When you think of Christmas, most people in the northern hemisphere imagine white snow and cold blustery days filled with the sound of Christmas carols, when you think of New Year, first thoughts are fireworks, lots of people and a glass or two of bubbly. If you are looking to experience something new then come to East Africa with the Elewana Collection where we aim to delight you with festive moments you will never forget.
Before the warm African sun rises, head out on your morning adventure from Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp, on the lookout for nature’s dramatic theatre to play out at a moment’s notice, you never know what you may see on Christmas morning. Famished from the excitement, a tantalizing bush breakfast with sparkling wine awaits you, offering a selection of fresh fruit, cereal and the irresistible cooked breakfast with all the trimmings. Go on a bush walk across the stunning landscape, enjoying the warmth of the wind or float high above the plains in a hot air balloon as you wonder at the beauty of the Masai Mara and the boundless wildlife which lives here.
Marvel at the expanse before you from the infinity pool at Elewana Elsa’s Kopje, pure relaxation with only the sounds of the wild for those looking for a quieter time this festive season. Candle lit dinners under the stars and magical moments with the one you love. Meru’s rich wildlife diversity includes rare species specific to northern Kenya, such as Grevy’s zebra and Beisa Oryx plus over 450 bird species. Meru National Park is a place of spectacular and dramatic scenery, with its ancient granite kopjes and breath-taking views across to the Nyambeni Range and Mount Kenya beyond.
Elewana The Manor at Ngorongoro brings "old-world" grandeur to a green and lush setting. Think cigars and brandy, elegant fine dining, and post-dinner snooker. Celebrate in style and elegance from picnics on the lawn to a five course dinner in the lavish dining room. We will pamper you and treat you to an extravaganza that will rekindle the spark of Christmas and the excitement of New Year.
Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp is surrounded by the endless plains of the Serengeti that embodies an immense beauty captivating the soul. There is fun for the whole family, as we treat you to a host of Christmas activities, which include a special children’s walk with a professional guide, sundowners around a campfire with Christmas canapes to African drumming and singing at dinner. We do keep some traditions but with an African twist, these include New Year’s Eve cocktails enjoyed around the campfire watching the sun go down and as the last rays of light glow in the sky, 2019 is near its end. There is something magical about watching a sunset in Africa, nothing compares to the colours that radiate from a thousand blades of grass and every rugged rock, sensing the timelessness of this place as the sounds of the night come alive. The countdown to midnight begins, the bubbles flow and the start of 2020 is here as you listen to a hyena woop or a lion roar the New Year is here.
Colourful people, rhythm and dancing continue to fill the air, as you are whisked into the vast open plains on another adventure before the day finally comes to an end. Try one of our famous sundowners, as you reminisce around the bonfire, listening to the unmistakable sounds of the African night. This is how we celebrate the festive season, join us and capture unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.
If you would like more information on the Festive Menus and activities for The Elewana Collection, please click here
Our Consultant Culinary Trainer, Nicola Bryden is currently working her way around the properties within Elewana kitchens bringing our food alive and invigorating and energizing our Chef Teams, these are exciting times!
Nicola’s cooking style is influenced from her vast experience working and traveling all over the world from Scotland to France and even as far afield as Australia. Drawing on this knowledge and experience our new menu’s feature combined flavours with an African inspired twist.
Each one of our Elewana Properties is so unique in their environments and Nicola wants our food experience to reflect this. “As a chef, I feel like I have an obligation to our guests to source sustainably and to include the highest quality local ingredients on the new menus” Nicola says.
Nicola enjoys working with Local Kenyan produce to reduce our environmental footprint. All our properties have their own Shamba’s (Vegetable Gardens). This incredible organic produce is woven into all her new creations.
One of Nicola’s passions is to educate, inspire and develop the chefs and cooking teams about how to use more parts of animals and produce. This is integral for her vision for each dish to come alive through the careful preparation of each plate by a team that shares her passion.
“Overall, it’s been a very rewarding experience. Working on new menus, finding the perfect combination of ingredients and tastes is always invigorating. Especially when you have the opportunity to work with dedicated professionals and teams who share your passion for exceptional food”.
Our teams and guests are loving Nicola’s influence on our one step closer to nature outdoor dining experiences. The new take on safari dining means that guests can now experience a unique culinary circuit. The new inspired menus and ambiance has been well received and the “wow factor” is evident with positive feedback received from guests.
Most of our Chefs throughout our Collection have been working with us for many years and are well respected members of the local communities. Partnering with them and providing stable jobs in the tourism industry is something we all can be proud of!
Last but not least Nicola and her teams have shared some passion for cooking and self-development with the local schools that we support through our “Land & Life Foundation” It is planned to continue this initiative into 2020.
We recently treated ninety children from 8 schools around the borders of Randilen Wildlife Management Area to a conservation day out. This amazing adventure was organised by The Nature Conservancy and supported by Land & Life and Elewana Tarangire Treetops.
Meshurie Melembeki, Manager of Randilen WMA, welcomed the students group by group at the gate and conducted a fun and helpful introduction to the WMA. Every student received treats and goodies – a reusable water bottle, a pencil case and assorted stationary, and a t-shirt.
Elewana guides Elizabeth Lucas, Sirili Chuwa, and Jackson Noel and Charl Grobler joined the students. Each of the three buses was allocated one guide and they set off on a game drive followed by a picnic lunch that was enjoyed on Sunset Hill and then the kids had a brief stop-off at the new hide to see what they could see at the waterhole.
A fantastic day was had by all and we look forward to many more such activities with the future conservationists of Randilen.
Elewana Tarangire Treetops is located in a 312 km2 Wildlife Management Area adjoining the park, called Randilen. The landscape of Tarangire is instantly recognisable by its magnificent baobab trees, dotted throughout the area. The camp has easy access to the Tarangire National Park, covering an area of 2850 km2, which is named after the perennial river that runs through the heart of the park. Both have incredible wildlife viewing, It is known for being one of the best for elephant sightings plus buffalo, giraffe, zebra, eland, lion, leopard to mention a few.
Guests of Elewana Tarangire Treetops enjoy a secluded and private safari experience. The 20 luxury tree-top rooms, elevated above the ground afford incredible views. 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.
TripAdvisor is the largest social travel website in the world, with 730 million reviews of hotels, restaurants, attractions and travel-related businesses, covering over eight million listings. Millions of travelers have voted on TripAdvisor - Travelers' Choice Awards for the best destinations in Africa of which we are delighted to say that The Elewana Collection has properties in two of the top ten locations, Arusha was ranked as number seven and Zanzibar was ranked as number two.
All sixteen Elewana Collection properties are listed on TripAdvisor, receiving over 1,000 reviews per annum of which Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge, Elewana Sand River Masai Mara and Elewana Tarangire Treetops receive the most reviews. Ten of the Elewana properties are in the top ten for the listings in East Africa and our average review is 5 stars.
A preliminary assessment on Lewa has discovered a small population of the critically endangered Pancake tortoise.
Seven Pancake tortoises were found on the Conservancy, in the first-ever effort to establish the occurrence of the endangered species. The discovery extends the distribution range of the species in Kenya with past studies showing that the distribution of the tortoise in Kenya lies within the arid and semi-arid corridor from Marsabit County southwards to Kitui County. Scientists from Lewa and the National Museum of Kenya participated in the joint effort to design an appropriate conservation strategy for Pancake tortoise and other herpetofauna on the Conservancy.
Due to specialised habitat requirements, the distribution of the Pancake tortoise is restricted and patchy. The tortoise population was recorded from four out of 14 potential sites identified during the assessment. The findings also documented the highest altitude occurrence (1,647 Mean Sea Level) for pancake tortoise in Kenya to date.
The Pancake tortoise whose scientific name is Malacochersus tornieri is among the six land tortoises mostly found in East Africa. Unlike the typical tortoises, the pancake tortoise is unique in its morphology. It is small in size, flattened dorso-ventrally and a flexible soft-shelled that allows them to live in narrow rock crevices. Elsewhere, populations have also been recorded in Tanzania and Zambia. It is considered that geology, vegetation, altitude, and climate are the main factors that limit the distribution of Pancake tortoises. For instance, more than 80 per cent of Kenyan records are below 1,000m Mean Sea Level.
Head of Conservation and Wildlife, Geoffrey Chege, says that there is a need to design a long-term conservation strategy for Pancake tortoise and other herpetofauna on Lewa, as well as carry out detailed studies and a regular monitoring framework. “Even though this discovery is significant partly due to the protection status of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, this population is rather isolated and there is a need for further studies to determine its viability,” said Chege.
The occurrence is highly influenced by the availability of suitable micro-habitats. Generally, they inhabit rock crevices of any orientation from horizontal to vertical. Openings of choice tend to narrow backward from the entrance. Gently sloping hillsides are more suitable than steeper areas and cliffs. Therefore, only a small proportion of the general habitat is normally inhabited by tortoises. The Pancake tortoise is currently listed as Critically Endangered (CR) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Live animal collection for the international pet trade is the biggest threat to the tortoise.
Habitat degradation from rock destruction is also a major threat. Other threats include deforestation and cultivation. A higher conservation measure for the Pancake tortoise was recently achieved when the 18th Conference of Parties of CITES adopted a proposal for its listing in Appendix I. International trade in the tortoise is now prohibited except under exceptional circumstances, for example, research purposes.
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.
While Loisaba is home to majestic lions, elusive leopards, magnificent elephants and endangered reticulated giraffes and Grevy’s zebra, it also hosts a spectacular array of a much more diverse class of vertebrates.
From the Verreaux’s eagle with a wingspan of 2.3 metres to the firefinch that only weighs 10 grams, guests staying at Loisaba have the opportunity to discover over 250 species of birds.
Here are some of our favourites!
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 ran their 8th successful medical camp between 29th and 31st October 2019. A total of 961 patients were seen and treated free of charge by a group of volunteer doctors from Kenya and oversees. This brings the total number of patients treated since inception to over 5,400.
New partnerships were forged as The Angama Foundation came on board to support the medical camp in cash and in kind, a clear indication of how successful this event has become over the years due to the hard work and commitment from the Land & Life team and their existing dedicated partners; The Elewana Collection, Kicheche, Saruni, Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA), Safarilink, and Oasis Health.
The focus this year was Cervical cancer, which is the second most common cancer amongst women aged 15-49 years old. On 18th October 2019, Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta launched a HPV vaccination campaign aimed at protecting women against this cancer. In line with this nationwide initiative, together with our partners we embarked on a HPV self-collection campaign in Aitong from 14th to 20th October.
We are happy to report that 138 women braved heavy rains and showed up in Aitong during the campaign. Their samples were sent to a lab that specializes in DNA testing. All women who tested were asked to collect their results during the free medical camp. 32 of the women tested positive for HPV. Out of these, 11 had biopsy specimens taken and they were tested further to rule out cancer. The HPV data collected at this camp is the first of its kind collected in Kenya, and as such represents a real milestone in the detection and treatment of cervical cancer in the country. The Land and Life team are grateful to the huge support and encouragement from donor and volunteer Dr Claudia Mason, in not only enabling this but pushing it all through and making it happen. We believe that HPV screening using the self-collection method will continue to play an important role in allowing early detection and treatment and will achieve a maximal impact on cervical cancer prevention. Screening can detect cancer at an early stage enabling women to receive treatment when it is highly effective. This and the increasing availability of HPV vaccination for women and girls, and the potential for reduction of the possibility of developing cervical cancer later in life. This however, does not eliminate the need for regular screening when women get older and that is why we keen to make this a long term project.
We would like to thank our Partners for their commitment and support thus ensuring the 8th Aitong Medical Camp was a huge success, including the Aitong Health Centre staff, Mr. John Sankok the Director of CMP facilities, Dr. Claudia Mason the lead gynaecologist and all the enthusiastic and energetic team of doctors, Safarilink, Kicheche Community Trust, Kicheche Camps, The Elewana Collection, Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp, Cheli & Peacock Community Trust, Mara North Conservancy (MNC), Saruni, the Ministry of Health Narok West for providing the medical supplies, Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA) for providing volunteer staff and media coverage during the event and finally to the community of Aitong for your collaboration and wonderful relationship that we have continued to enjoy throughout the years.
On Saturday 9th November Shanga was delighted to receive a visit from a very special group - our CEO Karim Wissanji accompanied by a group of Kenya's Senior Industrialists and Chief Executives from The Young Presidents Organisation. The Shanga team were thrilled to be hosting the VIPs, and Paul (Senior Shanga Guide) took great delight in leading the group around the workshop, teaching them sign language and assisting them to engage with the staff. The glassblowing was one of the highlights of the visit, with the glassblowing team putting on a great show. Not to be outdone, the beading team also entranced the visitors, demonstrating their nimble work and talking about how they had come to work with Shanga and what benefits they have gained since joining the Shanga family.
The partnership between Shanga and The Elewana Collection has been a great success. Within today's global landscape of climate change and inequality, there is increasing focus on the potential of tourism to provide a sustainable, socially and environmentally stable base for development. Partnerships such as the Shanga-Elewana relationship stand out, as a step in the right direction. Impact investment, where companies commit to supporting social enterprises or community SMEs, does a lot more than simply provide jobs - although that is of course a major benefit. Shanga is a great success, a self-sustaining business which has grown exponentially since the partnership with Elewana, and allowed the generated profits to be reinvested and used for further development and other conservation and community projects. This growth and reinvestment has allowed employment of more people with disabilities; provision of training and skills development for those in the greatest need; better quality of life and improved working conditions. Shanga's message of ability over disability is reaching a wider audience and having a huge impact on local community perceptions, and the ripple effect continues to spread.
It was inspiration for the Shanga team to meet The Young Presidents Organization (Kenya Chapter) and have the chance to show them everything they have been doing. Once in the shop, the group purchased various items with woven blankets and glass elephants flying off the shelves.
The Elewana Collection is proud of Shanga, and of what this partnership continues to achieve. If you are passing through Arusha, make sure you drop in to see for yourself, and you too will leave inspired.
The results of the 2019 World Luxury Hotel Awards voting process have been concluded, and Elewana Collection is delighted to confirm that Elewana Kifaru House and Elewana Serengeti Pioneer Camp are both winners! We would like to thank all of you who took the time to vote for one or both of these stunning properties, ensuring our success.
We are delighted to announce that Elewana Elsa's Kopje has retained its Gold status for another 2 years and Elewana AfroChic has moved up from Bronze to Silver. 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.
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;
Ecotourism Kenya and the Eco-rating Technical Committee has confirmed that both properties have attained an Eco-rating Certification. The committee commended each facility for the continuous efforts in upholding best practices in sustainable tourism, and for the great improvement demonstrated particularly in environmental management from the last assessment of the property.
Congratulations to the staff and management of both Elewana properties for this achievement.
Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards Survey, which marks its 25th Anniversary in 2020, is now open to voters and Elewana Collection is pleased to announce several properties have been nominated.
Vote now for your favorite Elewana Collection properties! Visit tlworldsbest.com/vote to rate your favorite Elewana Collection experiences (you can vote for more than one property!) and enter for a chance to win one of five international travel prizes. Each vote will contribute to the results, which will be revealed in the August 2020 issue of Travel + Leisure.
Elewana Collection is happy to note the following properties have been nominated:
Make sure to cast your vote before midnight on March 2, 2020!
Signature’s 2019 Conference will be held on December 2-5, 2019 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. The organization’s must-attend event of the year brings together over 2,400 travel industry professionals, including Signature travel advisors, managers and agency owners, and worldwide preferred partners to meet, network and learn from each other.
This year's theme is "ELEVATE", which quite literally means to rise to a higher standard, position, or state of being. The goal is to ‘elevate’ those that attend in order to offer clients a new level of service and products, as well as a differentiated travel experience. The sky is the limit.
Jessie Bligh from Emerging Destinations, our Sales Representative in North America will be attending on our behalf and looks forward to meeting you and ‘elevate’ your experience of The Elewana Collection.
Born and raised in Atlanta Georgia, Jessie has been working for Emerging Destinations since 2014 and her love of Africa has grown ever since. Emerging Destinations' mission statement, Saving Wild Places Through Travel, has become a passion and she is very proud to have met and worked with travel professionals that share the same values.
The two properties listed with Signature Travel Network are;
ILTM 2019 marks the launch of ILTM’s Year of Health and Wellness, kicking off in the French Riviera in Cannes from 2nd to 6th December. ILTM will launch research and gather a community of wellness experts that all draw the same conclusion; in the future, all travel is wellness travel, every trip is expected to enhance the physical, mental and social wellbeing of the traveller, transformation is the very promise of travel, and today’s travel brands are the solution to one of the biggest problems of our age.
James Haigh, Elewana Collection’s Director of Sales & Marketing is looking forward to sharing our passion for providing every guest with experiences that will transform their stay in East Africa.
For those that are considering traveling over Christmas and New Year but want something different, then this African safari adventure is an experience that will live with those long after they have left this magical continent.
Let SkySafari guide your guests on this unforgettable journey of discovery and exploration with their loved ones during this special time of year - we will take care of all the details so they can savour every moment of this life-changing experience.
SkySafari is designed specifically to make it simple to book and enjoy a safari holiday to Kenya and Tanzania, leaving guests with time to relax and watch the never-ending circle of life unwind against the backdrop of East Africa’s iconic parks and timeless landscapes.
Guests enjoy the comforts of personalised service, luxurious accommodation, and authentic African safari experiences, while being transported in supreme comfort, safety and convenience. SkySafari has its own small fleet of Executive-Class Cessnas. The planes have custom-designed interiors, replete with bespoke white leather seating and mahogany embellishments, air conditioning vents, and plenty of space to stretch out. Each plane hosts 9 seats, including one next to your SkySafari pilot.
SkySafari offers a choice of luxury itineraries, each weaving together a unique blend of the highlights of Kenya and Tanzania’s wildlife areas, while staying in the exquisite accommodations of the Elewana Collection;
On the SkySafari guests will be treated to unrivalled experiences from game drives in the Elewana custom-designed quality fleet of safari vehicles offering unparalleled viewing opportunities providing excellent comfort and safety. Each vehicle is driven by a world-class safari guide, each are highly-qualified and intimately knowledgeable about their area, many having grown up in the areas that they work. All possess a keen ability to communicate their passion for East Africa’s wildlife, people and landscapes to guests from all nationalities, ages and backgrounds. Other activities include bush meals in the wilderness, offering unique settings to marvel at the landscape around while enjoying a delicious meal to tantalise your senses and sundowners in Africa’s best spots to watch the last rays of golden light touch the savannah with your favourite drink in hand, listening to the sounds of the bush. There is fun and excitement for all, while spending quality time together creating memories to last a lifetime.