To The Point: Chat With Gabriele Kampenhuber - Africa Point Blog
Shimba Hills Lodge is situated in the Shimba Hills Rainforest. It has a raised walkway into the forest that is ideal for viewing animals up close, when they come to drink at the waterhole right in front of the lodge. You can also feed the
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Home  >  Blog  >  To The Point: Chat With Gabriele Kampenhuber

To The Point: Chat With Gabriele Kampenhuber


Published 15th September 2015 by Jackline Wambugi
Modified 16th September 2015
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Features, To the Point Interview Series

Shimba Hills Lodge is situated in the Shimba Hills Rainforest. It has a raised walkway into the forest that is ideal for viewing animals up close, when they come to drink at the waterhole right in front of the lodge. You can also feed the bush babies that are regular visitors at the lodge. In the evening, wind down with a glass of champagne as you enjoy the cool breeze from the Indian Ocean on the open-air lobby. Just how cool (pun intended) can a hotel get? Find out more about this hidden gem from Gabriele, the Managing Director.

 

To The Point: Chat With Gabriele Kampenhuber

Front View, Shimba Hills Lodge.

 

In your opinion, what do you think makes a good hotel?

 

An ideal hotel should operate in an environmental friendly location and actively participate in protecting nature and animals. Guests ought to experience a warm welcome and a caring team. The management and the team must not forget that many guests, especially those from overseas, are unfamiliar with the wildlife, bush and steppe of this terrane. For this reason, I find it important to have an interlocutor at any time to answer questions, give advice and assist where necessary. Last but not least – pro-activeness has to be at its top. As the hosts, we always adhere to our guests’ every wish.

 

To The Point: Chat With Gabriele Kampenhuber

Double Room, Shimba Hills Lodge.

 

What do you love most about your job?

 

This list is endless…
In a nutshell: I love to share my nature experiences with guests and the fact that I can act as an ambassador for animal protection in a unique environment. It is the smiles in the faces of guests when we go the “extra mile” for them and the surety that they not only enjoyed our hospitality but also leave with the great feeling we leave on them, is what keeps me going.

 

To The Point: Chat With Gabriele Kampenhuber

Gabriele Sitting On A Rock, Shimba Hills Lodge.

 

What are the three things every visitor should experience at your facility?

 

Having a drink at the platform of the tree top walkway while feeling the vibes of the rainforest, observing Bush Babies coming in during evening hours and listening to the ever present nocturnal choir when sleep calls.

 

To The Point: Chat With Gabriele Kampenhuber

Walkway Bridge To The Forest, Shimba Hills Lodge.

 

What makes your property stand out from your competition?

 

The unique structures and ambience of our tree house. The guests get a feeling of the natural peace and tranquillity. Our main aim is to offer the best quality in terms of food, service and hospitality.

 

To The Point: Chat With Gabriele Kampenhuber

Open-Air Lobby, Shimba Hills Lodge.

 

What was the most important development in your line of work over the last five years?

 

To prevent the closing of the lodge in 2014, my business partners and I bought it. Shimba Hills Lodge is already 29 years old and the ravages of time had left its marks. Renovating the premises while preserving the charming ancient and rustic setting was a joyful challenge. But, bringing back a lively atmosphere and a warm welcoming ambience was the objective. Today our guests appreciate that the balance between preservation and modernisation has been kept; hence, they can enjoy a “jungle feeling” without abstaining from comfort.

 

To The Point: Chat With Gabriele Kampenhuber

King Sized Bed, Shimba Hills Lodge.

 

You often must experience unforgettable stories, what’s the most memorable one?

 

One of our team members prevented the possible death of “our fish eagle”, which had been shot at by poachers. The eagle (we call him “Koho”) used to live at an area near the waterhole next to the lodge. He was just outside, when two men shot at the eagle with a bow and arrow. They ran away when they saw him. We immediately called Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), and caught the seriously wounded eagle. After the treatment by the veterinary doctor, we took care of the eagle on site where he was kept in a quickly built cage. It was heartbreaking to see his mate coming down to the ground, picking against the cage and constantly calling him.

After a few days with no improvement, we decided to drive Koho to the Naivasha Owl Centre, where he had to undergo a surgery to fix the open fracture on his right wing. To this day, he lives up on his cage, as he still is not able to fly. Nevertheless, gets along very well with another (one winged) female fish eagle. Recently, his mate who still lives around the lodge found a new partner. The behaviour of the two eagles during that time once again proved to me that animals deserve our full respect and protection.

 

To The Point: Chat With Gabriele Kampenhuber

Arbeitskopie Plants, Shimba Hills Lodge.

 

What else would you like to share with our readers?

 

Essentially one thing. We only have one earth! Protect it and its inhabitants, no matter how many legs they are!


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About the Author:
Jackline Wambugi

Jackline Wambugi

Jackline is our content and social media wizard with heaps of creativity and ideas. 


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