The Collection

2019

With the end of the year approaching fast, the Christmas trees are decorated and there is a festive spirit in the air, it’s time to reflect on an extraordinary year. This was made possible through your support and we would like to acknowledge our Partners and Friends around the world for making this another great year for the Elewana Collection.  Thank you for believing in us and joining us on our journey.

Some of the highlights from this year;

Black Leopard caught on camera in Loisaba

Camera traps captured rare footage of melanistic leopard, otherwise known as black panthers, in Laikipia close to Loisaba. A few months later, a female black leopard was spotted with two cubs, one of which was melanistic. Both cubs are doing well and will soon find territories of their own.

Rare Black Leopard Mother and Cubs Spotted in Kenya

Expanding our footprint in Kenya

After months of preparations and planning the day finally arrived for Elewana Loisaba Lodo Springs to welcome its first guests.

A special moment in time as Elewana Elsa’s Kopje celebrates its 20th Anniversary

Elewana Elsa’s Kopje celebrated its 20th Anniversary at the beginning of July with a very special guest of honour, Virginia McKenna who joined guests for a number of special events that took place from the 3rd to 6th July 2019. Elsa’s Kopje has played a notable role in the conservation of Meru National Park since it was opened on the 3rd July 1999.

Rare Black Leopard Mother and Cubs Spotted in Kenya
Rare Black Leopard Mother and Cubs Spotted in Kenya

Over One Thousand Turtles hatched this year

This year our guests were delighted to witness 1896 tiny turtles that hatched at Elewana AfroChic Diani.

A number of prestigious awards

2019 condenast traveller rca seal

Condé Nast Traveler announced the results of its annual Readers’ Choice Awards with four Elewana Collection properties recognized with six prestigious awards including Elewana Elsa's Kopje at #11 in 50 Best Resorts in the World and #5 in Top 30 Resorts in Africa; Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp at #30 in 50 Best Resorts in the World and #8 in 30 Top Resorts in Africa; Elewana Tarangire Treetops at #12 in Top 30 Resorts in Africa; and Elewana Serengeti Pioneer Camp at #17 in Top 30 Resorts in Africa.

tourism for tomorrow logo

Shanga by Elewana Collection was selected as one of three finalists for the ‘Investing in People’ Tourism for Tomorrow Awards from the World Travel & Tourism Council.

tourism for tomorrow logo

Five of The Elewana Collection properties in Kenya have been awarded a Gold Eco rating from EcoTourism Kenya and three at Silver level. In addition, all the Tanzania properties received the Responsible Tourism Tanzania (RTTZ) eco rating in 2019 with Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge attaining the Sapling rating on its first assessment.

luxury travel advisor award

Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp made it all the way to the 'Elite Eight' of Luxury Travel Advisors World's Most Instagrammable Hotel Award! The competition was intense with leading hotels from around the world seeded so we feel privileged to be listed amongst the very best.

world luxury hotel awards

Elewana Kifaru House and Elewana Serengeti Pioneer Camp received recognition in the 2019 World Luxury Hotel Awards, attaining Continent Win in Luxury Hotel Best Scenic Environment and Continent Win in Luxury Tented Safari Camp respectively.

worlds best awards

The Elewana Collection is pleased to announce that all 16 properties have been nominated in the Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards 2020. Visit tlworldsbest.com/vote to rate your favorite Elewana Collection experiences (you can vote for more than one property!)

Once again, thank you for your continued support. Elewana Collection wishes you and your loved ones a safe and happy festive season.

Best wishes for the holiday season,
The Elewana Collection

magical kenya signature experiences

We are excited to announce that two of our offerings have been selected into the program;

  • Elewana Loisaba Star Beds
  • SkySafari by Elewana – The Ultimate African Adventure

This month we attended the inaugural Magical Kenya Signature Experiences (MKSE) Award Ceremony that was held to unveil outstanding tourism offerings among Kenyan travel industry players and attended by Tourism and wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala.

The first fifteen facilities were awarded after meeting the required criteria of innovativeness, creativity and authentic offering, with the Honourable Balala noting that the awards marked the beginning of a journey to delivering diverse tourism experiences.

“Today’s discerning international and local traveller is seeking out travel destinations that deliver unique and authentic experiences that tap into their passion points. Today, the new millennium is different, the new clientele is different. We have a lot in this country that we that we can be able to share, the industry has invested heavily but sometimes we need to do the small things that make a difference” said CS Balala.

MKSE programme is a key milestone for KTB in transformation of tourism products and experiences to cater for the diverse needs of the clientele. “It will ensure that the industry continues to be competitive and innovative in the products and services offered to clients. Kenya can only be competitive internationally if the service offering is exceptional to the traveller” added Balala

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) CEO Dr Betty Radier noted that the MKSE programme was initiated to ensure that tourism gems were identified so that they are evaluated, showcased and acknowledged for the role they play in promoting Kenya’s tourism to the world. “This journey was started in 2016, and the purpose was to look at what we have as an industry, looking at what we can do as a marketing body together with our partners to begin to identify gems within our destination, we just need to showcase them. Most importantly create a programme that will acknowledge the investment that goes into these gems”

She added “The goal is to ensure that we are not only recognised for our Safari offerings, but to be recognised in other categories, tourists should know that there is something for everyone in destination Kenya. 

The Elewana Collection boutique lodges, camps and hotels is known for its unique accommodations in iconic locations across Kenya and Tanzania. Elewana crafts authentic and memorable safari experiences, providing the highest quality of luxury and comfort. Warm and genuine East African hospitality characterises a safari with Elewana, where guests are indulged with a luxurious and personalised stay.

Our Magical Kenya Signature Experiences:

Preview SIgnature Loisaba Star Beds

Elewana Loisaba Star Beds

Poised on a rocky kopje, the Star Beds commands sweeping views over an undulating valley and a permanent waterhole, frequented by resident wildlife. Rustically designed to complement the surrounding environment, each star bed is individually built in harmony with the natural rocky features, incorporating a sitting area, and open plan bathroom with a view. Handcrafted four-poster wooden beds sit on raised wooden platforms jutting out from a thatched-roof accommodation and are rolled out each night for guests to sleep under the endless African sky.

Loisaba is a private wildlife conservancy, a beautiful landscape with rivers, forests, springs, valleys and open plains. Loisaba successfully combines conservation, community and green operations, ensuring maximum socio-economic impact.  Experience an array of activities, from games drives to camel-trekking, guided bush walks to cultural visits.

Preview SIgnature SkySafari

SkySafari by Elewana – The Ultimate African Adventure

SkySafari is designed specifically to make it simple for you to book and enjoy an African safari holiday to Kenya, 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. The allure of Kenya is legendary, and this 8-day safari captures its true essence. Marvel at Amboseli’s famed elephants under the majestic peak of Kilimanjaro; lose yourself in the Hollywood romance of Meru, and be awed by the finest wildlife viewing in the world in the Masai Mara.

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. SkySafari crafts an African safari adventure into an indulgent and convenient experience of a lifetime.

In The Community

Land Life WW Annual Retreat

This year, Land & Life Foundation held the Wildlife Warrior (WW) annual retreat in the coastal shores of Kenya, Mombasa. Yes, it was as exciting as it sounds. We gathered together a group of 40 scholars and 10 patrons from our six supported schools. In attendance, was one staff from The Elewana Collection, one staff from Cheli & Peacock Safaris and two staff from the Land & Life Foundation. 

The journey began on the 1st of December 2019 when all the scholars left their homes to travel to Nairobi to spend the night before embarking on the journey to Mombasa. The group of 38 scholars and 8 patrons were hosted at the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, Nairobi campus. On the second day, the scholars left the campus for the train station at 5am. While trains may appear normal to most people, to these children it was an experience of a lifetime. The famous Madaraka Express train was commissioned a few years ago marking a transformation from the steam engines to a newer generation of trains. For the children, the excitement on their faces told this tale. The trip to Mombasa lasted six hours where they arrived safe and sound in the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, Mombasa Campus by 4.00PM.  Upon arrival, the scholars were served some snacks and refreshing drinks to cool off and rejuvenate before heading to a relaxed evening at the beach. 

Early the next morning, the team got to learn about oceans and the marine world, a topic in the Wildlife Warrior program curriculum. We had the pleasure of hosting two members of the Local Ocean Trust from Watamu and they took over the second session of the day. A specialist in marine conservation, the Local Ocean trust team, under the guidance of Nevil, took the children through a session on turtle conservation. In the afternoon, the Wildlife Warriors had a chance to visit Haller Park in order to showcase the success of being able to reclaim land and establish a whole new ecosystem where life was previously considered non-existent. The warriors enjoyed up-close views of the diverse animal species including the crocodile, Hippopotamus, different snakes, and fish species with a great coincidence to witness their feeding too. After this trip the evening was wound down by an alone time for the warriors.

On the fourth and last day in Mombasa, the children woke up to a role play session guided by the Land & Life team. The Warriors, in groups, presented short play son how they best understood the issues they had learnt concerning the conservation of marine life. After this session, they also got an opportunity to listen from the hosts, Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, who gave a talk on blue economy.  The afternoon session was enjoyable as the warriors were treated to adventures on the sea. We managed to get two glass bottom boats and went to the marine park where they were able to see different species of fish and corals. The trip very exciting to the warriors as the majority admitted to never experiencing this. It was a great eye opener to many, especially on the aspects of marine ecosystems and the need to conserve marine life. When they came back to the campus, we held a closing ceremony with the outgoing candidates cutting a cake to mark the end of their six year journey with us and the beginning of a new life ahead of them. 

Thursday was a very early morning for the entire team as we were on the rush to catch the morning train once again. This time round the warriors were more relaxed as they knew what is expected of them and headed home to their different destinations.

Celebrating Disability Day

December 3rd is the International Day for People with Disabilities. This is a very important day every year in the Shanga calendar, so having the opportunity to celebrate with the larger Arusha community was a bonus.

We eagerly accepted an invitation from the Sibusiso Foundation Arusha to join them; Patandi Teachers’ College, Jaffery Academy SEN. Step by Step Learning Centre, The Plaster House, Monduli Rehabilitation Center and others in the preparation and participation in the 2019 World Disability Day in Arusha. 

A fun day was planned commencing with a 6 km walk from Sibusiso to Tengeru and back. The brass band from JWTZ Monduli Barracks set the tempo for the walkers and a party atmosphere insured. Shanga’s group of 20 enthusiastically joined in. Though exhausted there was no time for resting as it was time for more festivities. 

Shanga’s Choir performed. A sight to behold. Our choir is composed of some of our staff who are deaf; dancing, signing and all in synch with their chosen songs. Other performances were by teachers and caregivers from Sibusiso with their students joining in at will, a very talented student from Monduli and a troupe of acrobats tumbled & somersaulted throughout the day. Ability evident everywhere.

All organisations involved in the day had space to showcase who they are and what they do. It was a great time to share, catch-up and swap ideas. A highlight from Shanga was Brown George, Vincent and Jackson face painting many happy and eager children, they painted so many they lost count.

No event of this calibre is without speeches by inspirational people. The guest of honour Amina Mollel, Arusha’s nominated member in the Tanzanian Parliament, highlighted the importance of education for people with disabilities and for parents to make sure their children have a chance. Her Mum made sure she was given chances against all advice from others and see what she has achieved, amazing. Having a disability should not be a reason to limit a person's success. Amina was also spotted throughout the day wearing one of the hundreds of caps donated by Shanga.

The day was all about enlightening and raising awareness within the wider community that people with disabilities have abilities and amazing potential. We believed this was greatly achieved. Shanga staff were very happy to be present and suggested, next year we close the workshop for the day so everyone can go. Let’s see if can make that happen.

Shanga’s purpose-built, open workshop is located in the grounds of Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge and is a wonderful experience for visitors to meet the inspirational staff, to view and participate in the creative process behind Shanga products.

shanga family day

Our very first Family Day was an unexpected surprise to celebrate the upcoming festive season at Shanga, full of children’s laughter and cheerful chatter from all. Having never had an event like this before the staff approached the day with a little uncertainty. What was going to happen? 

First staff were asked to invite their immediate family to come and join them for the afternoon. To see where they work, what they do, meet their team members and have a party. 

What a party was had. Mums, Dads, children of all ages, brothers, sisters and a few Bibi’s (grandmothers) all arrived beautiful dressed to see our workshop and be with their families. Lunch was shared including “mbuzi” and ice creams. Music and “MC”ing were supplied by Cleophas, George Brown, Jackson and Abuu. They had everyone dancing sharing their smooth moves including all our visitors from Arusha Coffee Lodge. We had to apologize to them that they wouldn’t see much being made that day, gladly the dancing guests replied, “wow, this is even more special. So pleased you included us.” 

We had over 250 people visit the workshop over the course of the day. Children went home with painted faces, “Shanga” bracelets they had made themselves and tired but very happy faces. Their parents went home extremely proud to have been able to share such a beautiful and great day and a special beginning to the festive season. 

“Krismasi njema” (Happy Christmas) from all of us to all of you. 

Awards & Voting

Elephant Pepper Camp gold eco rating

We are delighted to announce that Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp in the Mara North Conservancy has retained its Gold status for another 2 years. 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.

Ecotourism Kenya and the Eco-rating Technical Committee has confirmed that the camp has attained an Eco-rating Certification. The committee commended the team for the continuous efforts in upholding best practices in sustainable tourism.

Congratulations to the staff and management of Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp for this achievement.

Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp - Mara North Conservancy

Luxury bush camp with outstanding wildlife viewing in the heart of the Masai Mara. Elephant Pepper Camp is one of Kenya’s original, very small and exclusive tented camps, located away from other lodges in the pristine Mara North Conservancy, making it the perfect base from which to explore the wonders of the Mara.

Nestled in a lush thicket of Elephant Pepper trees overlooking open grasslands frequented by herds of game, Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp maintains a rustic luxury and authenticity of a traditional safari from yesteryear. Spacious canvas tents are elegantly furnished with Raj campaign furniture, and enjoy comfortable en suite bathrooms.

Nothing rivals sitting around the campfire listening to the sounds of the African night. Enjoying extended game drives with our highly knowledgeable and qualified guides, guests participate in the most unique wildlife experience in the world. Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp brings people to the heart of the wilderness with just the sights and sounds of the African bush.

Travel Updates

freddie mercury museum

(Picture courtesy of Javed Jafferji)

The first ever Museum dedicated to the world music legend Freddie Mercury, has been opened on the island of Zanzibar and is located in Shangani in the heart of Zanzibar Stone Town. The new tourism facility was officially inaugurated to commemorate the 28th anniversary of the passing of the beloved rock music legend Freddie Mercury.

The Freddie Mercury Museum is officially partnered with Queen Productions Ltd. in the United Kingdom, who have loaned an exclusive picture gallery of Freddie Mercury throughout different stages in his life and musical career.

This project aims to showcase a detailed accord of the birth town of Farrokh Bulsara, his roots with the Zoroastrian religion, his childhood and upbringing in Zanzibar, followed by his schooling in Panchgani, India, and then the rest of his journey to becoming one of the greatest stars of all time.

Founders Andrea Boero and Javed Jafferji pay tribute with the Freddie Mercury Museum to this Zanzibar born legend who has touched the hearts of millions around the world.

Javed Jafferji commented ‘In 2002, being a Queen fan, I came back from the United Kingdom and named this building in Shangani ‘Mercury House’. I always had this vision, it took me 15 years to make this dream a reality, but it was totally worth it. This is my tribute to the legend who we’ve known and admired all our lives. Being a Zanzibari, I am very happy to be involved in a landmark project, which will cement the history of Freddie for many years to come.”

Andrea Boero then added: “This concept which we have had for many years has finally become a reality. A project that we and our future generations can cherish. We have been dedicated to this museum, trying to accumulate a lot of material, witnesses from people who were a part of his life in order to make this a solid tribute.” Javed then said he encourages Freddie Mercury and Queen fans from all around the world to come to Zanzibar, to take part in this pilgrimage for Freddie Mercury.

Guests staying at Elewana Kilindi Zanzibar can visit the museum, which is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm. The entrance price is $10 for adults and $6 children.

Originally designed for Benny Andersson - one of the members of the 1970's pop group ABBA – Elewana Kilindi is a true blend of the very best of diverse cultures to be found in Tanzania and on its adjacent island of Zanzibar. Elewana Kilindi Zanzibar is the ultimate romantic destination and the perfect place to enjoy the harmony of the ocean. Set in a picturesque tropical garden with its secluded beachfront, the luxurious Pavilion suites embrace wide-arched glassless windows affording spectacular views over the Indian Ocean.

Each villa has its own private plunge pool and is tended to by its own Guest Ambassador. Kilindi's 'open-to-nature' approach provides the true essence to any stay and crafts a private, intimate and 'barefoot' appeal that so many crave. Explore the hidden secrets of the island or relax in the infinity pool watching the dhows head out to sea, with a gentle breeze in their sail.

There is a delightful spa offering an extensive array of treatments to satisfy you from head to toe, the spa combines African natural ingredients with both modern and traditional methods in the art of beauty, offering the ultimate in pampering.

Google Streetview APN

by Mia Breytenbach

Google has launched Street View for 20 of Kenya’s national parks and one conservancy. Users can view the parks and conservancy using special 360-degree imagery.

Google, the Ministry of Tourism, Kenya Wildlife Service, the county governments of Narok and Samburu and the management of Ol Pejeta Conservancy collaborated on the initiative.

“Google Street View will bring Kenya to the world, by providing a global audience with tools to virtually explore Kenya’s cities, other urban centres, attractions and places of interest; and also bring the world to Kenya, by growing a user’s interest to physically visit a place of interest that they have experienced virtually,” Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife said.

Charles Murito, Google Kenya Country Director, noted that 82% of travellers were undecided on a destination and 74% of them started their research or inspiration online. “It is critical for us to put Kenya on the map literally and figuratively, and the ability for more people to come here is going to help our tourism numbers and overall our GDP to grow through economic empowerment.”

Kenya Wildlife Service added that the street maps would enable Kenya to differentiate its products, as well as push the conservation message to the world.

The parks on Street View are the Maasai Mara; Mount Kenya, Amboseli; Nairobi National Park; Hell’s Gate; Samburu National Reserve, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Chyulu Hills National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park, Meru National Park, and Mount Longonot.

The other viewable parks include OlDonyoSabuk, Sibiloi, Tsavo West/East, Bisanadi National Reserve, Aberdare National Park, Saiwa Swamp National Park, Mount Elgon, Kakamega Forest National Reserve, Ruma National Park, and the Shimba Hills National Reserve, according to Kenya media.

Kenya Airways has expanded the codeshare partnership with AIRFRANCE, covering additional 17 routes to/from Paris CDG. Planned codeshare routes listed below went into effect since 26NOV19 (or earlier).

Kenya Airways operated by AIRFRANCE

Paris CDG – Athens Paris CDG – Bergen Paris CDG – Bremen Paris CDG – Bucharest
Paris CDG – Budapest Paris CDG – Florence Paris CDG – Hamburg Paris CDG – Hannover
Paris CDG – Lisbon Paris CDG – Ljubljana Paris CDG – Naples Paris CDG – Nuremberg
Paris CDG – Porto Paris CDG – Prague Paris CDG – Stuttgart Paris CDG – Turin
Paris CDG – Zagreb      
Kenya Airways is also expanding codeshare partnership with KLM, covering additional routes to/from Germany. Approximately effective from 05DEC19, planned new codeshare routes include the following.

Kenya Airways operated by KLM

Amsterdam – Bremen Amsterdam – Hamburg Amsterdam – Stuttgart  

The Elewana Collection has two luxury tented camps in the Masai Mara, Elewana Sand River in the Reserve and the other, Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp in Mara North Conservancy. The new service that will operate in the high season will allow guests to combine either of the two Mara properties with our boutique hotel at the beach, Elewana AfroChic Diani.

NEW SERVICE Masai Mara-Coast effective from 16 June 2020–flights will operate in high seasons only

Flight no. From To Dept Arr
091 Masai Mara Diani / Mombasa 1430 1630
092 Diani / Mombasa Masai Mara 0815 1015

Flight time change effective from 01 Jan 2020

003 Wilson Masai Mara 1345 1445
004 Masai Mara Wilson 1530 1630
025 Wilson Laikipia 1330 1450

Additional flights effective from 01 January 2020 – Flights will operate in High seasons only

005 Wilson Masai Mara 0730 0830
006 Wilson Masai Mara 0845 0945

Additional flights effective from 16th June 2020 – Flights will operate in High seasons only*

009 Wilson Masai Mara 1600 1700
010 Masai Mara Wilson 1710 1810
*The above service enables clients from Kilimanjaro to connect to Masai Mara.
With a number of Elewana properties in Tanzania, guests can combine any of our properties in Tanzania with a stay at either of our properties in the Masai Mara.

esiteti library

Join our General Managers for Elewana Tortilis Camp in making a difference.  A team of Scots (Graeme & Candy) and a team of Maasai who, along with a growing number of others, will walk together from Elewana Tortilis Camp to Esiteti Primary School, a total of 10 kilometers across rugged terrain and open wilderness.

We have a tentative date set for the 10th February 2020 for the walk.

All funds raised will be used to provide solar power for the new school library. The only primary school in the immediate area, Esiteti School recently completed building a large new library  with the help of good friends and supporters. This will bring books, computers and arts and crafts to the children of the Maasai in this area. BUT the building still lacks power, which means no computers and no lighting.  We aim to change that, with your help!

Any donation will help make an impact. Thanks in advance for your contribution to this cause that means so much to us.

African Conservation Centre US supports the Land & Life Foundation, which runs community-based wildlife conservation initiatives in Kenya and Tanzania.

If you would like to make a difference, please donate here.

Media

Have an Elewana Christmas

condenast voting