Get a feel of ancient archery by visiting Elementaita camp

The sport takes place in a purpose-built and interactive archery range that is surrounded by trees.

Friday March 11 2016

The conservancy is famous of over 400 species of birds including flamingoes and white pelicans. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The conservancy is famous of over 400 species of birds including flamingoes and white pelicans. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By BONIFACE MWANGI
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For those who love playing recurve archery in a tranquil environment, Lake Elementaita Serena Camp is the place to be.

The camp is on the shores of Lake Elementaita, where hundreds of thousands of birds congregate every year.

Elementaita Serena Camp General Manager Alphaxad Chege says the hotel is the only one in Kenya that offers this kind of sport.

“The camp offers this ancient and elegant discipline of recurve target archery with the help of modern day equipment and trained instructors for the first timers,” he says.

In collaboration with the Federation of Target Archery Kenya, 10 employees have been trained on the sport and make sure guests are supervised.

The sport takes place in a purpose-built and interactive archery range that is surrounded by trees.

Mr Chege says the camp offers a variety of fun, dynamic and challenging archery target activities that can be enjoyed by individuals or a group.

These are classic target archery, balloon archery, tic-tac-toe target, archery golf par 5 and baseball archery.

“We started this sport to offer our guests a variety of enjoyable activities to choose from. We also wanted to be distinct,” says Mr Chege.

A recurved bow has limbs that bend from the archer when unstrung and the game involves one aiming and targeting a ‘bulls-eye’ on a distance board.

Now a Unesco world heritage site, the camp is also home to many rare species of animals and is only a two-hour drive from the city.

It can also be accessed by air. Small airplanes land at Soysambu Airstrip.

THE PLACE TO BE
Elementaita is the only lake in East and Central Africa that offers a perfect breeding ground for great white pelicans.

The hotel was opened in 2011 and was rated as five-star by the Tourism Regulatory Authority in the just concluded classification.

It also offers unique tent activities on the shores of the lake.

Flamingo Suite is a tent for special occasions. He says it is the best place to be for those on honeymoon.

“It is far from the rest of the camp to give the newly weds the special privacy they may need during their stay,” Mr Chege says.

The camp that blends aristocratic elegance with modern luxury suites was also given a gold-eco-rating award by Ecotourism Kenya in recognition of its efforts to promote sustainable tourism through preservation of Kenya’s environment and cultural heritage.

The camp offers open breakfast and lunch at the shores of the lake during sunny days and a bonfire dinner in the evening.

Its location within the conservancy means that, as well as game drives, one can go on walking safaris to get up close with the flora and fauna.

Visitors can also enjoy horse riding or head out on night drives to experience the bush in the dark.

GLOBAL WARMING

Hopefully spotting spring hares, an aardvark or an elusive leopard as well as explore ones creative side by indulging in some water colour painting.

“The conservancy is famous of over 400 species of birds including flamingoes and white pelicans.

According to camp’s resident naturalist Richard Kipng’eno, change in weather patterns, which could be linked to global warming saw water levels at Lake Nakuru rise to never seen before levels thus flooding the entire park in 2014.

This in turn made the park inhabitable, not only for the world famous flamingoes but also for a lot of other wildlife animals including the big cats. 

This led Lions and leopards which are a common feature at Lake Nakuru National park to cross over to the Soysambu conservancy making it the first time that big cats have returned to the conservancy in decades.

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