We are pleased to share that five Elewana Collection properties have been honoured with the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards including:
SAND RIVER MASAI MARA: #7 in Top 25 Resorts in Africa
ELSA'S KOPJE MERU: #13 in Africa Resorts
SERENGETI MIGRATION CAMP: #16 in Africa Resorts
KILINDI ZANZIBAR: #19 in Africa Resorts
SERENGETI PIONEER CAMP: #21 in Africa Resorts
The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry. This year, more than 715,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers submitted an incredible number of responses rating their travel experiences across the globe.
The 2020 Readers' Choice Awards are published on Condé Nast Traveler's website at www.cntraveler.com/rca and celebrated in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler US and UK print editions.
We are pleased to share the news that we have reopened Elewana Lewa Safari Camp as of 01 October 2020, allowing travellers to experience the incredibly unique eco-system of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.Elewana Kifaru House, which has been open for the last couple of months will close, but remain available for exclusive buyouts.
Lewa Safari Camp is an integral part of the prolific Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, an immensely successful wildlife conservation area within the Laikipia Plateau. Wildlife viewing in this region is spectacular and Lewa is proud to be recognised for developing a world-renowned successful rhino conservation habitat. The area is also home to lion, leopard, jackal and the world’s largest concentration of the Grevy’s zebra.
Lewa Safari Camp is made up of 11 spacious ensuite safari tents and two family suites. A homely dining area and lounge welcomes guests on chilly African evenings with a log fire and fantastic home cooked food. The camp also has a swimming pool, a massage room and a gift shop.
As travellers’ desire for private accommodation and more personal space grows, we are happy to now offer guests full buyouts at select properties in Kenya.
For the remainder of 2020 and well into 2021, Elewana Kifaru House, Elewana Sand River (including what we affectionately call Elewana Little Sand River) and Elewana AfroChic Diani Beach are all available for guests to reserve in their entirety, whether the reservation be for a couple, family booking or group of friends traveling together. To find out more about pricing for full buyouts, please contact our reservations team.
As we head into low season with the pandemic continuing to impede global travel, we have made the decision to take advantage of the temporary decline in visitor arrivals and close some of Elewana Collection's Tanzania properties in order to implement an extensive refurbishment programme. Elewana The Manor at Ngorongoro has closed as of Oct 1, 2020 and together with the other closed camps and lodges in Tanzania, will undergo a series of improvements to ensure that all properties re-open in 2021 better than ever.In the coming months, we will be sure to share updates on the progress of exciting upgrades and renovations throughout the portfolio of Elewana’s tented camps and lodges in Tanzania. Please do stay tuned to our newsletters for all the latest information and of course, we will make sure we share our dates for welcoming back guests in the new year.
The United Republic of Tanzania has announced new entry fees to Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) effective from 1 July 2021. The new fees will affect all safaris travelling after this date, including existing, new and postponed safaris.
|National Park||Park Entry Fee||Concession Fee||Camping Fee|
|Current to 30/06/2021||Effective 01/07/2021||Current to 30/06/2021||Effective 01/07/2021||Current to 30/06/2021||Effective 01/07/2021|
Please note the following:
In order to ensure that all bookings that travel from the 1 July 2021 are financially accurate, our team is editing all the relevant rates. We will be sure to provide you with any updates as we review the reservations.
Exciting news out of Kili, Masoud, an artist at Shanga, became the first little person to reach the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, summiting the peak on September 13, 2020. Born at the foot of the epic mountain and bullied for much of his life, Masoud’s lifelong dream was to climb to the Roof of Africa at 19,341 feet. Thanks to the support of Shanga’s own Business Development Consultant, Ruth Willatt, along with the help of Sabi Kweka, General Director of Popote Africa Adventures in Tanzania, Jamie Lassner of Friends of Access Israel (FAISR) and Sami, an 11-year-old altruistic New Jersey native who raised funds for the climb, Masoud was able to fulfil his dream last month at the age of 34. Masoud’s team included Omari Paramaba, a guide from Poptote along with a small team of German trekkers who launched their trek on Kilimanjaro’s Lemosho Route at the same time. Many of Masoud’s Shanga colleagues along with government officials were on hand to greet and celebrate with Team Masoud for this incredible accomplishment.As Ruth noted, "Throughout life, connections, comments and promises are made but at times they are not made by people with as much integrity as Jamie Lassner. I met Jamie in 2019 when he visited Shanga and our meeting led to a promise to support Masoud achieve a lifelong dream to scale Mount Kilimanjaro. Through Jamie's tenacity and connections, Masoud's epic journey happened. Over the last few months Masoud, with support of his friends, trained daily, and spoke often about the upcoming adventure but on the day of his departure his excitement was so overwhelming it left him speechless. Supported by Sabino Kweka (“Sabi”) at the travel agency Popote Africa Adventures, Masoud summited the mountain on Sunday 13th September 2020.” Ruth continued “A special thanks also goes to Sami, an 11-year-old from the US who has not yet had the opportunity to travel to Tanzania but has a very caring heart and has made it her mission to see that our Masoud, whom she has never met, reached his goal.”
Due to the pandemic and curtailed international travel, FAISR conducted a virtual 19,341-foot climb, roll, walk, or run to raise funds and awareness on how to make the world accessible together. In Tanzania, Masoud completed the virtual event with the comradery of his friends from Shanga Village. Sami participated by biking and walking 19,341 feet and simultaneously decided that as part of her Bat Mitzvah (coming of age) celebration, she would make bracelets to sponsor Masoud to actually climb up Kilimanjaro because she firmly believes that “everybody can be a superstar,” shine, and achieve their goals. Sami succeeded in raising the funds for Masoud’s exciting challenge.
Sabi Kweka, General Director of Popote Africa Adventures in Tanzania, notes “Accessible travel is important especially when we have the tallest free standing mountain in Africa that is reachable by all who wish to trek it.”
Sami said “although I was not able to be with Masoud physically, I thought about him all week long. My heart was on Kilimanjaro helping him climb to the top, and that felt really great. Masoud may be a little person, and I’m only 11, but he has taught me that anything is possible no matter who you may be.”
Land & Life Foundation’s Caroline Nganga, together with staff from Elewana Sand River, handed over newly constructed staff quarters to the team at Embiti Primary school, located not far from the Sand River property. They also distributed 100 reusable masks donated by Elewana to a nearby manyatta.
John Roberts, Group Director of Sustainability & Conservation for Minor Hotels took part in the Wildlife Ranger Challenge on October 3rd in order to raise funds for Randilen Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and the Honeyguide Foundation, as well as the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF), Land & Life Foundation’s sister organization.The Wildlife Ranger Challenge is an annual event where over 30 teams of wildlife rangers from across Africa run 21km to support 5,000 of their colleagues protecting countless hectares of priceless ecosystem and wildlife. John Roberts, who had signed up to run in person, instead participated virtually by cycling 100 km on a stationary cycling machine.
The funds raised will be split equally between the Randilen Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and the Honeyguide Rangers which patrol the area in Tanzania and the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF) which supports Rangers that patrol the wildlife corridor in Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains.
Randilen Wildlife Management Area is a community owned conservation zone that forms a vital elephant expansion area from Tarangire National Park, one of the world’s most famous elephant habitats. Thanks to a concerted effort by Honeyguide Foundation’s law enforcement and community Human Elephant Conflict Mitigation teams, the area has seen zero elephant killings for at least three years and is home to the full range of North Tanzanian wildlife. Guests help support Randilen through their stay at Elewana Tarangire Treetops.
Donations for John’s challenge can be made directly to his fundraising page. Land & Life Foundation will help oversee the donation.
The last six months have been nothing short of a roller coaster journey that I could never have envisioned. I am sure that many in the travel industry share my sentiments in that regard. However, it is in a crisis that many people shine, and I am extremely grateful for the Elewana team that have rallied to initially help with the temporary closure of properties and most recently, assist with the phased re-opening programme that enabled us to once again welcome guests at a selection of our camps and lodges.
I have also been so humbled by the big hearts of so many donors who have rallied to support Elewana’s Land and Life Foundation allowing many projects to be completed and some new ones to be started.
Some of our staff, understandably had to travel to be with family, which left a core base of local staff on the ground. I really want to pay testament to this team who found themselves with widely expanded roles and they very much rose to the challenge. I believe that the new skills they have learnt will help propel their career paths as we emerge from this crisis.
As we opened our doors, our number one priority was to ensure that our guests and staff were kept safe. The team responded quickly to implement the three EEE’s, Elewana’s Essential Elements. Some of this was pretty straight forward as our team on the ground has always taken pride in our immaculate cleaning procedures, but others, like sourcing masks, gloves and thermometers for temperature checks were a little more challenging. None the less, we were able to quickly arm our staff with smart, branded masks and the equipment that they needed. Training was greeted enthusiastically as everyone was excited to get back to work.It was a huge relief when a tidal surge of bookings came pouring in as local Kenyans took advantage of the opportunity to visit their own back yard with less International arrivals. Visitors to the Mara were rewarded with one of the most notable migrations in many years, partly due to great rains in earlier months and little human interference. It was such a pleasure to see the camps once again breathe with happy guests sharing tales of remarkable sightings and sharing beautiful moments under Africa’s big sky.
As a group, the Elewana Collection is now focusing on how to turn this situation into a positive. We are taking time to absorb and respond to feedback from agents and guests. We are investing in training and development, specifically with food and beverage and our guides. We are looking at initiatives that will deliver a more authentic locally inspired experience and embrace the SLOW food movement that we already endorse.Personally, I have enjoyed an expanded role that has given me the opportunity to work more collaboratively with the sales and marketing team. This has been really insightful and there is a wonderful team spirit as we all navigate our way through the existing situation. I have also decided to go back to school. I am studying for an MBA at the African Leadership University. I will graduate in July 2021 with an expanded knowledge base that I hope will help me handle what I believe could be our busiest peak season ever.
We are thrilled to share that Elewana Collection is now part of TourSafe Africa, a U.S. based, not-for-profit entity which advocates for African accommodations to adopt safety and cleanliness procedures developed by the World Travel and Tourism Council, CDC and the U.N. World Tourism Organization, as well as local governments. All Elewana Collection properties have been vetted by the TourSafe team and adhere to the safety standards and guidelines set forth by the group, offering travellers an additional sense of reassurance when choosing their safari accommodations.Properties are nominated by the TourSafe Executive and International Committee, which consists of North American and International leaders of the Africa travel trade community. Many countries within Africa, together with hospitality brands and services, are heavily investing in recovery strategies and working steadfastly to adopt world standards in order to prepare for the return of tourism.
Alana Hayden, founder of Born Free Safaris & Tours and the Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa, established TourSafe Africa in order to “rebuild confidence in the potential traveller to Africa. That we can get the word out that hotels, lodge, camps, and tour operators are ready to welcome travellers on a journey of a lifetime.”We are proud to partner with TourSafe Africa to ensure safari tourism returns to Africa better and safer than ever before, to impart a sense of trust with our guests and to uphold our commitment to our local communities who are greatly supported by the travel industry.
Make sure you are following Elewana’s Instagram page in October as wildlife photographer and Prints for Wildlife founder Pie Aerts takes over the page from Oct 19th for 72hrs.In July this year, Pie co-founded the inspirational Prints for Wildlife campaign. Running for one month, wildlife photographers from all over the globe donated wildlife prints that were sold for US$100 to raise funds for African Parks. The response was phenomenal with over 90 photographers donating work and well over US$600,000 raised for the cause.
Pie is staying at Elewana Tortilis Camp Amboseli in October where he will be hoping to capture images of the wildlife that roam the plains under the dramatic backdrop of the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro. Pie will also be spending time with local children taking part in Land & Life’s Wildlife Warrior programme, sharing with them his incredible knowledge and also helping them to try out a little photography.
The aim of the Wildlife Warrior programme is to educate local children on conservation and sustainability as well as understand the value that wildlife contributes to a local economy through tourism. It also offers students the opportunity to further their education in this field through scholarships and aids their opportunity to find employment as future conservationists.Many local children live amongst some of the world’s most admired wildlife but may now know the difference between a cheetah and a leopard. The opportunity to join Pie on a game drive and have a go at using his camera equipment is one that is likely to have a profound influence on their aspirations. Sign up to Land & Life’s social media and Pie’s own Instagram site Because People Matter to follow more on this story. We shall be sure to share some images in further newsletters.