A holiday on the East African coast is idyllic year round - but the months of October and November offer beach goers wonderful privacy with less people around and properties offering reduced rates.The Elewana Collection has two stunning beach properties, one on the Kenya coast located on Diani Beach, a magical setting where white sandy beaches, rustling palm trees and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean makes it a regular winner of One of the Top Twenty Beaches in the World Award by Trip Advisor. Elewana AfroChic enjoys beach front ocean views and delicious sea breezes on a quieter, more secluded section of Diani Beach. AfroChic is certainly one of Africa’s best kept secrets. It is a marriage of romance, African style and all that is best in East African hospitality. A full à la carte menu is available with the most delectable of cuisine. Guests can enjoy seafood sourced fresh from the sea, ensuring the freshest quality and meals are served at the location and time of guests’ choice. The menu boasts European, Indian and Asian flair, with a subtle Swahili influence.
Diani Beach is the ultimate holiday destination with a wide variety of activities and excursions on offer, guests can enjoy scuba diving in prime spots that offer a number of dive sites for those that are just beginning to those that are more advanced and want to explore shipwrecks. Regardless of ability there is so much to see under the waves; white tipped reef sharks, rays, turtles and so much more. The coral heads have a myriad of colourful tiny reef fish to marvel at and the occasional octopus can be spotted. The best months are from September to April, the weather is perfect and diving conditions optimal for those wanting to explore the ocean floor. If you are unable to dive, snorkelling offers just as much in the shallower waters and trips to Wasini can be arranged.For those that want to stay dry but still explore the ocean, sailing and boat trips can be arranged, with the opportunity of seeing Humpback Whales from July to October as they travel annually in their thousands from the Antarctic to Kenya to breed and have their calves in Kenya's safe tropical waters. Humpback whales are among the most acrobatic of whales, and spend time leaping or ‘breaching’ to communicate, play, or give themselves a mini spa to remove unwanted skin parasites.
A very special experience to witness is turtles hatching and Elewana AfroChic has its own hatchery on the beach in front of the hotel. This is unpredictable as it depends on when the eggs are laid and collected to be transported to the safety of our hatchery. This year we have had a record number of nests and over a 1000 turtles hatched with still a couple of nests expected over the next couple of weeks. With such a variety of options, visitors to Diani have the ability to make their holiday what they want.The second destination is on the magical Island of Zanzibar with its sandy white beaches, turquoise-blue water and swaying palm trees and should be on everyone’s bucket list of places to visit. The historic Spice Island seems to have been lost in time with its narrow streets, carved doorways and ancient trade routes. As you head to the north of the island, Elewana Kilindi overlooks the ocean that has witnessed the spice trade route for over 500 years. Facing west, you can witness the sun set as you relax on your private balcony. Offering eclectic menus of international cuisine with an island Swahili infusion, and uses the freshest seafood and ingredients, prepared to order. All meals can be enjoyed in a setting of choice - poolside, among the gardens, on the upper terrace, on the beach or in the privacy of a pavilion.
Explore the hidden secrets of the island with a trip to Jozani Forest to watch the rare and endangered Red Colobus monkeys, which is a species of red colobus monkey endemic to Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar archipelago. Continue your tour of the Jozani forest, passing along a few trails through the variety of flora and fauna. A visit to Stone Town, a UNESCO world heritage site, is a must and a place where history still lives. The stone buildings, meandering alleyways, and markets still existing as they have done for centuries make for a fascinating day of exploring.Guests can also enjoy day boat trips, scuba diving and snorkelling to get a glimpse of the dolphins, copious fish and vivid corals that thrive in Zanzibar’s waters. A boat trip to Prison Island (Changuu) can be arranged to learn its fascinating history but also hosts more than 100 giant tortoises, a collection of endangered Aldabra giant tortoises, which were originally a gift from the British governor of the Seychelles.
Your time in the coastal destinations of the Indian Ocean can be as active or as leisurely as you wish, with a multitude of experiences to enjoy from water based sports to exploring the secrets these beautiful destinations hold or simply the favourite coastal pastime of relaxing and soaking up the sun.
We are pleased to confirm that both Elewana Elsa’s Kopje Meru and Elewana The Manor have recently been invited to join the prestigious Travel Leaders Select progamme for 2020, bringing the total number of Elewana properties listed to six.
We are delighted to announce that Phoebe Belcher has been appointed as General Manager at Elewana Kifaru House.Born and raised in Kenya, Phoebe developed a love for animals early on. Having been raised by parents in the safari industry, she spent many of her early years in the bush and most of those years on Loisaba. She has a passion for photography, especially our smaller species and has refined this skill recently during her time spent in the bush.
Phoebe joined Elewana Collection in 2016 taking on the role of Activities Coordinator at Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp and two years later, in 2018 was appointed as a Management Trainee, becoming our first candidate for our mentored training program in Kenya.Phoebe excelled during her training and completed all tasks ahead of schedule - to the point that Phoebe graduated nearly ten months ahead of schedule, completing her program at the end of March and was offered a position as Relief Manager in April 2019.
We wish Phoebe all the best in her new role as General Manager.
By Hannah CampbellLions are in trouble. Their population in Africa is estimated to have almost halved in the past 20 years, with as few as 20,000 estimated to be remaining across the entire continent. This is largely due to habitat loss and degradation, having lost 90% of their historic range. Other factors include reduction in prey, human-lion conflict, lack of incentives for communities to tolerate lions leading to a negative perception and ineffective lion population management.
In an effort to improve predator population monitoring, the Kenyan government, together with numerous NGO’s, are currently undertaking a comprehensive nation-wide lion survey using a standardised method called Spatially Explicit Capture Recapture Method. This involves teams regularly patrolling the conservancy and recording locations of lion sightings, as well as taking ID photographs, in order to estimate population size. Any other predators that are sighted are also recorded, with particular interest in cheetah and wild dog populations and distribution.Loisaba is part of the 77,595km2 area that is being intensively surveyed to provide accurate estimates of lion numbers in all potential ‘source’ populations. Working closely with our partner Lion Landscapes, our conservation department has been trained on the standardised methodology in order to individually identify any lions that are sighted.
A further 580,367km2 will be surveyed through over 3,500 interviews with local experts. The results of these interviews will be analysed to assess the distribution of large carnivores throughout the country.
Guests staying at Elewana Loisaba Lodo Springs,Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp and Elewana Loisaba Star Beds can help participate in this survey by reporting any sightings of lions, cheetahs or wild dogs to our conservation team and sharing photos of these predators, which will be entered into the database.
Photo taken by Hannah Campbell
Photo Credit: A reticulated giraffe with the GPS tracking device fitted. © Hannah Campbell
Recently discovered to be a unique species rather than a subspecies, reticulated giraffe (Giraffa reticulata) populations have declined drastically in just the past 30 years, from around 100,000 individuals in the 1980s to just around 15,000 individuals today. As a result of this alarming decline, in November 2018 they were listed as ‘Endangered’ by the IUCN Red List.Historically, reticulated giraffe ranged throughout much of northern Kenya, into western Somalia, and into southern Ethiopia; however, their range is rapidly decreasing and while one or two fragment populations may persist in Ethiopia, the vast majority of their population occurs within the arid rangelands of northern Kenya. Within these rangelands, reticulated giraffe often overlap directly with humans and livestock and only 4% of their distribution is estimated to occur within formally protected areas. As a result, reticulated giraffe populations are increasingly threatened by habitat loss and degradation, climate chaos, and illegal poaching.
The Laikipia plateau, where Loisaba is situated, is a vast and breath-taking landscape that provides critical habitat for reticulated giraffe, as well as other threatened and endangered species. It offers an expanse of over 9,500 km2 comprised of traditional pastoral lands, cattle ranches, farmland and private conservancies. In addition, it is also believed to support critical movement corridors for giraffe; however, as of now, little is known about giraffes use of this landscape.Recent population monitoring by the “Twiga Walinzi” (Giraffe Guards) research team as well as systematic aerial surveys by Kenya Wildlife Service have been able to provide the first detailed population estimates of reticulated giraffe for the region. However, while these population estimates provide much needed information, relatively little is known about giraffe use and movement in these landscapes. Thus, further monitoring and research of these populations is vital for future conservation efforts.
In 2017, 11 reticulated giraffes were fitted with special solar-powered GPS tracking devices, in order to gain a better understanding of giraffe movements, habitat usage, population dynamics and numbers, and to inform conservation policy and management plans. The data from these giraffes has already been vital towards understanding movement patterns, as well as possible movement corridors and preferred areas of habitat. To continue this research, an additional 28 giraffes were successfully ‘collared’ across northern Kenya from August 27th – September 5th (five of which at Loisaba Conservancy) – the largest giraffe collaring operation in history.The project is part of the larger ‘Twiga Tracker’ Initiative that aims to collar >250 giraffe across Africa in an effort to understand their movement and spatial needs of giraffe to inform more effective future conservation efforts.
This project is a collaborative effort led by Giraffe Conservation Foundation, San Diego Zoo Global and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, working collaboratively with Kenya Wildlife Service, Northern Rangelands Trust, and Loisaba Conservancy in addition to many in-country partners, and supported with regular on-the-ground monitoring by the Twiga Walinzi research team and the NRT ranger teams, as well as routine monitoring of the GPS satellite units year-round.Guests staying at Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp, Elewana Loisaba Star Beds and Elewana Loisaba Lodo Springs can also contribute to this research by recording sights of these beautiful animals when they go out on game drives through the citizen science initiative. Each game drive vehicle is equipped with a tablet so guests can record sightings of reticulated giraffes as well as other specific wildlife.
A rare and unique sighting that has been seen in the Masai Mara this month, which has caused quite a stir globally - a melanistic zebra foal. It is unusual for these to survive for long as their distinctive coloration makes them stand out from the herd and they are a target for lions.A Maasai guide discovered a one of a kind genetically mutated baby zebra in the Maasai Mara and named it after his surname - Tira. Tira has patterns that appear as polka dots!
The zebra has a rather amazing dark colour due to a genetic abnormality linked to the amount of melanin, affecting the pigmentation of the fur. While still resembling a zebra, the foal has a short, hairless tail unlike a normal zebra’s brush-like tail. Most unusually though, the animal’s colouring is brown, with white dotted markings. There’s not a stripe in sight!
Photos taken by photographer Rahul Sachdev
Shinini Simel and Lerumbe Kaaya are two dedicated and outstanding people working for the Honeyguide organisation. Both of them have been working most of their lives as rangers, in areas such as Randilen WMA in Tanzania, home to Elewana Tarangire Treetops.
They have dedicated their time and energy to wildlife and communities; we are very proud for them to receive recognition of their efforts from the Paradise Foundation who have selected them to receive the African Ranger Award for 2019. This award inspires the rangers protecting wildlife in Africa. For Shinini and Lerumbe, knowing that their dedication and efforts have been recognized as far as China; the Paradise Awards have provided a great motivational initiative.
Learn about these two great rangers, Shinini and Lerumbe, watch the two short video bios below.
The PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination) is a hugely important part of a Tanzanian child's life. Coming at the end of their last year of junior school, it determines whether they qualify for free public secondary education - or not. Children who fail must either find the funds to cover private school fees, or accept that their education is now over. This contributes to many children not undertaking secondary education - UNICEF estimated in 2015 that up to 70% of children aged 14-17 were not in school.Land & Life wants to give the students at Ganako school, which is not far from Elewana The Manor, a little bit of support on the morning of the exams. So the week of the exams, Tuesday and Wednesday, was spent working with the team from Elewana The Manor at Ngorongoro to give the children breakfast and midday snacks, and to make sure each child had enough stationery to complete the exam - pencil, pen, sharpener, ruler and eraser each.
It was a combined effort from the team at Elewana The Manor, who were extremely supportive; Margareth (Reception) stayed up into the night making nourishing porridge and tasty mandazis (local doughnuts) which were then handed out by Dominic and Edgar, sous chefs from the kitchen and Clay (assistant manager) helped distribute stationery supplies.The children were confident, cheerful and positive, and we wish them all the best. The Manor team were incredible, and in fact enjoyed themselves so much they have promised to pay for school uniforms for any student getting an A grade in the exam!
A little help can go a long way - a doughnut, a banana and a bowl of porridge can make a big difference to a child on a cold morning with hours of exams to sit. We are cheering for them all - go go Standard 7 - and when we get their results, we will share it with you all!
Why isn’t sign language taught in every school?
At some point in our lives we will meet someone who is deaf. Could you greet them? Ask them how they are? Ask them their name? Fundamental to all of us and greetings the rest of us take for granted.
September was a busy month for Shanga being the International Awareness Month of the Deaf incorporating the International Week of the Deaf (23rd - 29th) and celebrating the International Day of Sign Language on the 23rd.
So much to celebrate, share, teach and learn. Everyday this month we encouraged visitors to Shanga to learn a couple of sign greetings and everyone was keen to learn more. We celebrated with all our staff (14 who are deaf) those fluent in sign language, those learning and those teaching. By exposing our visitors to forms of non-verbal communication, we hope they will feel inspired to learn more when they return to their homes.
All staff working at the Elewana Collection properties in Tanzania will be undergoing Responsible Tourism Training over the next few weeks. The first to undergo the training sessions, were the staff at Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp, who were taken through two days of interactive teaching.Conducting the training is Johannes Solar Obeto (Solar for short), who is an advisor for Travelife in addition to a Coach and Audit Coordinator for RTTZ (Responsible Tourism Tanzania) . He has years of experience in sustainable tourism and responsible travel.
Below are the topics that will be covered with the team at each property;
Responsible Tourism Tanzania (RTTZ) is a non-profit organization that encourages and promotes a more sustainable tourism industry within Tanzania. RTTZ was established in 2011 as a trusteeship with a governance and membership base that includes the key stakeholders within the tourism industry, providing various services or functions to support the industry to manage their business in a sustainable manner.
This year was the dawn of an exciting new era for PURE Life Experiences. A community of like-minded travel mavericks raised the bar every step of the way. James Haigh, Director of Sales & Marketing for the Elewana Collection was in Marrakech to experience it all. Connecting with old and new friends as a whirlwind of meetings, networking events and the magnificent Awards Ceremony took place over five days.
“It was exhilarating to experience this event once again and each year exceeds the last. To meet so many like minded people is inspiring. Thank you to all those that took time to learn about the Elewana Collection and I look forward to working with you over the coming years. I would also like to thank This is Beyond and giving us the opportunity to enjoy so many PURE LIFE EXPERIENCES …
The Kenya Tourism Board is to host the 9th edition of MKTE from the 02 – 04 October 2019 at the KICC in Nairobi for the African gathering of the trade.
James Haigh, Director of Sales & Marketing will be representing Elewana Collection together with Evelyn Kamau and Benjamin Paul. Mia Lawson, General Manager for SkySafari, will also be attending to showcase the ultimate African Experience.
The team will be located at stand L9 in the great hall and look forward to seeing you there.
SkySafari is designed specifically to make it simple for you to book and enjoy an African safari holiday to Kenya and Tanzania, leaving you 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.SkySafari guests enjoy the comforts of personalised service, luxurious accommodation, and authentic African safari experiences, while being transported in supreme comfort, safety and convenience aboard SkySafari’s own 9-seater Executive-class Cessna Caravan.
Our aircraft are not airliners and relatively speaking they are small. This means we have small baggage stowage bays and restrictive weight limitations for luggage. However, SkySafari does have a more generous weight allowance for luggage than local scheduled flights, which only have 15kgs.
SkySafari luggage specifications are as follows:
Carry-On Baggage permitted (Maximum weight 1.5 / 2Kgs)
Examples of items that can be brought on the flight as carry-on luggage include the following:
An African safari adventure is an experience that will be with you long after you’ve left this magical continent. Let SkySafari guide you on this unforgettable journey of discovery and exploration, with care and indulgence.