Stop press. Little Chem Chem is officially open. Known as the ‘sunrise camp’, Little Chem Chem is situated within the Burunge Wildlife Management Area, in a private concession of 16,000 hectares – shared exclusively with Chem Chem Lodge. Flanked by the Babati mountain range to the South West and the distant hills of Tarangire to the North East, the camp overlooks the freshwater lake, Lake Burunge which attracts all manner of wildlife and birdlife. It’s a truly beautiful place.
However, what makes Little Chem Chem so special is the fact that in securing this land for their private concession, owners Fabia and Nicolas have re-opened an old elephant corridor, which resident elephants had previously stopped using, and which subsequently led to their being much more vulnerable to being hunted. The threat of hunting had forced the animals to alter their patterns of movement – to the detriment of their own herds as well as human settlements and other wildlife. Thanks to the likes of Fabia and Nicolas, these patterns are beginning to be re-established. The elephants are able to make use of traditional routes, and local communities are secure in the knowledge that both they and their livelihoods are safe.
Given the politics, local and national, and the various challenges that the opening of old corridors through settled land necessarily pose, it’s an extraordinary achievement. Of course, Little Chem Chem itself is central to the scheme. As well as a source of employment, training and opportunity for members of the local community, the money it generates will in part go directly back into the pot, one shared by all host stakeholders, human and animal alike. Plus, it’s gorgeous, small and intimate and beautifully styled, has superb guides, stunning walking in private wilderness areas. Special activities include conservation and anti poaching safaris and much more. The perfect place to stop off, unwind, and enjoy something very different to the normal safari circuit. Please go – and as soon as you can!