The Masai Mara has had a year full of excitement. Of course as ever the Mara has played host to the remarkable wildebeest migration, an annual phenomenon of over 2 million animals following a clockwise loop of approximately 1,800 miles in search of rain and grass. This year the Mara has also displayed some dramatic weather patterns, which saw big storms and very heavy rainfall for a number of weeks.
Elewana Sand River Masai Mara is located in a secluded area of the National Reserve away from other camps, which gives it a real feeling of exclusivity. This luxury tented camp is comprised of 15 tented rooms and a family tent with two ensuite bedrooms and a central lounge area. The camp has an opulent feel, evoking a magical sense of the great safaris of yesteryear. Game drives, bush meals and sundowners are all part of the package, with exciting cultural experiences, a memorable visit to a local school, and romantic balloon safaris all available on request.
Elewana Sand River supports Land & Life Foundation, which works with Embiti Primary School on the outskirts of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. The small local school is relatively new and still in early stages of development, and it is home to 148 children under the care of 7 teachers. Of the seven teaching staff, 2 are employed by the government and 5 are employed by the school committee and funded by parental contributions. School facilities are still limited and include 2 permanent classrooms, 1 semi-permanent classroom, 1 block of toilets and 1 semi-permanent teachers’ house. Only one classroom is currently powered, by a government-provided solar system.
The school is part of the Wildlife Warrior Program and hosts a Wildlife Warrior Club which holds activities designed to promote inter-generational knowledge sharing, innovative thinking, and proactive wildlife conservation. Visits from Land & Life educators once or twice a term involve lively interactive activities for the children, or a conservation and education themed video, and have also included tree planting using the innovative seedballing technique. Every day, the program is helping to develop a generation of East Africa’s conservationists.
The current ongoing project is the installation of a rain-water harvesting system, plumbing to the nearest borehole, and a large water tank. This system will help the school with its water supply, and stop the children having to walk 2km each way to collect buckets of water for cooking or washing purposes.
Recent guests at Elewana Sand River visited the school and were entranced with the liveliness of the children and their enthusiasm for learning, but saddened to find out that many children leave school at an early age because there simply are not enough classrooms to house the older students. So two of the young guests returned to the States and have started a fundraising campaign to support the construction of a further permanent classroom. Emma and Emily, or Eminem as they are often called, are best friends with a shared passion to help others, and have set up a crowd-funding page to raise funds for Embiti. Click here to read their story, watch a video from Embiti School, and make your own donation to support these girls and their quest to build a classroom in Africa!
Guests staying at Elewana Sand River are welcome to visit the children and spend time with them, in doing so learn about the community that Elewana Collection and its guests are a part of.