For more than 20 years, Stefano & Liz Cheli had been bringing clients on traditional mobile safaris to Shaba National Reserve. With a passion for promoting conservation of this spectacular habitat and its increasingly threatened wildlife, they built and opened Joy’s in 2006, creating strong community relations, providing training, employment and philanthropic support.
In 2011, we partnered with Ian Craig’s Northern Rangelands Trust and their new initiative, the Nakuprat-Gotu Wildlife Conservancy. This new conservancy entirely surrounds Shaba, extending the protected eco-system and building unity within a population of mixed tribes. Joy’s Camp is greatly supportive of the initiative, engaging in continuous dialogue with the community and NRT, participating in grazing committees, providing support for local schools as well as installing radio equipment for cross-conservancy communication and raising over US$ 13,125 to construct an Outpost for the Nakuprat-Gotu scouts. Once again, we are working towards putting a vital and very beautiful area on the map to ensure its sustained existence.
Through payments to the Isiolo County Council, responsible for management of Shaba National Reserve, Joy’s generated US$ 161,252 in conservation funds in 2011 alone, including park fees, bed night fees, rent and vehicle parking fees.
There are only two lodges in Shaba, forming the only source of income for the reserve and the local people. Without the existence of Joy’s Camp and the generation of this revenue, the future of Shaba could not be guaranteed.
An Environmental Impact Study was carried out prior to the construction of Joy’s Camp; before the first stone was laid anywhere in the camp, the delicate environment of Shaba was taken into account. Joy’s Camp also supports the local communities through employment (more than 70% of its staff come from local villages) and various community projects. Any timber used by the camp is from renewable sources, or deadwood, to ensure that the only impact of the camp on the reserve is a positive one.
Joy’s Camp prides itself on using solar energy for both lighting and heating water in all its rooms. Water management systems have been instilled that ensure there is minimal water wastage at the camp. Rubbish is responsibly disposed of or recycled. Glass is separated and sold to the recycling plant ‘Central Glass’ in Nairobi. In order to support the future of Shaba National Park, Joy’s Camp maintains close communication with the park rangers and warden, and continues to make as little impact on the environment as possible.