Liz & Stefano Cheli – Owners
Born of Italian parents, Stefano grew up in Kenya, spending his early days on farms and lodges owned by an Italian Count, which included Loisaba Ranch and Oasis Lodge at Lake Turkana – Stefano’s favourites. He completed secondary schooling and his National Service in Italy, before returning to Kenya in 1980 as General Manger of Loisaba Ranch. Before starting Cheli & Peacock with Liz, Stefano spent a year as a Professional Hunter in Tanzania.
Liz had English parents, but was born in Venezuela and grew up in Nairobi, completing secondary schooling and college in England, before returning to Kenya in 1979 to work as administrator on a 60,000acre ranch in Laikipia. Before starting Cheli & Peacock with Stefano, Liz spent a year as a freelance Professional Guide on mobile tented safaris throughout Kenya. Liz and Stefano have two sons, Joss and Sebastian.
Stephen & Tania Hitchins – Investors
More recent converts to the joys and romance of Kenya and its wildlife; investors in Elsa’s Kopje, Tortilis, Joy’s Camp and Kitich Camp. Natives of Gloucestershire in the United Kingdom, with son Harry & daughter Chloe. Involved in residential and commercial development in the West of England and South Wales and founders of the Desert Springs Resort & Golf Club in Almeria in South East Spain.
Managers – George & Theresa van Wyk
George and Theresa van Wyk, arrived at Joy’s Camp in October 2014. Both are in their mid-40s, originally from Zimbabwe, and have three teenage sons. They have many years of safari, lodge management and wildlife management experience between them.
George is a Professional Guide, and senior guide trainer – both in Southern Africa, and in Kenya, and Theresa has managed camps in Zimbabwe with artistic flair. George fell in love with Shaba during his work training senior guides from all over East Africa. They are both ardent conservationists have decided to make Joy’s Camp their home.
Joy’s Camp guides have the whole park to themselves, and know their backyard intimately. All the guides are Bronze or Silver level Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association certified.
Shaba is the most spectacular part of the Samburu eco-system with beautiful Bodich and Shaba mountains glowing red in the evening sun. One and a half times the size of Samburu or Buffalo Springs, with no other vehicles – Joy’s Camp has the whole of Shaba to itself! Dramatic arid countryside with natural salts and lush palm fringed springs that attract the wildlife. The northern border of the park is the great Ewaso Nyiro River with rocky gorges, waterfalls and sandy beaches to explore.
Game driving in Shaba is very different to game driving in Samburu where all the vehicles drive up and down the river; in Shaba the wildlife concentrates round the numerous springs, and the Joys Camp guides know the territories of the predators, and the elephants’ favourite evening watering hole. They also know how the giant termite castles are built, and enjoy leaving the vehicle behind and walking the river gorge, or to the Chaffa spring.