March 25, 2022
The Ele Collection
Andy Hogg, Founder and Managing Director of The Bushcamp Company, conceived the idea of the Ele Collection and shepherded it from concept to reality. Elephants are a big part of Mfuwe Lodge’s life; each year elephants come through Reception to get to the wild mango tree in the courtyard, and honoring and protecting these gentle giants has always been near and dear to Andy’s heart.
The ELE Collection is born out of a commitment to protect elephants and wildlife while sustainably supporting local communities, and at the same time giving those who purchase the jewelry a lasting keepsake.
It began with Andy seeing a 2-dimensional elephant pendant and thinking that someone should design a 3-dimensional one. He started making some sketches about what he wanted and took the concept to a South African jewelry designer to make a prototype. Andy refined the concept, and the Ele Collection was born!
The collection has grown over the years. It began with silver ele pendants, in 3 sizes, with diamond or emerald eyes. The jewelry collection has now expanded to include gold pendants. There are also earrings and bracelets, both bangle and cuff. We can also make items to order (white gold, rose gold, sapphire eyes, etc.).
These products are unique to The Bushcamp Company. The collection is well-made, good value, and perfect for both casual and formal occasions. The large pendants are roughly 23 g of gold or sterling silver.
The collection has now extended beyond jewelry. We have a line of clothing, including t-shirts and caps, and also keychains – all utilizing the Ele Collection design.
We sell the products at our curio shop at Mfuwe Lodge and are also able to ship to customers around the world. The jewelry has been bought by customers all over the world – Europe, the US, the UK.
The heart of the project is the fact that the sales raise funds for elephant conservation in South Luangwa National Park and for The Bushcamp Company’s own Commit to Clean Water programme.
For many years, The Bushcamp Company has supported Conservation South Luangwa, a local NGO that engages in anti-snaring and anti-poaching patrols and activities, amongst other activities, throughout South Luangwa National Park. The Ele Collection has enabled us to continue and enhance this support.
The Commit to Clean Water programme focuses on drilling boreholes (deepwater wells) in local communities. Since the inception of the programme, we have drilled nearly 200 boreholes, each providing fresh drinking water to nearly 300 people per day. These boreholes have had a significant impact on the daily lives of the users: they no longer have to travel great distances to rivers and streams, often encountering hippos and elephants along the way and crocodiles at the river itself. They no longer have to endanger their health by drinking unsafe river water; the boreholes are deep enough to ensure clean potable water and to be drought-resistant. In addition, having this access to water means that children are able to stay in school, and are not sent to gather water for the family.
The Bushcamp Company works very closely with the local headmen and Chiefs regarding the placement of the boreholes so that there is local support and “buy-in,” leading to better long-term care and maintenance of the boreholes.
So when a piece from the Ele Collection is purchased, the purchaser knows that not only do they now own a bespoke piece from the Ele Collection, they are helping the wildlife and the people of the Luangwa Valley!