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 – Philip and “Charlie”
Philip and Charlotte Mason are both born and bred Kenyans, have two grown up children living in Nairobi, and extended family all over East Africa. They have been entertaining visitors to East Africa for many years, in the Masai Mara, on Zanzibar, operating scuba boats off Pemba Island, and at their own property on the Kenya coast, Takaunga House.
The Elsa’s Kopje guides are based at the lodge in Meru National Park, they 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.
The National Park is one of the most beautiful in Africa, and apart from being home to plentiful lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant and rhino, it is known for its diversity of habitat and wildlife, including the rare and beautiful lesser Kudu. The guides know every stunning corner, from the palm fringed springs, to the sandy beaches if the Tana river. A birders paradise, Meru boasts over 400 species, as well surprising botanical treasures including the giant baobab tree and rare paper bark Albitzia.
Our guides know the territory of the Meru lions and leopards, but also in a habitat so diverse, they know the medicinal properties of the unusual plants, are keen birders, and can show you the home of the tiny naked mole rat!