SerengetiPioneer Main Bar Lounge View 3

We took a moment to interview Ryan McFarlane, Elewana’s New Director of Operations in Tanzania, to learn more about Elewana’s latest renovations in Tanzania. 

What is your background and how did you become the project manager for these renovations?

I grew up on farms and small holdings in South Africa and have always been very good with my hands, which became quite useful when I joined the lodge industry. I was originally due to take on the operations department for Elewana, but it was then suggested that I take over the projects department due to all my previous experience in this area. 

What are some of your favourite aspects of these renovations?

Seeing the before and after! I have an absolute passion for bringing things back to life. The reactions from the staff and the managers are also priceless when they return to their lodges.

Which areas/camps received the most significant work?

Arusha Coffee Lodge and Tarangire Treetops needed the most work and they have both really benefited from the refurbishments, I hope guests will be pleased. 

How did you organize all of this work during COVID and lockdowns?

It was rather challenging but we had great support from the internal team which made this all possible.

What were the biggest challenges with the renovations?

It was rather challenging sourcing materials and the logistics involved in delivery, though thankfully 90% are local suppliers from all over Tanzania so very few items were imported. 

Were there any happy surprises that you came across?

There are always surprises when doing renovations. As soon as you remove something you find something new to do but the end result with the new face lift is the ultimate reward.

What’s next in terms of refurbishments?

Kilindi Zanzibar, where we are sealing the windows and doors to support the new air-condition units which have already been installed. I’m now also taking on the role of Director of Operations for Tanzania, which will give me the opportunity to see how I can improve the properties with planning, staffing, staff succession, etc. Exciting times ahead!