It is with great excitement that we announce that all Elewana Camps* will open on the 1st June. Our team is incredibly busy ensuring that all the camps are in prime condition and that appropriate Covid-19 protocols are in place. We can not wait to welcome back guests and recommence what we do best, looking after our clients and creating memorable safari experiences that will stay with visitors for a long time after they have returned home.
*Elewana Kilindi Zanzibar will open on the 1st July.
We are delighted to welcome Hein Prinsloo who will spearhead operational management and drive new and exciting experiences across the Elewana Collection. Hein brings with him 27 years’ experience in eco-tourism and wildlife management, working with some of the travel industry’s most prestigious brands. Previously Managing Director of Tanzania for Abercrombie and Kent and Manager at Ker & Downey, Hein is well versed in the needs of the luxury traveller and ensuring a high level of services are met with sensitivity to the surrounding environment.
Congratulations to Elewana Tortilis Camp for again receiving the highest level of Eco-rating awarded by Ecotoursim Kenya. The award is testament to the tireless work put in by the team to exceed in responsible resource use, environmental conservation and social-economic investment.
Wildlife Warrior Scholar, Joel, recently joined Elewana’s trainee programme. Hailing from Samburu, Joel began school as a shy, quiet youngster who matured tremendously in the Wildlife Warrior Scholar programme. Now as an Elewana trainee, he works alongside the senior maintenance team at Loisaba, handling small repairs, learning about the fairly complex water purification plant and the intricacies of swimming pool maintenance. He is also working hard in the shamba as well as the camp gardens, assisting with record keeping and Loisaba Conservancy's Opuntia eradication program. He has great potential and as he gains more confidence and the camps reopen, we hope to be able to involve him in other areas such as front office, housekeeping, and more.
In other news, Land & Life Foundation is also currently in the process of selecting 12 new youngsters for the Wildlife Warrior four year secondary school scholarship. Each scholarship is valued at $3,000 which covers tuition and annual scholars' retreats for four years.
Recent Land & Life donations totalling $9,810 were put towards Morijo Primary, a supported school near Lodo Springs in Loisaba, Kenya. Funds will provide a new classroom with 30 desks, a water tank, repairs to a nearby borehole and school meals for 118 children for 8 months.
Elodie Sampéré joins Land & Life Foundation as the new Chief Executive Officer. Originally from Marseille, France, Elodie has more than 15 years of progressive experience in fundraising, communications, advocacy and campaigning with an expertise in increasing support bases for expanding global and national non-profit organisations. Elodie was previously the founder of Wild Communications, a communications and fundraising consulting firm which serves organisations all across the African continent.
Loisaba has added the desert warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) to its mammal list. The desert warthog is one of Africa’s least studied and most poorly-known mammals. The species differs most noticeably from the common warthog in its warts (hook-shaped rather than cone-shaped) and ears (bent back at the tip rather than erect).Previously, a subspecies of the desert warthog (the Cape warthog) was found in South Africa, but became extinct in the 1870’s. Now found only in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, the distribution, abundance, ecology, behaviour and conservation status of the desert warthog remain poorly known. A better understanding is not only of considerable scientific interest, but also important to the development and conservation of this species. To read more and find out how you can help contribute to saving this species, click here.
For the second consecutive year the Lewa marathon will take place virtually with options to complete varying distances from 5km to a full marathon (42km). The Lewa marathon has raised millions of dollars to fund wildlife conservation and community development in Kenya over the last 21 years. From recovering Kenya’s black rhino population from the brink of extinction, protecting the world’s critically endangered Grevy’s zebra, and providing healthcare, water and improved infrastructure for communities, to supporting Lewa education programmes, the funds this marathon raises are invaluable. This year due to the global pandemic, the money raised will have rarely been of more critical importance.
Although running local trails, tracks and roads may not be as exciting as a wildlife conservancy, the event’s organisers are doing all they can to make the virtual race as exciting as possible; offering support and running tips from wildlife rangers, creating digital postcards, interactive maps, and ‘mini-challenges’, so the whole family can get involved.
For more details and registration, visit https://www.lewasafarimarathon.co.ke/.
From hiking the lush indigenous Ngare Ndare forest to a camel trek and what to see on a walking safari, here Tom expands upon what makes Lewa so special.What makes Lewa such a unique conservancy to visit?
Lewa is such a unique conservancy being home to the Northern special five and protector of three endangered species - elephants, black and white Rhinos and Grevy's zebra. The area has the largest single population of Grevy’s living today. Also being a corridor between the arid north and much wetter Mt Kenya ecosystem is vital for the survival of animals from both sides. More importantly the impact of the benefits from tourism to the neighbouring communities is very evident.What activities are on offer for guests visiting the conservancy?
Lewa has many choices of activities. Over and above game drives, there is horse riding and camel treks, walking safaris and the opportunity visit the Northern Maasai cultural village. Guests can book a hiking trip to the Ngare Ndare forest, a lush indigenous forest at the foothills of Mt. Kenya. Visitors can walk below the canopy of 200 year old trees, full of bird and animal life, watch elephants by the waterhole and swim the cool blue pools at the base of stunning waterfalls.Tell us a little about the walking safaris and what guests might see
There is no better way into the African wild than walking. When out of the vehicle you get to hear the sounds and smell little aromatic plants that you miss when in a vehicle. You learn how to ID animal tracks, their droppings and how to deduce more information from them. Above all, it offers a bit of exercise to work out your body.There is a hide at Lewa, what wildlife might visitor’s view from there
From the hide at Lewa, there is the opportunity to see elephants, rhinos, giraffe, buffalo plus almost all the antelope family found in Lewa.Tell us one of your most memorable moments with guests on safari in Lewa
There are so many moments to choose from. One of them was a female cheetah that had killed an Impala very close to where she had three tiny cubs. The carcass attracted all the scavengers, from vultures, a hyena and three jackals. The cheetah had a difficult time protecting the little ones. They couldn’t walk so eventually she realised the only hope she had was my vehicle. She grabbed them one by one and hid them underneath my vehicle. The scavengers concentrated on the kill. We had to stay there for over three hours. The mother kept a short distance from us. When everyone else left she came, albeit looking at us with shy eyes and grabbed the little ones and took them to a different location and all the little ones survived. Although she was hungry, you could see she was relieved.What one activity do you think guests should not miss when visiting Lewa
Walking. See the African wild the way it was meant to be.
This year we have been shortlisted with all 16 of our properties for the Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards in addition to the Elewana brand and Elewana Pepper Camp being nominated for the World Travel Awards. We’d very much appreciate your encouragement once again for these awards as we can’t win without your support and votes!If you have not yet voted, please take a moment to do so HERE for the Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards under the 'Hotels & Resorts' category, before the closing date of 31st May 2021.
For the World Travel Awards, you can vote HERE for Elewana Collection as Africa's Leading Boutique Hotel Brand 2021 and Elephant Pepper Camp as Africa's Leading Tented Safari Camp 2021, before votes close in August 2021.Thank you again for all your wonderful support, we are incredibly grateful.
Elewana and Lewa Conservancy were recently featured in the Conscious Traveler Podcast, a travel podcast exploring the world through stories of culture, conservation and community. Co-hosted by journalists Adam Rosen and Kathryn Romeyn, the episode, which you can listen to HERE, discusses how wildlife conservation and community education projects depend on tourism dollars, and how they have adapted to the challenges of the pandemic. Eric interviews Lewa Conservancy’s CEO, Mike Watson, and touches upon how the conservancy is persevering through tough financial times with projects like rhino anti-poaching activities to protect the rhino sanctuary and micro-lending programs that help local women support their families.