2017 Summary

Elewana Collection has a dynamic year!

As we near the end of 2017, we look back on what has been an interesting and busy year in both Kenya and Tanzania and the incredible journey Elewana Collection has had so far.


Tanzania saw a change of leadership at the Ministry of Tourism with Dr. Hamisi A. Kigwangalla taking on the new role of Minister for Tourism. TANAPA Implemented new concession fees from 1st July 2017 followed by Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) on 1st December 2017

In spite of this development overall the country saw a productive year, Tanzania’s economic performance continues to rank among the highest in the region, with the real GDP growth rate consistently outpacing that of its peers in the East African Community (EAC).

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PWC forecast a slowdown in tourism in Tanzania in 2017, following the introduction of VAT in tourism services and poor infrastructure. “The imposition of an 18% VAT on tourism services in 2016, with the proceeds used to improve infrastructure, was expected to reduce foreign tourism in the short run and lead to a drop in stay unit nights. This did not happen as many tourists had booked their holidays before the VAT was introduced. In early 2017, however, the market appears to be weakening and we expect a drop in stay unit nights this year,” the report reads. In relation to the infrastructure, PWC states that poor roads, particularly to national parks, and power outages and power shortages have an adverse effect on the tourist experience. As Tanzania improves its infrastructure and the planned expansion of five new major hotels that are scheduled to open over the next five years, - three in Dar es Salaam and one each in Zanzibar and Serengeti— adding nearly 800 rooms it seems Tourism is improving.


As 2017 started in Kenya, the country began its political campaigns for Presidential and County elections, set to take place in August and took place with little incident.

The surprise came when The Supreme Court ruled the first elections were nullified and the country would have to go to the polls for a second time. The main candidates quickly went back on the campaign road and the new elections took place on the 26th October with President Uhuru Kenyatta being elected and sworn into office on Tuesday 28th November.

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Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala was elected chairman of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Africa Commission, a prestigious role that Kenyans can be extremely proud of and further enforcing Kenya’s commitment to the industry.

Kenya achieved top honours at the 2017 World Travel Awards (WTA) receiving top awards in different categories; the Maasai Mara Game Reserve being voted Africa’s leading national park and Diani beach as Africa’s leading beach destination. The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) also emerged as Africa’s top Tourism board for the 6th year running, beating other African tourism agents in Africa. More recently Kenya was once again voted as the world’s leading safari destination by the World Travel Awards.

An increased number of domestic and international tourists has seen Kenya’s tourism attracting investors in hospitality with a number of hotels set to open in the next five years, including Sheraton, Rmada, Hilton, Best Western, Radisson, Marriott, and Mövenpick increasing the existing capacity by more than 2,400 rooms, according to a report by PwC.

Elewana Collection

The first quarter saw a slow start but quickly picked up and has been a busy year for both the Kenya and Tanzania Elewana properties. A number of improvements have taken place at Elewana Tortilis Camp, Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp and Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp and general refurbishment at Elewana Tarangire Treetops and Elewana Elsa’s Kopje. Elewana Collection recently announced the exciting news of adding Kifaru House on the Lewa / Borana Wildlife Conservancy to its growing portfolio, Previously, Kifaru House was only available for group bookings on an exclusive basis, however from 1st April 2018 visitors will be able to book rooms on an individual basis in line with the other Elewana properties.

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Elewana Collection has gone from strength to strength seeing a number of changes within the team over the past year, through the year we said goodbye to a few colleagues that moved on for one reason or another, Chloe Flatt, Claire Whiteman, Claudia de Vries, Simon Rare, Rehan Fazal,Anderson Waweru and David Mbugua.

Our family has grown and we are delighted to have a number of people with a wealth of knowledge and experience join the team during the past year; Alia Bellamy (Marketing Manager), Nair Dwijendran (Finance Manager Elewana Kenya) Sjani Cuyler (Elewana Quality Assurance Manager), Mardelle Moolman and  Pierre Mouton (Relief Managers), Chandra Vhakali, Samuel Mbugua, Hezron Kariuki Sales Cycle Auditor, Evans Letua (Sales Cycle Auditor) & Winnie Mbithe ( Payables Accountant) in Accounts, Stella Mutysia (Purchasing Officer)  and Mark (Store…) in Purchasing, Steve Raburu (Field Coordinator) and Millicent Kimatia (Project Assitant) in Land & Life, Sam Musyoka in Administration, Miquel Alimbao (SkySafari General Manager), Emily Ndolo (Tour Manager - Kenya) & Alice Maina (Guest Relation Office & Tour Consultant) at SkySafari by Elewana.

To all our friends around the world we wish you a very Happy Christmas and look forward to celebrating a great 2018 with you!


Elewana Kifaru House on Lewa Wildlife Conservancy opens its doors to individual travellers as a new member of Elewana

The Elewana Collection announced the latest addition to its wide ranging portfolio - Elewana Kifaru House on the Lewa / Borana Wildlife Conservancy.


With an unsurpassed footprint of properties across East Africa, the Elewana Collection now comprises of 16 award-winning luxurious camps, lodges and boutique beach hotels in Tanzania, Zanzibar and Kenya. Located in iconic wildlife destinations each has been carefully designed to provide an unrivalled variety of accommodation style, activities and guest experiences.

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Meaning harmony or understanding in Kiswahili, Elewana embodies the balance between people, wildlife and environment that are expected by today’s sophisticated travellers.

Previously, Kifaru House was only available for group bookings on an exclusive basis, however from 1st April 2018 visitors will be able to book rooms on an individual basis in line with the other Elewana properties.

Aptly named, Elewana Kifaru House takes its name from the Swahili word for rhino, and is idyllically located on an escarpment in the middle of the Lewa / Borana Wildlife Conservancy, home to East Africa’s healthiest rhino population totaling 66 black and 62 white rhinos.

With just six well-appointed bedrooms, all located in individual spacious bandas complete with opulent four poster beds and generous en-suite bathrooms, the property retains a feeling of exclusivity. Guests can convene in the homely main house and relax with a fully-stocked bar and two large fireplaces or enjoy sundowners and dinner under the stars on the large comfortably furnished terrace. Built mainly from materials sourced locally, great care has been taken to reflect the style, character and lifestyle of the Kenyan highlands.

Elewana Kifaru House guest enjoy a heated swimming pool that affords breathtaking views across the surrounding plains, teeming with wildlife and reaching out to Mount Kenya. Massage rooms are also available offering a small but relaxing selection of treatments.

Elewana Kifaru House has been built to have minimal environmental impact. Solar panels are used to generate electricity and heat water, waste water is recycled to irrigate the landscape including a lovingly tended organic kitchen garden

James Haigh, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Elewana Collection comments “We are delighted to have been selected by the critically important Lewa / Borana Wildlife Conservancy to manage Kifaru House in addition to the Elewana Lewa Safari Camp. These two properties are fully owned by the Conservancy, all profits and conservancy fees generated by the camps are re invested directly into their conservation and community efforts – we are proud to have forged such a strong working relationship the Conservancy and to be able to contribute to their wonderful work.”

Guests at Elewana Kifaru House are welcome to visit the beating heart of the Conservancy, the state of the art Joint Operations Centre and meet the tracker dog team that provides anti poaching support across all of Northern Kenya.

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is heralded as a beacon of wildlife conservation that is rightly popular with celebrities, conservationists, writers and photographers. Through the protection and management of species, the initiation and support of community conservation and development programmes, and the education of neighbouring areas in the value of wildlife, Lewa has reversed a critical decline in the rhino population in the region, as well as many other endangered species. For families living on its boundaries, Lewa offers improved livelihoods with its adult education and women’s micro-credit programmes, community-managed water projects, and access to health care at its four health clinics. For thousands of children in local schools, Lewa has opened the doors to a future with more choices than the generations before them.


Brown & Moses in South Africa

Lenny "Brown" Lemaiyan our irrepressible Guide from Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp made his first continental visit - using his brand new Kenyan passport - to attend We Are Africa in May, where he was a nominee for the Africa Rising award. He may not have come away with the trophy- but he certainly made friends than anyone else - and was more photographed than the Table Mountain!

In September we wished Moses Mureithi from Elewana Elsa's Kopje, a very hearty congratulations  for being the top seller of premium wines., for which he won  a trip to Cape Town, sponsored by our wine suppliers - Under The Influence!


Moses returned having had the most amazing time, and is now sharing what he experienced and learned with other team and staff members. It really was amazing exposure and a great opportunity for him!


Aitong Medical Camp

Early December Land & Life held their 6th Annual Free Aitong Medical Camp at Aitong Health Clinic in the Mara near to Elephant Pepper Camp. This year a new record was reached – the clinic saw and treated approximately 1200 people over the three days!


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The team of volunteer doctors from Oasis Health Care were extremely enthusiastic and very efficient, working well with the Aitong Clinic Staff and nurses provided by the Narok District Hospital. They performed diabetes testing – HIV testing – cervical cancer screening – general medical check ups – dental check ups and treatments – family planning sessions – orthopaedic treatments – and more.

The cervical cancer screening in particular was an interesting issue. While it was welcomed by some women, for others it held a stigma, due largely to lack of awareness and understanding. We hope to work on this in the future, sensitising the community to the importance of such screening and reach even more women going forward.

Thanks to our partnership with NHIF, this year doctors were able to refer patients on for further treatment, ensuring that the camp has a wider impact than simply a one off day of treatment.

Together with Land & Life, we would like to thank our partners for their support; Kicheche Camps and Saruni Lodges, Safarilink and Oasis HealthCare, Elewana Elephant Peppr Camp assisted with the logistics and support so well done everyone and on behalf of the community, thank you for your generosity and support.


Horse Safaris at Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp

Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp is now offering Horse Back Safaris!


Come and experience horseback riding across the African plains, through a wide variety of wildlife.  The drive to Ride Kenya is approximately 30 – 45 minutes from Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp with a game drive on the way.

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Ride Kenya offer a 2 hour horse safari, ride amongst the wildlife from a gentle walk to a canter (depending on equestrian skill).

All the equipment is provided, including hat, riding boots, jodhpurs.  They offer 3 different style of saddle to choose from – English, Trail or Western.  All equipment is in immaculate condition.

On arrival guests will receive an introduction briefing followed by a riding assessment in the paddock to check riding ability and it’s a good opportunity for guests to familiarise themselves with the horse before heading out onto the open plains.  Each ride has 2 guides, one leading and the other at the rear.

The cost is $250 per person for 2 hours and can be offered either in the morning or afternoon, minimum age is 14 years.


Elewana Lewa Safari Camp offers Bush Walks in the Conservancy

A great way to view the stunning diversity of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is on foot. You will be accompanied by a Conservancy Ranger and a Guide, whose knowledge of local flora, fauna, cultural and history is unmatched.


The bush walks can be done early mornings and can vary from two to three hours or late afternoon, for about one to one and a half hours and covering anywhere from two to seven kilometres, depending on how far the guests would like to venture.

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The minimum number of guests is two to four with the maximum being six to ensure an intimate size the Guide can manage. The minimum age to join a bush walks is 12 years and is mandated by the conservancy.

Safety is paramount and each guest will get a briefing on safety prior to the walk to ensure they know what to expect and what is expected from them when in the conservancy. The Guide carries a First Aid Kit and a handheld radio plus mobile phone for any emergencies.

The Busk Walk at Elewana Lewa Safari Camp is included as part of the activities offered and there is no additional cost. A bush walk is one of the best ways to experience nature and marvel at the wildlife you encounter.


Elewana Collection teams up with Healing Earth

Elewana Collection has teamed up with Healing Earth in order to enhance its offering to guests, not only in the products used but ensuring our therapists have the best training possible.


Healing Earth is a premium African spa brand that offers natural, organic products, therapies and spa concepts to discerning clients around the world that include Abalone House & Spa in South Africa and Duniye Spa in the Maldives plus were Winner of the prestigious 2016 World Luxury Spa Award and this year were shortlisted for the accolade of Natural Product Line of the Year in the prestigious Asia Spa Awards 2017!

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Each lovingly created Healing Earth product harnesses the restorative powers of Africa’s rich natural resources, and is made from only the purest natural active ingredients sourced from the continent’s powerful minerals, oceans, flowers, herbs, fruit, seeds and natural oils.

Developed by leading cosmetic scientists*, all Healing Earth ingredients are carefully selected and meticulously researched, ensuring a pure product that connects users to the healing powers of Mother Earth. All Healing Earth products are free from synthetic fragrances, colourants, petro chemicals, DEA, preservatives and parabens. In addition to this, Healing Earth products are not tested on animals.

A cornerstone of the Healing Earth philosophy is success through ongoing education and support. As well as offering hands-on assistance in the setup of a spa or retreat, their internationally experienced trainers offer an inspiring spa training program focused on personal development, respect for other cultures and love for Mother Earth. Each course is a blend of product and spa therapy theory, spa therapy practical demonstrations and hands-on practical workshops.  In addition to the beauty therapy training and product insight,

All the Elewana properties in Tanzania have selected Healing Earth products in the guest bathrooms and in the Spa / Treatment area we use a wide range of products. In Kenya Healing Earth are conducting training at each property that offers treatments to guests, which covers a range of areas from product knowledge to treatment protocols (practical training on each treatment conducted) and the Guest Experience and creating unique moments that will be remembered long after the holiday is over. The Healing Earth team started at Elewana AfroChic Diani followed by Elewana Elsa’s Kopje Meru then Elewana Tortilis Amboseli and before the year ends Elewana Lewa Safari Camp and Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp.

“Health is a state of body. Wellness is a state of being” Healing Earth.


Elewana Collection: Fashion Forward.

Lady-Victoria-1The African savannah with its raw natural beauty, exotic wildlife and dramatic landscapes has long been a place of inspiration and wonder, drawing in travellers from far and wide.

At Elewana, we’re accustomed to accommodating guests from all walks of life and more recently we have seen a rise in travel writers, photographers and in particular, as we looked back on 2017, we noticed an upward trend in those guests, particularly tied to the fashion industry. It seems they too are taken with the magic of Elewana.

Early in July, Soraya a fashion blogger- @chicflavours-, visited Elewana Kilindi Zanzibar. Describing the stay at Kilindi as her “happy place”, Soraya was able to capture some breath taking images, that captured the barefoot luxury feel of Kilindi.

We then welcomed Brazilian celebrity and trend setter, Marina Mantega, on a SkySafari Tanzania journey as she experienced East Africa for the first time. Blown away by each of the stops and properties on her journey, Marina is certain her fans back home would love Tanzania and is an avid Elewana fan and ambassador. Taking the opportunity to model at each property, the Brazilian beauty got creative and used each of her stops as inspiration in her photo shoot.


Soraya Pena Hennessy


Marina Mantega

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Lady Victoria Hervey

Lady Victoria Hervey arrived at Elewana Tortilis Camp in Amboseli after Chinese-American fashion designer Grace Chen- designer to stars such as Helen Mirren and Oprah- who created an African inspired collection that inspired the duo  to visit the continent. Lady Victoria transformed in stunning pieces against an equally gorgeous Amboseli landscape and her wilderness fashion shoot was published in Hello Magazine. You can read the article here {PDFS attached in folder). You can also watch the video of the exciting shoot.


Manish Malhotra

Most recently, we had the pleasure of hosting Manish Malhotra, acclaimed fashion designer to Bollywood celebrities and brides the world over at our Elewana Sand River Masai Mara,  where the models stunned in his design as they used the property and their natural surroundings to bring the fashion shoot to life. You can get a glimpse of Manish Malhotra’s beautiful creations here.

Last but not least, we recently hosted French Elle, but to see the results of that dramatic shoot, you’ll have to wait till 2018, when the images are released!


Thank you all for your continued support

The end of any year is always a time of reflection as well as celebration. Elewana has enjoyed a bumper year on so many fronts that all our staff whether in camp or in the office are looking forward to the festive season with huge anticipation. We're also relishing the prospect of the new camps, plans, and initiatives that we have coming on line in 2018.

Heri ya Krismasi na mwaka mpya - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

~James Haigh - Director of Sales & Marketing - Elewana