What a remarkable year it has been, filled with countless friendships, emotions, and memories that have enriched our being. From the thrill of primal encounters to moments of reflection, from euphoria to healing, every day at Ishara has been a journey of self-discovery and wonder, extending beyond borders, cultures, and species, bringing them all together in a collective embrace.
Over the past year, we have welcomed a diverse and illustrious group of guests, each adding their unique story and personality to our beloved family. We had the honour and privilege of hosting Hollywood royalty like Salma Hayek Pinault, sporting legends like Sachin Tendulkar, award winning musicians, film directors, actors, fashion designers, authors, families, adventurers, and even heartwarming proposals that left us teary-eyed. Together, we have laughed, cried, and bared our souls, every interaction a reminder of why we do what we do — to foster a sense of belonging and share our love.
The spirit of Ishara resonates with people from all walks of life. It is a celebration of oneness rooted in the belief that we are all connected to each other and to the universe, creating a beautiful tapestry of intertwined existence. Whether you are seeking solitude or companionship, Ishara offers a sanctuary for both.
Perched on cantilevered decks above gently flowing waters and nestled amidst indigenous forest, Ishara offers a unique and unforgettable experience that exudes a sense of tranquility and elegance. From the new Villa Suite to the expansive River Suites, every corner of our beautiful camp has been meticulously designed to create a harmonious blend of contemporary architecture and homely comforts. We are mindful of our responsibility to protect and preserve this mesmerising ecosystem, and through our commitment to sustainable practices and initiatives, continue to make a positive impact while providing guests with unforgettable experiences.
Every guest here finds their own unique way to deeply connect with their surroundings, and many find a renewed perspective on life, a sense of vitality, purpose, and inner peace after even a short stay. Whether it be connecting with loved ones, indulging in delectable cuisine, or enjoying a moment of mindfulness, we have had the pleasure of witnessing numerous transformations as guests disconnect from their everyday worlds and rediscover the simple joys of life.
There have been innumerable instances of guests having picked up a Canon camera out of curiosity and ending up leaving with a newfound passion for photography. Our growing team of Resident Pros has been instrumental in fostering this passion, providing personalised guidance in the art of photography, and we are elated by the wealth of budding photographers of all ages emerging from our Canon Brand Experience Centre.
Our intense spirit of storytelling has continued to flourish. We held our inaugural Ishara Creative Week in June, bringing together professionals from Miami, Milan, Dubai, and Nairobi for a series of content creation assignments and workshops. We believe that by encouraging interaction and the exchange of ideas, we can ultimately push the boundaries of creativity, and we are excited by our own capabilities to produce world-class content and photoshoots that continue to astonish and inspire guests and global audiences.
We also recently hosted two photography trainings workshops for children from the Maasai community and one for guides from across the Mara. These were part of our on-going social and cultural sustainability initiatives in collaboration with Canon’s Miraisha Programme, and we are dedicated to providing community members with opportunities to develop their skills and reach their full potential, equipping them with the tools they need to thrive.
October saw the launch of our own book, “The Curious Boy Who Followed the Signs,” a tale about hope, determination, and the conviction to follow your dreams. It now sits proudly in each suite where international bestselling authors were once placed. Guests have called it “Profound,” “Like a mariner’s compass for modern times,” and “An emotional experience that fills us with love,” and when newlyweds Angela and James requested an autographed copy, they asked for it to be made out to “The little ones,” saying they would keep it as a guide to life for their future children. There are no words to convey the depths of feelings such comments evoke and we feel incredibly proud and lucky to be able to share our enchanted tale with each guest who comes to Ishara.
We have been fortunate to witness incredible growth in our partner network this year, and our travels have taken us to Cape Town, London, Paris, and New York, enabling us to showcase Ishara’s unique offering to a diverse audience and establishing our brand as a top contender in the luxury safari industry. Our dedication to promoting sustainable tourism and the beauty of this spectacular land have earned us accolades from both associates and guests alike, while contributing positively to its preservation. We were also delighted to be featured in prestigious publications such as Travel & Leisure, Conde Nast Traveller, The Independent UK, and The Guardian, recognition that has served as a testament to the magical experiences we curate, further strengthened our reputation as the hidden gem of the Masai Mara.
When we say ‘Ishara’, it speaks on a deeper level and arouses a feeling that goes beyond words. From the fluttering wings of a butterfly to the vast expanse of the galaxies above, it reminds us that we are all part of something much larger than ourselves and encourages us to pause and be present in the moment, allowing the transformative energy of nature to guide us towards a more harmonious existence. But Ishara is more than just a concept; it is a canvas of dreams, where each turn holds a different story waiting to be discovered. To encounter Ishara is to embark on a sensory awakening that opens up new pathways in our minds and hearts, allowing us to see beyond the surface and connect with something greater than ourselves. As a recent guest remarked, “You have created a contagious definition of happiness; a place where it is impossible to be unhappy.”
As we light up our camp for the festive season, we also light up our hearts with gratitude for this past year and all the memories we have shared together, interconnected by the threads of life. We have witnessed friendships being formed, minds being opened, and hearts being touched, and it is all because of you. You have embraced our vision wholeheartedly and your support has been essential in bringing it to life. You have reminded us time and time again that Ishara is more than just a physical location — it is a place of inspiration, upliftment, solace, and peace; a family built on love, respect, empathy, and understanding.
Thank you for joining us on our quest and for being an important part of our lives. Here’s to many more meaningful memories and enthralling experiences together in the coming year.
Photo credits: Eric Averdung, Japheth Supeyo, Imara Njeri, Mary Beth Koeth