Camp Manager's Diaries

C&P Properties Merging with the Elewana Collection

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Dear Friends,

As you can see from the announcement below, all the formal, legal stuff has finally been completed – thank goodness! We are all excited and have lots to look forward to. As you can imagine creating new websites, brochures etc., is going to take some time and we are planning a few launch parties during the year – watch this space.

Liz and I are especially excited, as with the larger team, we now have operational and admin support, and in both Kenya and Tanzania, can focus on the things we love and why we started this adventure all those years ago – food, guiding, walks, bush breakfasts ….. SAFARI !!

I am currently at ITB, and don’t forget that I will be at We Are Africa and Indaba soon – hope to see you there,

Best wishes

Stefano & Liz

Elewana

We are extremely pleased to announce the completion of the acquisition of Cheli & Peacock Group of Companies by the Elewana Collection, which received final Government approval at the end of January 2015.

The acquisition will see the Cheli & Peacock properties, namely, Elsa’s Kopje, Elephant Pepper Camp, Joy’s Camp, Tortillis Camp, Kitich Camp and Lewa Safari Camp merge under the banner of the Elewana Collection to form a comprehensive circuit of 14 properties spanning the highlights of Northern Tanzania, Kenya and Zanzibar.

The table below shows the full extent of the portfolio that will fall under the Elewana Collection:

Elewana Collection

Cheli & Peacock Safaris will continue to act independently of the Elewana Collection under the leadership of Stefano and Liz Cheli. Stefano and Liz will focus on innovations within the Company to enhance its offering as a destination experience manager.

The merger of the Cheli & Peacock’s Portfolio with that of the Elewana Collection is now underway and we envisage a formal launch of the newly-merged Group by the middle of 2015. In advance of the launch we will provide you with details of any changes that may occur to the booking and reservations process. In the meantime it is very much business as usual and therefore please continue to make your reservations for the respective properties as you currently do.

For the Elewana Collection, we would like to take this opportunity to inform you that the rates for 2016 and 2017 will be available imminently. These will remain static – for the two years in question – in order to provide some degree of pricing visibility and much-needed stability in what has been a turbulent time for East African tourism.

It only leaves us to say a big ‘thank you’ to all our trade partners and suppliers for your continued support to both Cheli & Peacock and Elewana. We believe that the combination of Cheli & Peacock’s long-standing history and experience of safaris and that of our now enhanced regional product offering will deliver a truly genuine and memorable destination experience for all our mutual clients.

Karim S. Wissanji – Chairman & CEO,
Elewana Collection

Stefano and Liz Cheli – CEO,
Cheli & Peacock Safaris

Gold, gold and more gold!

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We are over the moon to announce that Lewa Safari Camp has been awarded a Gold Eco rating by Ecotourism Kenya, along with Kitich Camp and Elsa’s Kopje , while Joy’s Camp managed to retain its current Gold status! Elephant Pepper Camp received their Gold Eco rating at the end of 2013.

Tortilis Camp currently has a Silver eco rating but we hope that, following the next evaluation, they too will join the others in the Gold Club!

 

Evaluated on criteria aligned with the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria formed under the umbrella of the UN, this marks a significant achievement and brings the total of Gold eco rated camps & lodges in Kenya to 17. It also makes us the only collection of properties with such outstanding environmental credentials in Kenya!

 

Stefano Cheli comments:
“Our ethos has always been to establish eco-responsible camps and lodges and to create conservation models in direct partnership with local communities. These awards not only acknowledge our continuous efforts, but validate why it is that we do what we do, bringing us one step closer to achieving Gold Eco Certification all round. I would like to thank and congratulate all the teams who have worked tirelessly to uphold our morals and values and brought this to fruition. We are very proud!”

 

The Ecotourism Committee notes:
“The facilities show superior and remarkable levels of excellence specifically in responsible resource use, socio economic and social cultural aspects. They all have demonstrated impressive and consistent efforts and best practices in their business operations.”

 

Congratulations to the all the teams!

Best wishes,
Stefano & Liz

 

November Showers and Lewa Flowers

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November rains have arrived at last! What a joy to snuggle inside your bed listening to the gentle pitter-patter outside. This is a beautiful time of year with all the plants bursting into colourful life. Here are a few flowers blooming in and around camp at the moment.

We have had fantastic wildlife in front of camp the last couple of weeks with beautiful elephant herds only meters from Room 6 and Room 7.

From the lookout hide we have seen a buffalo herd who have been hanging around camp for a while now, eland, common and Grevy’s zebra, impala and beautiful reticulated giraffe. A walk down to our lookout hide before or after lunch is definitely a must at the moment.

White Rhino
White Rhino

One morning we were surprised to see three white rhino grazing on the bamboo grass in front of camp. After a few minutes they wondered off to join 6 more white rhino who were resting in the shade of the trees on the hill opposite camp. Nowhere else in the world could you see 9 white rhino peacefully resting together in the wild… a truly spectacular sight!

Black Rhino
Black Rhino

Bamboo grass, a favourite with rhinos, has been shooting up all around and so rhino sightings around camp have been excellent because the rhinos have moved in from the southern section of the conservancy. Here is just a small taste of what we have seen recently.

Hope to see you all soon.

Tamlyn & Sacha

 

 

New Camp Managers at Lewa Settling Right In…

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Firstly we would like to introduce ourselves and our little daughter, Meila-Mae. We arrived in Lewa a couple of weeks ago and since then, have been busy learning the ropes and getting to know all the Lewa family.

We have been welcomed with open arms, as well as open wings from all our resident birds, of whom there are many! Little Meila’s favourite daily highlight is feeding the dainty grey flycatchers and watching all the birds flying down to feed in front of the main areas, namely the iridescent superb starlings, beautiful scarlet-chested sunbirds and the bronze sunbird as well as the comical white-bellied go-away birds. Her highlight, however, is our dear Bahati, the female ostrich. Bahati means ‘lucky’ in Swahili, and this she truly is as she has the whole camp to herself!

Since arriving we have been kept very busy with tales from our guests of what they have encountered out in the conservancy. There have been incredible sightings, too many to write about unfortunately, so I will just name a few.

The family of five cheetahs has been seen on a few occasions and have been keeping guests on their toes by walking very close to the vehicles, and at times even climbing onto the bonnets of the cars! The best cheetah sighting was of them hunting a baby giraffe. Although very sad, it was an incredible ‘national geographic’ moment!

Playful cheetahs photographed by Stefan Manzi
Playful cheetahs photographed by Stefan Manzi

A few nights ago we received a radio call from Annabella and Jim in Room 6 saying, very quietly, “There’s an animal outside my room!” We just smiled and said, “Don’t worry, it’s just the elephants.” It was not until we radioed the security to go and check that we heard the real story! The lions had killed a zebra down in the valley below camp. There were two lionesses and one beautiful big male lion. Unfortunately for the lions, the hyenas soon arrived and took over but as the evening approached, the lions came back and chased them away.

Apart from the larger animals outside camp, we have many little furry friends inside camp such as the beautiful little genets, dik diks, duikers, porcupines and the dwarf mongoose that visit us on the green lawns by the swimming pool every day.

Whether you are on a drive, out on a nature walk or even riding on the backs of camels, there are always adventures to be had! We’ll be in touch again with more photos of our friends around camp.

Hope to see you all soon!

Sacha, Tamlyn and Meila Mae

Rhino, Rhino, Rhino!

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World Rhino Day is on September 22 and we thought we would concentrate this blog on all things rhino.

World Rhino Day celebrates all five species of rhino: black, white, greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan rhinos – and we will be marking the day here on Lewa!

Nicky, the blind baby rhino, whose heart-warming story made news all over the world
Nicky, the blind baby rhino, whose heart-warming story made news all over the world

The little fellow here is Nicky, an orphaned blind black rhino who has cleverly learnt to use his prehensile lip to open taps – unfortunately he is not too concerned about closing them when he has had his fill!

Clever Nicky drinking from the tap...
Clever Nicky drinking from the tap...

Earlier this month Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and the Kenya Wildlife Service moved a total of 11 critically endangered black rhino from Lewa on to a neighbouring conservancy. The translocation will help to decongest Lewa’s rhino population and is a celebration of Lewa’s success as a rhino sanctuary – years of conservation efforts have seen their black rhino population increase to reach its maximum carrying capacity of 110.

White Rhinos on Lewa
White Rhinos on Lewa

Also earlier this month, in a colourful, symbolic occasion that united conservation, culture and politics, Lewa’s youngest rhino orphan calf acquired the name Kilifi and a new family on Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

Here is Kamara, one of the keepers, together with Nicky and Kilifi
Here is Kamara, one of the keepers, together with Nicky and Kilifi

That’s all from us here on Lewa – look out for our next blog when we’ll be giving an update on the translocation and on our Rhino Day celebrations.

Kwaheri,

Vanessa & Marcus

Cheques for ‘Check Ins’

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We can all make a change
We can all make a change

For all those planning a trip to one of Cheli & Peacock’s properties, don’t forget to ‘check-in’ on Facebook on arrival.

For every guest who checks-in on Facebook, Cheli & Peacock donates $1 to the Cheli & Peacock Community Trust.

Formed in 2011 – following many years of on-going partnerships and pledges – the Cheli & Peacock Community Trust focuses on educating the next generation of Kenyan conservationists, working with communities to identify and support their development needs. Projects range from initiatives with local schools to medical clinics, sanitation projects and partnerships with local wildlife foundations.

Welcome!

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Welcome to the new Lewa Safari Camp website, we will be sharing with you news from camp, including special wildlife sightings and exciting happenings in the conservancy. Best wishes Marcus and Vanessa.

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