July: Sjani Cuyler took this video of a crossing at Sand River, not far from our camp. Watch the wildebeest make their way across
Elewana Guides have been sharing updates daily with some fantastic footage.
Mara River crossing 26th July 2019 by Elewana Guide Alex
Mara River crossing 18th July 2019 by Elewana Guide Moses
Grumeti River crossing 10th July 2019 by Elewana Guide Alex