“Paradise in the bush, where the tents set you in bird heaven.” This is how one delighted, safari-eyed guest described a stay at Joy’s Camp. Another sang the camp’s praises by calling it “…every bird-loving, star-gazing and luxury camper’s must-see place in Northern Kenya.”
It’s a luxury safari camp that is beloved and doted on by its owners too and that really makes all the difference. Cheli & Peacock is a very special, eco-aware safari company owned and operated by Stefano Cheli and Liz Peacock. Joy’s Camp is one of their ‘pride and joy’ camps which was designed and built through their passion for eco-tourism and a love for Kenyan wilderness. Its expansive, wild environment and its nearby local communities are close to Stefano Cheli’s heart.
In some very exciting recent news, Stefano Cheli has been appointed to the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) Board of Trustees. It’s a huge honour and recognition of Stefano’s life-long devotion to conservation in Kenya.
The NRT is a non-profit organisation and supports 26 community conservancies across northern Kenya. Its mission is to develop resilient community conservancies which transform people’s lives, secure peace and conserve natural resources. The NRT identified Stefano as “someone who can make a significant contribution” to their work. The appointment reflects Stefano’s “skills, expertise and achievements” in the Namunyak and Nakuprat-Gotu conservancies as well as his role as Chairman and Founder of the Mara North Conservancy and position on the Africa Conservation Centre Board of Trustees.
Stefano told of what the appointment means to him by saying, “Since Liz and I first began operating safaris in 1985, responsible tourism, wildlife conservation and the careful preservation of Kenya’s unique wilderness have always been our upmost priority. We have worked alongside the NRT for many years and I am delighted to join its Board of Trustees and continue to work closely with local communities to support their development needs.”
Since 1985, Cheli & Peacock has operated eco-friendly safaris and eco-camps in some of Kenya’s most remote areas which also boast significant biodiversity and a rich cultural heritage. Joy’s Camp is one of only two lodges in Shaba National Reserve and is one such example. Surrounded by the newly formed Nakuprat-Gotu Conservancy, Joy’s Camp forms the only source of tourism revenue for the local community and the conservation efforts by NRT in this area. The Cheli & Peacock Community Trust has worked alongside the NRT to build relationships with the many local tribes to ensure the safety and stability of both Shaba and the conservancy. Over the years, the Trust has funded a great number of initiatives, most recently a new $US15,000 rangers post and base station radio to improve communications between Shaba and the conservancy. From January 2013, guests staying at Joy’s Camp will also contribute a $12 conservancy fee per person per day, ensuring an ongoing and reliable source of income for the local community.
Joy’s Camp is set on the grounds that were home to Joy Adamson. She was a famous naturalist and is best remembered as the author of “Born Free” and “Queen of Shaba”. Relaxing at this luxury tented camp, watching wildlife drink just meters away from the natural spring in front of the camp and experiencing bushveld sounds, smells and sights will fill you with a sense of wonder and certainty that the great wilderness of Shaba deserves to be preserved as it is.