We’re feeling lots of positive energy in the bush these days and it’s no longer just the baboons having a giggle. As travel gradually picks up around the world, we’re immensely grateful and excited to let you know that as of July 1, Elewana’s full portfolio of properties will have reopened including Elewana Kilindi Zanzibar, a stellar beach destination perfect for your summer escape. It’s been tough these past 18 months, but we are now seeing those magical safari sunrises illuminate the horizon.
Important renovations have been completed at our camps in Kenya and Tanzania, ready to welcome back visitors with fresh new aspects. For example, Kilindi will offer a new cooler feel for guests, having completed renovations including building updates to the guest pavilions to improve the air conditioning experience.Other renovations happening at our camps include:
Despite disruption to schooling over the past year, twelve new Wildlife Warriors will now embark on an educational journey offering a future in conservation.
More than 100 students sat the exam and it took close to three weeks for the Land & Life team to complete marking the WWP exam scripts and receive the results for the national exam known as Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE). Both exams are the key in the selection process. From each local school, the best female and male students were selected based on their combined performance. The 12 selected students will not only receive funding throughout their High School but also get the opportunity to become part of a network that comprises young diverse conservationists from many parts of Kenya. Congratulations to every one of them!
The teams from Lewa Safari Camp and Kifaru House have been training hard to prepare for the 26th June running event. Each property has entered a team of five staff and training is currently taking place around the camps, including up and down the nearby big hill.
On the day, the teams will be some of the very few to actually run at Lewa, as most participants will participate remotely. They will have a vehicle follow them with water and a moral boosting support squad as they conquer the hills around Lewa Conservancy. We wish them, and all virtual participants lots of success on the day.
Antony was the guide for photographer Paolo Torchio when he captured the winning image for the Greatest Maasai Mara Photography Award. Here, he talks about how the image was captured and gives some great advice on securing the best images possible when on safari in the Masai Mara.
Could you tell us about the sighting that enabled the winning image for Greatest Masai Mara Photographer
Our Initial sighting of the leopard was just 500 meters from the spot where we had a bush breakfast. We noticed she had a cub which was good news for us as it meant she would not travel too far. We followed the leopard for two days. The first day there was not so much action and she was just caring for the cub. On the second day, having followed her for six hours, it was nearing sunset and it started raining so the leopard went up a tree to see if she could look out for a place to seek shelter. It was this moment where we were so lucky as she sat there for a full minute and the light was perfect. Paolo said “this is our jackpot” and he was right.How does your planning differ when taking out professional photographers verses regular guests on a game drive
I am a photographer as well, so I regularly go out with my own camera. This means that I have a particular rapport with fellow photographers and have good knowledge of what is required. I focus on the positioning of vehicle and take advantage of light, particularly the golden hours – when sun is coming up or going down. At 6 pm the angle of light reflecting on the subject gives the best results. We also take a longer amount of time focusing on one subject.What are your tips for capturing the best photography on safari
Very early mornings. This is where the action is, lions are moving and hunting, animals are coming out of hiding and going to drink water. Live action makes for better images. I would recommend a 5am departure as the sun is so low and can make a brilliant back drop. You also need patience when trying to follow animals. Focus on one animal and stay with your subject.Where do you learn about photography
I learnt at Elewana Tortilis Camp in Amboseli where I was guiding a group of photographers from England for 14 days. They taught me so much about the positioning of vehicles, how to focus on subjects, background, lenses etc. I asked lots of questions. I started on a phone and now have a camera. I also spent time with the photographer David Yarrow at Tortilis Camp - he is my photographer hero.What’s the best time of year to take images in the Masai Mara
Most people want the action shots of the migration, but this is a double edged sword as you have to compete with the crowds which is not good for photography. I would recommend January when it is quiet so you can spend quality time with animals. Animals don’t know it is low season.Do you have a favourite spot in the Mara to capturing images
We are lucky at Elewana Sand River as there Is a spot nearby where there is a resident leopard called Kazuri – meaning ‘a good thing’ in Swahili. This is a perfect for guests very keen to see leopard, which also happen to be my favourite animals.We hear that you won a holiday as the winning guide for the Greatest Masai Mara photograph, can you tell us about that?
I was originally supposed to go to the UK to see a football match but that was changed due to the pandemic. It worked out really well as we were able to spend longer visiting Chobe in Botswana, Victoria Falls and also enjoy a selection of activities along the Zambezi. I loved the water activities particularly the canoeing.
Faith Kawee Mumo, Kenya’s Top KCPE student 2020, enjoyed a 2-night safari with her family at Tortilis Camp Amboseli, courtesy of Elewana and Cheli & Peacock Safaris. At age 14, Faith came first in the countrywide Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams for 2020. Scoring 433 marks out of a possible 500, Faith intends to go to Kenya High School, with aspirations of becoming a neurosurgeon.Elewana and Cheli & Peacock Safaris organized a full board 2-night safari for Faith and her family with a warm and welcoming stay at Tortilis Camp and special gifts including water bottles, Maasai bracelets and a celebratory surprise cake made just for Faith.
Faith’s parents noted, “It was such an honour to go for a safari. We met a very friendly team at Tortilis Camp in Amboseli. Thank you for extending your kindness to our daughter and our family at large.”
We’re reaching new heights with a record number of ten 2021 TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Certificates. The full list of properties which had the honour of receiving this industry accolade includes:
Also, a gentle reminder to vote HERE for Elewana Collection in the World Travel Awards, including Elewana Collection as Africa's Leading Boutique Hotel Brand 2021 and Elephant Pepper Camp as Africa's Leading Tented Safari Camp 2021. Votes close August 2021!
Log in on the 24th July to learn about Elsa’s Kopje and The Elewana Starbeds in an informative presentation by our UK rep Liz Harper. Liz will take participants through all the extraordinary reasons that Magical Kenya choose to include the two properties in their signature Magical Kenya Experiences portfolio. To register click here