Over 80% of guests are now reporting leopard sightings whilst on safari in Loisaba, these also include encounters with the famously elusive black leopard. Researchers in the region now believe that there could be up to six black leopards, including one cub roaming the diverse eco-systems in the area. These revelations have earned Loisaba the ‘catrick’ accolade, making it a great destination to see leopard, lion, and cheetah.
In addition to exceptional cat viewing, chat with your clients about all the activities on offer armed with details from our Information manual.
Unique and private accommodations ~ Loisaba offers some of the most exclusive safari experiences available in East Africa, with 4.8km2 of wilderness to each bed amongst three properties including Loisaba Tented Camp, Loisaba Lodo Springs and Loisaba Star Beds
Unparalleled wildlife viewing ~ guests have a chance for a "catrick" with opportunities to see leopard (including a growing black leopard population), lion, and cheetah, as well as the reintroduction of rhino in 2022
Multitude of activities ~ Loisaba guests can enjoy horse riding, camel safaris, mountain biking, night game drives, fishing, visits with anti-poaching dog sniffing unit and more, as well as an array of children's activities
Conservation ~ Loisaba’s conservation model is a multilateral approach involving community, conservation organisations, tourism partners, agricultural and research institutions
Don't miss out on one last chance to vote for all 16 Elewana Collection properties in the Travel+Leisure’s 2022 World’s Best Awards.
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Travellers can take advantage of deep savings with double discounts on circuit itineraries when combining any of the Elewana bush and beach properties (excluding Arusha Coffee Lodge) until 30 June 2022.
Elewana Kilindi Zanzibar invites guests to truly relax in the sun and sand by extending their stay an extra night with their “Stay Five, Pay Four” special offer, valid until 31 March 2021.
Ambrose Letoluai is a leopard scientist and researcher who started working with the San Diego Zoo in 2016, after being introduced to the team by Tom Silvester, CEO of Loisaba Conservancy. He was one of the first to confirm the spectacular sightings of black leopards in Laikipia and with his team, has recently published a scientific paper on black leopard presence at Laikipia Kenya.
Previously, Ambrose started as an apprentice guide with Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp. Having studied wildlife management and conservation and thanks to his great love of wildlife, he saw the incredible potential of community-based conservation efforts first-hand while living in the local community and keeping livestock, including goats and sheep.
Today, Ambrose’s work is to help connect research with communities in the area, playing a crucial role in helping to curb poaching, enhance the ecosystem, reduce biodiversity loss, and support sustainability efforts. Along with being a research consultant for Mpala Research Centre and Loisaba Conservancy, Ambrose has been instrumental in two important projects to help save the leopards and support livelihoods in the communities. He co-founded Chui Mamas (which means Leopard women) whose mission is to help empower women and girls in the local community to attain the highest possible standards of living by engaging in income-generating activities, as well as help teach locals about the importance of leopard conservation. He also founded the Wildlife Conservation Resource Centre where local children have access to wildlife literature and participate in his Wildlife Kids program, which organizes trips to see wildlife within Loisaba conservancy.
Born Free has achieved some remarkable conservation results through its work with lions and rhino in the Meru Conservation Area since 2014. The charity has now launched a new conservation programme ‘Save Meru’s Giants’, which will focus on protecting highly threatened elephants and the reticulated giraffe in the area. The specialist elephant and giraffe team will work with the local community to mitigate human-wildlife conflict that is a particular threat to these species.
Activities will include building bee hive fences around farms as bees are proven to deter elephants. There will also be an education team that will run workshops on conservation, elephant behaviour and how to prevent conflict. Five elephant guardians, recruited from the local area, will work side by side their own communities and Born Free to increase awareness about conservation and help families peacefully coexist with wildlife.
There is a programme to ID elephants and giraffe in the area, something that hasn’t been recorded since the 1990’s. Whilst this is relatively straight forward for elephants it can be more challenging with giraffe. Born Free is also planning a de-snaring programme, which will cover the Meru Conservation Area. The Twiga Team (Twiga meaning giraffe in Swahili) have been recruited from local communities and are currently undergoing extensive training to prepare them for challenging conditions removing snares inside protected area. For more information and to support all the good work that Born Free are doing in the area please visit https://www.bornfree.org.uk/save-africas-giants
We recently had a chance to catch up with the new GM at Elsa’s Kopje, Grace Leonard Waithaka, to learn more about what she loves about Elsa’s and how she came to be a dynamic female leader in the luxury hospitality industry.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? What is your background? And what are some highlights in your career?
Growing up in the small town of Maralal in Samburu County, Kenya humbled me. My fondest memory is walking to school (approximately 2 km away) each day with my friends and classmates. Maralal was then a small tourist town. Most of the explorers like William Thessinger lived there, as well as Tony Fitzjohn - one of George Adamson's personal assistants - who fondly speaks about this town in his book Born Wild.
At a young age, visiting my cousins in Longido, Tanzania elevated my passion for conservation and hospitality, which work hand in hand. This led me to choose a career in the industry, spanning more than ten years, working in various departments like sales & marketing and operations with luxury properties in Dar es Salaam and Serengeti in Tanzania, and now in Kenya.
I hope that my interaction with guests helps them gain a better understanding of the area they are visiting. For instance, at Elsa’s Kopje Meru, we share the story of Elsa the Lioness. Through this dialogue, guests end up learning about how Meru National Park managed to restore its glory in the 90s through the combined efforts of conservationists like Richard Leakey, George Adamson, and other conservationist pioneers in Kenya.
What makes Elewana Elsa’s Kopje so special?
Elewana Elsa's Kopje Meru is beautiful, unique and the only permanent luxury property inside Meru National Park. The setting is inextricably linked to the Born Free novel and movie which portrayed George and Joy Adamson raising, rehabilitating, and releasing lions from 1956 to 1970 into the wild. Elsa was the most famous of their felines and the lioness is buried here in our park. Joy Adamson’s ashes were later spread over her grave. The lodge was a pioneer of the green movement in Kenya and was built to be part of the natural rocky hillside using natural materials.
The stunning lodge is a firm favourite of mine, with elegant, open-fronted luxury cottages which are all unique and a sumptuous honeymoon suite decorated with stylish African flair.
Do you have a favourite aspect of the camp?
Elsa’s Kopje sits high on Mughwango Hill above George Adamson’s original campsite with spectacular views over the plains of Meru National Park.
From the plains below you can barely see Elsa’s Kopje, which is tucked perfectly around the rocks and trees; not a single indigenous tree was cut down during its construction. Yet while the lodge is unobtrusive and discreet from the outside, it offers a great degree of comfort and style. It is worth noting, however, that because Elsa’s was so carefully fitted into the natural environment, there are several steps between the rooms and the main areas.
Can you share a bit about the culinary experience at the property?
The food experience takes inspiration from the beautiful Meru conservancy, using palm leaves and local ingredients to delight and excite our guest’s palate. The fresh and colourful food is complemented by stunning pieces of glass wear from the Kenyan Kitengela glass company.
Head Chef Jackie ignites guests taste buds at every meal and they can expect to be blown away by magical outdoor breakfasts, Instagram-worthy lunches, and dinners under a magnificent starlit sky.
What activities can guests take advantage of while at the property?
Along with game drives, bush breakfasts and sundowners, they can hike up to Mughwongo Hill, fish, visit the rhino sanctuary, do a local school visit at Ura Gate primary school, visit the hippo pool, visit Elsa's grave, visit George Adamson's grave in Korra national park (day trip), visit Adamson Falls in Tana River Bridge and George Adamson Old Kampi ya Simba.
In terms of wildlife, what can guests expect to see during their visit?
The wildlife is abundant! Guests can spot Elsa’s pride of lions, over 400 bird species, Grevey and common zebras, Tuskers (long tusk elephants), Gerenuk – the long neck antelope, reticulated giraffes, oryx, Somali ostrich and more. We suggest guests head out early in the morning to see white and black rhinos in the rhino sanctuary. All cats are in the park though they are very elusive because of the density of the park.
It’s exciting (and unfortunately rare) to have a female GM, especially one from Kenya! Do you have any advice for women who are interested in finding roles industry, including women who would like to become a guide?
My best advice includes:
There are no shortcuts, remember it is not easy. Keep working, keep striving, never give up, fall down seven times, get up eight. Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship. Keep moving, keep growing, and remember to cultivate a culture of commitment. Roll up your sleeves and go to work.
Any other special, unique, or interesting info or details you’d like to share to highlight the camp and/or your role?
I am grateful to Elewana for believing in me and allowing me to steer this ship named Elsa's Kopje to greater heights. The support we continue to receive from our colleagues is immeasurable and will help us all achieve this dream, whether it’s the F&B dept, HR, finance, reservations, marketing, branding, or operations. I am also grateful for the great working relationship we have with Land & Life Foundation, the Born Free Foundation and Kenya Wildlife Service.
Make sure you are following the Elewana Instagram account from the 20th February where renowned wildlife photographer Pie Aerts will share his stunning images and video from a recent trip to Loisaba. Running for a week, this is a great opportunity to gain insights from Loisaba through the lens of a passionate supporter of conservation.
Make sure you are following the Elewana Instagram account
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