The Elewana Collection is delighted to announce that Virginia McKenna will join guests at Elewana Elsa’s Kopje in Meru National Park to celebrate 20 years since the property opened. Special events will take place from the 3rd to 6th July 2019 including dinner under the stars followed by a screening of Born Free, a bush breakfast near the grave of Elsa, a book signing and tea with Virginia and a gala dinner with leading conservationists.
Named after Elsa, the lioness upon who the film Born Free was based, Elewana Elsa’s Kopje is located on the Mughwango Hill (Kopje) above the site of the original campsite where Joy and George Adamson raised Elsa the lioness. The film, Born Free, is credited with popularising the concept of animal conservation and Virginia continues to work tirelessly on campaigns through the Born Free charity that she founded, including ongoing conservation projects in Meru National Park.
Elewana Elsa’s Kopje is the only permanent lodge in the area where guests can easily enjoy the 215,000 acre Meru National Park and rhino sanctuary, well known for large elephant herds, lion and birdlife and a huge diversity of species, pretty much to themselves. Heralded as one of Africa’s most iconic and elegant lodges, every room is unique in design but all enjoy the breathtaking vistas that reach as far as Mount Kenya, the Nyambeni Hills and the Eastern Plains. Six spacious cottages, one family cottage, three honeymoon cottages and a private house compliment a magnificent bar and dining area, along with an infinity pool and massage cottage, both with spectacular outlooks over the surrounding park.
James Haigh, Director of Sales and Marketing, The Elewana Collection comments “We feel extremely privileged that Virginia will join us at Elewana Elsa’s Kopje to celebrate the 20th anniversary. Virginia was the guest of honour at the opening of the property 20 years ago, so it is very fitting that she joins us this year. We will also be celebrating the hard work that has been invested by staff and guests at Elewana Elsa’s Kopje. With over 20 years in conservation, sustainability and helping the surrounding communities, it is testament to this work that Elsa’s and the surrounding area has thrived over the last 20 years”.
This year Plaster House hosted its 4th Annual cocktail fundraiser at Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge. Plaster House is a Rehabilitative Surgery Program that provides corrective surgery and rehabilitation to children who have congenital or acquired disabilities. As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge participated as an active sponsor towards this great cause by providing the venue and catering.
Nearly 100 guests participated in the silent auction that was setup at the Lounge of the Bistro. The event was a true success, as Plaster House managed to raise over USD 23,000 through its auctions, ticket sales and beautiful accessories provided by Shanga.
Richard Beatty who acted as a superb MC, cheerfully kept the guests engaged and entertained alongside David’s amazing live band. The evening was a perfect synopsis of a week that saw Surgeons who travelled from the US, performing over 50 surgeries days prior the event. In many ways the theme of the event, ‘Surgery Strong’ was well captured throughout the event.
Although Plaster House missed an important member of their team during the event, Sara Rejman, who is the organizations’ Director, as she is currently undergoing cancer treatment in Australia.
Graham Stobbart, General Manager of Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge and Keira DiSpirito, made their speeches to thank the sponsors for their continuous contribution towards the cause, and to inform them on the amazing work that has been transforming lives.
This month saw the teams at both Elewana Kilindi Zanzibar and Elewana AfroChic Diani come together from various departments to support the Elewana commitment to a greener environment with their respective beach clean-up. It is vital that we care for our precious beaches and help our community to learn all about waste management.
Recyclable bags were used to collect the trash, which mainly consisted of plastic bottles, plastic bags and pieces of flip flops – all the items that cause such damage to the many inhabitants of our oceans, then finally ending up on our beaches and harming even more wildlife. It is a global issue that needs to be tackled by both corporations and individuals alike if we, as a generation, are going to have any impact in reducing waste not only in the oceans but on the planet as a whole.
A fantastic achievement by both teams. Elewana Collection will continue to be proactive on environmental issues and strive for a better tomorrow that the next generation can enjoy.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 20 December 2013, proclaimed 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. World Wildlife Day has now become the most important global annual event dedicated to wildlife. World Wildlife Day this year celebrated under the theme “Life below water: for people and planet", which aligns with goal 14 of UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. Marine wildlife has sustained human civilization and development for millennia, from providing food and nourishment, to material for handicraft and construction. It has also enriched our lives culturally, spiritually, and recreationally in different ways.
The capacity of life below water to provide these services is severely impacted, as our planet’s oceans and the species that live within it are under assault from an onslaught of threats. As much as 40% of the ocean is now heavily affected by the most significant and direct threat of over exploitation of marine species as well as other threats such as pollution, loss of coastal habitats and climate change. These threats have a strong impact on the lives and livelihoods of those who depend on marine ecosystem services, particularly women and men in coastal communities.
This was the first World Wildlife Day to focus on life below water and was a great opportunity to raise awareness about the breath-taking diversity of marine life, the crucial importance of marine species to human development, and how we can make sure it will continue to provide these services for future generations.
Hannah Wood from the Land & Life Foundation made a video during her visit to Elewana AfroChic Diani emphasising the importance of partnering with local communities to ensure the safety of our Marine species.
East Africa has a breathtaking coastline with the beautiful blue sea of the Indian Ocean lapping its sandy white beaches. The variety of creatures above and below the water line are abundant and we need to protect them and ensure that their environment is preserved so generations to come can continue to enjoy the pleasures of a coastal holiday but also for the communities that depend on this ecosystem for their livelihood.
Every year on the 21 March the United Nations raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. This year the International Day of Forests promotes education to Learn to Love Forests. It underscores the importance of education at all levels in achieving sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation. Healthy forests mean healthy, resilient communities and prosperous economies.
At Elewana, we're committed to protecting and conserving our environment. Most recently, we've partnered with SeedballsKenya, allowing our guests at Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp and Elewana Tortilis Camp, to learn more about the indigenous shrubs and trees in the regions, and participate in reforesting these areas.
At Elewana Elsa's Kopje we encourage guests to plant trees during their stay with us and, students enrolled in our Wildlife Warrior program run by our charitable arm Land & Life Foundation, also learn about conservation efforts and how they can participate in making changes that are beneficial for the future generations. It's, therefore, fitting that this year's theme is 'Forests and Education' as understanding our forests and keeping them healthy is crucial for our future.
We love planting trees at Elephant pepper Camp - in 2018 we have planted nearly 200 trees in and around the camp. Trees were planted by our staff, guests and the local community. This year we have expanded our tree planting project to 5 different species of indigenous trees to Mara North Conservancy. We keep on planting...
As we celebrate the International Day of Forests, we recall Dr. Jane Goodall, who was recently here with at Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge, and planted a tree with children from the neighbouring local schools. Education is a central part of conservation, and she has spent her life inspiring others to conserve the natural world we all share.
The team at Elewana The Manor at Ngorongoro donated some trees and hedge saplings to Ganako Primary School to add some green to the school playground and celebrate World Forest Day, their main focus was Forests and Education – Learn to Love Forests!
Elewana Tarangire Treetops are proud of the work done by Randilen Wildlife Management Area, whose rangers not only protect wildlife, but are also responsible for protecting the woodlands from deforestation.
Forests, their sustainable management and use of resources, including in fragile ecosystems, are key to combating climate change, and to contributing to the prosperity and well-being of current and future generations.
This World Water Day, 22nd March, was about tackling the water crisis by addressing the reasons why so many people are being left behind.
Sustainable Development Goal 6 is crystal clear: water for all by 2030. By definition, this means leaving no one behind. But today, billions of people are still living without safe water – their households, schools, workplaces, farms and factories struggling to survive and thrive.
We are proud of the work we do as a collection to increase access to clean water supplies in the communities we work with. World Water Day acts as a reminder to us all that many are still tackling the water crisis and we need to stand together to address the reasons why so many people are being left behind.
Our properties in Kenya and Tanzania makes every drop count by conserving water in a number of ways, some of these include;
As a company we are conscious of the environment and preserve water by asking guests to reuse their towels to save on water, especially as the areas our properties are located water is scarce.
Elewana Collection would like to notify our Partners that Lewa Wildlife Conservancy have announced a fee increase for 2020, as follows;
Children 6-12 years of age 50% of the above applicable fee
Bookings made for Elewana Lewa Safari Camp and Elewana Kifaru House will need to advise their clients of the revised fees and update information for future bookings.
Lewa was previously a cattle ranch owned by David and Delia Craig. In 1995 they decided to dedicate their entire ranch to the conservation of wildlife, especially the critically endangered rhino. The Conservancy covers 65,000 acres of pristine African wilderness, with dramatic views of snow-capped Mt Kenya to the south, and the arid lands of Tassia and Il Ngwesi to the north, Lewa showcases a range of wild habitats from highland forests, wide open grasslands, melt-water mountain springs and acacia woodland and supports over 440 bird species with more than 70 different animal species roaming the vast landscape..
Through the protection and management of wildlife species, the initiation and support of community conservation and development programmes, and by educating the local youth in the value of wildlife, Lewa has reversed a decline in several endangered species, most famously rhino and Grevy’s zebra. Since 1984 its rhino population has grown steadily, not only restoring local numbers but enabling the reintroduction of black rhinos into other regions of East Africa - where they had long been extinct. The Conservancy currently holds over 10% of Kenya’s black and 15% of Kenya’s white rhino population as well as the largest single population of the critically-endangered Grevy’s zebra in the world.
The Conservancy also carries out extensive outreach work into the surrounding tribal communities with its Community Development Programme and has improved the livelihoods of hundreds of families living on its boundaries with its healthcare, micro-finance, community-managed water projects and education programmes for both adults and children.
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy was included in the prestigious IUCN Green List of Protected areas, one of only 3 Kenyan organisations to feature! The IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.
The future is not bright for the little honeybee. In Kenya, bees are being destroyed by the widespread use of harmful pesticides. Whilst the destruction of habitat and disease are making it even more difficult for these essential pollinators to survive as their environment disappears. There are only a few pockets left in the world where bees can thrive!! Northern Kenya is one such place. Elewana Collection has partnered with Beemagic ltd to source honey and beeswax products from pastoralist communities in the Ndoto Mountains and Loisaba conservancy. The project is creating an additional source of income for pastoral communities whilst contributing to conservation.
Traditional beekeepers go to extreme lengths to acquire honey – they will climb the tallest trees, and risk their lives just to acquire a few kilos. In the process, wild hives are usually destroyed with the entire contents being removed from the hive, leaving nothing for the bees. Open fires are used to smoke out the bees, and a careless beekeeper can set fire to huge expanses of pristine forest. Each year, these northern water towers lose hundreds of hectares of forest because of fires – destroying thousands of colonies of bees as well as many other endangered species.
Beemagic are working tirelessly to try and improve bee-keeping methods in Northern Kenya. By providing training and equipment, communities are able to increase the amount of honey they are producing and improve the quality. By using safe smoking devices, the forest fires have decreased and there is less loss of biodiversity.
By sourcing directly from these areas, Elewana are helping to create a market for this organic, raw honey and in turn, provide income for hundreds of beekeepers. Introducing this alternative means of income has relieved the pressure on natural resources and is helping to reduce land degradation. What makes this gourmet honey special is that it is Raw – meaning that it has not been boiled, processed or micro filtered and it still contains all the beneficial enzymes. Careful quality control means that the honey is simply extracted from the combs and is ready for consumption. Furthermore, the honey is varietal – throughout the season different tree species flower, each with a unique aroma and taste.
Honey pot of flavours:
There are two types of honey;
If you would like to know what they did where, when and with whom in 2018 then Click here to read and download their ANNUAL REPORT.
The Land & Life Foundation is committed to ensuring that local communities receive revenue and tangible benefits from tourism. Over the years since its inception in 2011, the Foundation has achieved a great deal in ensuring that communities living in the vicinity of wildlife areas genuinely benefit from tourism.
The Land & Life Foundation is supported by the Elewana Collection and Cheli & Peacock Safaris, as well as our sister conservation organisation in Thailand, the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, and Minor International.
As all their operational costs are covered, 100% of every donation received goes directly to the supported schools and communities. Every penny goes straight to the ground, where it is needed most. Land & Life focus on four types of programs for communities living alongside wildlife across Kenya and Tanzania: Wildlife Warrior Program, Nature Conservation, Medical Support and School Support.
Shanga loves to recycle what others no longer have a need for and transform it into hundreds of amazing products. If it can’t be transformed into something beautiful then they will try to find another way to recycle it. One very creative and innovative recycling has come from a very surprising source…..old Sunflower Seed Oil. They receive oil from the Elewana properties as a by-product from their kitchen as well as other local suppliers. For a number of years Shanga has been using Sunflower seed oil for energizing a glass furnace and the medium size Glory-hole. The glass furnace produces a wide variety of glass ware such as drinking glasses, bowls, jugs, carafes and house decorations. Shanga may be the only place in the world to use Sunflower Seed Oil in glass melting for art glass.
Sunflower seed oil is a domestic product in Tanzania and certain regions are a major producer, accounting for over 20 percent of national production. SunFlower Seed oil is renewable in a sustainable manner, converting the energy of daily solar radiation to chemical energy through a biological vector in large sunflower plantations. The sunflower seed oil has zero carbon footprint, meaning in the plantations the carbon dioxide from ambient air is sequestered into a hydrocarbon compound, which is converted into a liquid form then finally ending up being used to energize the Shanga furnace in an exothermic reaction together with ambient oxygen.
In Tanzania there are over 4.2 million people living with disabilities, which has a significant impact on health, education and employment, especially as people with disabilities get shunned from the community and find it nearly impossible to find work. Shanga by Elewana is successful social enterprise with an interactive workshop that employs people with disabilities and empowers them through training to create unique, high quality, handmade jewellery, glassware and homeware using recycled materials, giving them a chance to develop a sense of self confidence, a successful career and in turn support their families, making a better life for them all.
Basley is a glass blower, who was born deaf, originally trained as a carpenter, but no one would hire him due to his disability. Basley ended up in Arusha and approached Shanga, where he produces a wide variety of glassware such as water glasses, bowls, jugs, carafes & various house decorations that is sold all over the world.
By providing employment opportunities Shanga empowers individuals such as Basley, to produce products that are sold in Tanzania and all over the world, with profits being reinvested back into developing opportunities to employ more people with disabilities.
We are delighted to announce that Phoebe Belcher is the first to complete our Management Training Program and did so with flying colours.
Born and brought up in Kenya, Phoebe developed a love for animals early on. Having been raised by parents in the safari industry, she spent many of her early years in the bush and most of those years on Loisaba. She has a passion for photography and has developed this skill during her spent in the bush
Phoebe joined Elewana Collection in 2016 taking on the role of Activities Coordinator at Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp and two years later, in 2018 was appointed as a Management Trainee, becoming our first candidate for our mentored training program in Kenya.
As a management trainees each commits to a set program of two years mentorship, during which time the trainee covers various areas of the lodge operations inclusive of guest experience, the different departments as well as supportive functions such as accounts, logistics, stores, compliance, licensing and human resources. After successful completion of the management trainee program each candidate will be appointed in junior management role in one of the Elewana properties.
Phoebe excelled during her training and completed all tasks ahead of schedule - to the point that Phoebe has graduated nearly ten months ahead of schedule, completing her program on the 31st of March. This is a major accolade and we are extremely proud of her and we would like to welcome Phoebe in her new appointment as Relief Manager as from the 1st April 2019.
Last year 14 hopefuls joined our first Guide Apprentice Program, eight in Kenya and six in Tanzania who have successfully completed their first year and progress to face the challenges of year two. This year we take on six new apprentices in Kenya and four in Tanzania, to follow in their footsteps.
The apprentice programme runs for two years - the minimum time needed to ensure that a trainee guide gets sufficient hours to gain the practical knowledge required across a broad skills base. The first six month are spent working across a number of different lodge functions and departments to make sure they have a thorough understanding of all elements that incorporate a guest’s stay before they progress to learning how to guide.
Each apprentice guide in Kenya will need to qualify as a Kenya Professional Safari Guide (KPSGA) and to complete FGASA level 1 in the first year, which includes an understanding of the natural environment plus a sound knowledge of the history, geology, plants and animals in their geographic area of guiding.
In year two each apprentice will work alongside other senior Elewana guides and sit for FGASA level 2, which covers advanced birding and botany, people skills & communication and tracking.
The Guide apprentice programme is fundamental as Elewana works to empower, support and recruit from our local communities and our goal to have an elite team of guides, ensuring that our Guest experience is second to none.
|We would like to welcome the following apprentices and wish them all the best in their first year;||Congratulations to all those below who have completed the first year ;|
We are proud to announce that Elewana Lewa Safari Camp has retained our Gold Eco Rating Certification, which is the highest level of tourism certification standard!! Elewana Lewa Safari Camp has joined 4 other Elewana properties and 35 other facilities in Kenya that have achieved this level.
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.
Lewa Safari Camp was originally built as the rhino manager’s house in the 1980s. A separate cottage was added when he got married! The current main lounge and dining room is the original house, and the Spa is in the cottage that was added. At that time the rhino sanctuary was only 5000 acres, in the area surrounding the camp, and supported by conservationist Ana Mertz.
As the success of the rhino breeding and protection program grew, and eventually the whole property became a rhino conservancy, the rhino management and protection was moved to the Conservancy Head Offices and the house was turned into “Lewa Safari Camp” in 1995. Client tents were added, and the lodge was managed by the Conservancy until they put it out to tender in 2009 and the management was awarded to Cheli & Peacock. Elewana Collection then acquired Cheli & Peacock and the management of Lewa Safari Camp was awarded to us in 2014.
Elewana Lewa Safari Camp is one of only two tourism properties owned by the Conservancy itself, with the aim of boosting the conservancy’s revenue through camp occupancy. All camp profits and conservancy fees generated by the camp are reinvested directly into the conservation and community efforts of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
Together with our Partners, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy we continue to support and develop the local community and various conservation projects and strive to ensure our carbon footprint is kept at a minimum.
Congratulations to the team and we acknowledge their commitment and passion to ensuring we were presented with this prestigious award.
Elewana Lewa Safari Camp
Elewana Lewa Safari Camp is a unique and exclusive retreat, featuring large tented bedrooms each with its own veranda and full en-suite bathrooms. Enjoy a host of activities from walking safaris, horse or camel rides, visit to the new joint operations centre and cultural experiences or simply relax by the swimming pool and enjoy the tranquillity.