Meet Jazeera Suwani, a serial entrepreneur and previously the founder of Say it with Chocolate. In 2021, she co-founded the Drunken Elephant Mara, a vacation bush destination in Kenya. The Camp allows guests to breathe and relax without the pressures of their everyday routine. It provides a complete vacation for individuals looking to disconnect from the world of technology and immerse themselves in Nature. Jazeera, who was featured in Africa’s Top 40 under 40 in 2018, shares her entrepreneur journey with Destin Africa.
Tell us more about Drunken Elephant Mara?
Drunken Elephant Mara is set within a natural forest, a stone’s throw away from Sekenani Gate, and is a true bush experience. The camp is located 2 km from The Maasai Mara National Reserve. The camp consists of seven guest tents, five of which accommodate 2 adults each and 2 accommodate 4 adults each.
Jazeera manages the Camp with her brother Faheem and sister in law Shivangi. Faheem and Jazeera handle the reservations and groundwork detailing for guests, whereas Shivangi handles the camp tents and kitchen. The Camp has a full-time chef, as well as admin staff, who helps the guests with booking excursions.
What inspired you to start the camp?
Looking at a property that had all the potential to become a holiday destination for many people, Faheem and I decided to put in resources and refurbish whatever we could to create a space for any tourist, local or international, to be comfortable and feel at home. We thought, how many times do you come back from a vacation feeling tired, because you aren’t able to break away from your daily routine? Even on vacation, you still have to wake up early and have breakfast, lunch and dinner on time. You still follow the same routine that you have at home. At Drunken Elephant Mara, we allow guests to breathe and relax without the pressures of your everyday routine.
What sets Drunken Elephant Mara apart from other players in the industry?
Staying in the African wilderness, with a small fence separating you from the wildlife and only a tent to shelter you, might sound foolhardy, but that’s the unique and thrilling buzz of a safari. Safaris are so often associated with luxury lodges, sundowners and slick service alongside the wildlife, but there is another way: #thedrunkbreak. This is your chance to get supremely close to nature – elephants might stroll through the camp and you will enjoy the nightly roars of lions or laughs of the hyena. It is one of the very few camps, where one of the co-owners is always on site to cater to the guests needs.
Was this the line of business you wished to engage in while growing up?
Not exactly. I wanted to go into medicine which I did, but changed careers 9 years later.
What are your future plans and aspirations for the Camp?
We currently have seven rooms and would like to expand to having three 2 bedroom suites which can accommodate families and friends who would like to spend more time and be able to cook.
Any advice to other women wishing to start-up?
Even if you stumble and fall, there will always be a ray of light somewhere. You just have to look and hold the hand that is reaching out to you to take you out of your darkness.