HISTORY OF LILAYI
The Lodge Story
Established in 1989, the game farm consists of a 650 hectare plot of land situated within the Miller Farm. Having initially been used as a cattle farm, Springvale Farm was bought in 1975 by Peter Miller. It was renamed ‘Lilayi Game Farm’ and numerous varieties of wildlife introduced.
This area of unspoilt grassland and woodland on the outskirts of Lusaka is renowned for its pristine trees as well as being home to more than 500 plains animals. Lilayi Lodge was officially opened in November 1991 and has been well known as one of Lusaka's main attractions for many years. In 2013 the Miller Family decided to completely renovate this iconic piece of Zambian History and create a first class establishment that showcases the best that Zambia has to offer.
The Lilayi Elephant Nursery, located at the entrance to game farm, is a project that is very dear to the family’s heart. Having a long history in supporting wildlife conservation, two hectares of land was donated to Game Rangers International - a non-profit organisation. Through this partnership Lilayi Game Farm has become home to a number of orphaned elephants that have seen the loss of their families due to poaching.
THE MILLER FAMILY
Miller Family History
A family owned business, Lilayi Farm has belonged to the Miller family for over 100 years. It is located in the Lilayi area of southern Lusaka, Zambia. P. T .Miller (1866-1938) bought Lilayi Farm in 1912 having arrived in Zambia in 1902 as a Maintenance Engineer working on the railroad connection from Kafue, in the South of Zambia to Sakanya on the Congolese border. The original farmhouse built in 1924, was declared a national monument in 1996 and is still a family home .The five Miller brothers (third generation), along with their late parents Peter and Annette, have overseen the development of Lilayi Lodge and Game Farm from its inception in 1989. The Miller family currently has members of the fourth and fifth generations still living on the farm.
Lilayi Farm, which surrounds the Game Farm and Lodge, breeds pedigree cattle and produces wheat, maize, soya beans and barley. The barley is used in the production of Zambia's most famous beer – Mosi! Along with hospitality and commercial farming, the Miller family are supporters of wildlife conservation, the late Peter Miller being the Chairman of The Wildlife Conservation Society of Zambia and Polo. The Lilayi Polo Club, located on the farm, is an important asset to southern Lusaka. The Zambian polo season begins in April and one of the main fixtures is the Annette Miller Cup, an international tournament which has seen the likes of India, Ireland and the United States of America all being represented.
Tourism in Zambia is largely based upon the abundance and variety of wildlife, untouched game parks and natural wonders that the country is fortunate to have. Illegal poaching of Zambia's wildlife is an ever increasing problem and Lilayi Lodge is proud to be a partner in conservation and education projects that are dedicated to preserve Zambia's flora and fauna.
David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) is an adaptable and flexible, non-bureaucratic organisation which responds promptly to conservation threats by supporting trusted, reputable individuals and organisations operating in the field. Lean on administration and generous on funding, DSWF sponsors a range of innovative, vital and far-reaching projects throughout Africa and Asia. David Shepherd OBE has been a great friend of the Miller Family for over 50 years and with his family been a regular visitor to Lilayi. DSWF is a major contributor to Game Rangers International (GRI) and has played a pivotal role in the setup of the Lilayi Elephant Nursery. David Shepherd is an internationally recognised wildlife artist, and his artwork can be seen throughout Lilayi Lodge.
GRI Elephant Orphanage Project
Game Rangers International (GRI) is a Zambian conservation organization, working alongside the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) to protect wildlife in Zambia. The organisation has been active in the Kafue National Park (KNP) since 2008, when it was originally founded to protect the threatened elephant population.
GRI has developed over the years to encompass the following themes; law-enforcement, anti-trafficking, community outreach and education, research and policy, park maintenance and animal welfare. The partnership between the Miller Family, Lilayi Lodge and GRI has seen the creation and development of the Lilayi Elephant Nursery which not only rehabilitates and releases orphaned elephants into the wild but provides a platform for education into the issues of poaching in Zambia.
The Elephant Charge challenges teams of cars and motorbikes to complete a gruelling course through the Zambian bush, with the aim to complete the set course in the shortest possible distance. The event is held at a different location each year. The Elephant Charge provides sponsorship for ten well-reputed grassroots conservation projects located within Zambia. The teams raise these funds through sponsorship. Next year will be the 10th anniversary of this prestigious event and Lilayi Lodge is a proud supporter of the Elephant Charge and it's focus of promoting conservation through education.