Reteti offers a true story of hope in its promotion of a new wave of thinking within local communities. As little as a year ago, a Samburu warrior who came across an elephant stuck down a well might have dragged it out and left it to die before it could contaminate the water. Today, behaviour is changing and more locals are realising the benefits of co-existing with the wildlife. Rather than the traditional view of elephants as ‘giant pests’, communities have become genuinely interested in their well-being, as they can see that elephants bring security, jobs and education. The Samburu people now share in the heartbreak of losing an elephant and the joy of a successful rescue. In essence, they have become their protectors.
We take care of the elephants, and the elephants are taking care of us. We now have a relationship.
~ Rimland Lemojong, Samburu warrior-turned-elephant-keeper
We take nap time very seriously around here © Reteti Elephant Sanctuary
Furthermore, Reteti has empowered local Samburu women as the first ever female elephant keepers in Africa. Sasha Dorothy Lowuekuduk, head keeper at Reteti, is excited by how the sanctuary is changing the way men relate to women in her community and is unlocking new possibilities. Employment for women at Reteti is helping many men to recognise the need for girls to be respected, educated and not left behind.
It is our happiness that we, the women of Reteti, have shown my community, my country, and the entire world that this job is not just for men. No one in my community believed a woman could do this, and I am proud of myself.
~ Sasha, Head Keeper
The Safari Collection are thrilled that guests of Sasaab and Solio Lodge can visit Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in our private helicopter and be a part of this exciting initiative. Visitors to Reteti can spend time with the orphaned elephants in what is a fascinating and worthwhile experience. Each morning, the elephants head out with their keepers for walks in the bush where they spend most of their time grazing and chasing guinea fowl. In the heat of the day, they enjoy mud baths before returning to the sanctuary and getting fed again. It is mesmerising being so close to these remarkably intelligent and emotional creatures, watching their individual personalities as they roll in the mud or play ball with each other.