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Campi ya Kanzi

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Posted by  Simba Saturday, 24 June 2006 08:08

Campi ya Kanzi

Campi ya Kanzi (Camp of the hidden treasure)

Imagine starting your day with the aroma of fresh Kenya coffee or tea brought to your tent by your personal Maasai attendant, while you enjoy the privacy of your veranda overlooking majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, with the pink light of the dawn.
Imagine taking a guided walking safari with local trackers to show you the rich flora and fauna of this undiscovered paradise, while you feel you are playing a great role in the conservation of this unique habitat.
Campi ya Kanzi is situated on the Chyulu Hills overlooking the plains and Mount KilimanjaroWelcome to Campi ya Kanzi, which lies in a 400 square mile Group Ranch, owned by Maasai herdsmen. Bordering Tsavo West and Chyulu National Parks, and just next to Amboseli National Park, Campi ya Kanzi has the exclusive use of the whole ranch and accommodates only a maximum of 14 guests, providing the most unique opportunity to experience the real African Wilderness.
Stretching from the Chyulu Hills to the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro (the highest mountain of Africa) the altitude of the ranch ranges from 3,000 feet to 6,900 feet. This variation and the vastness of the area assure an incredible biodiversity. Here you can enjoy most of the different environments of Kenya, and the wildlife that inhabit them. From mountain forest, grasslands, green river woodlands, to the bush and the savannah.
About 63 different mammals and 400 bird species are found in the Ranch. Besides the big five (elephant, rhino, leopard, lion and buffalo) rare animals such as lesser Kudu, Gerenuk, Cheetah, Wild Dog inhabit the Ranch. Plain game is very rich and interesting antelopes such us the Klipspringer and the Mountain Reedbuck are found on the hills. The Fringed Ear Oryx and the Maasai Giraffe are very common, together with the other plain game such as impala, zebra, eland, wildebeest, Thomson and Grant gazelles, hartebeest, etc.
Luxarious room at Campi ya KanziThe main goal of Campi ya Kanzi is to make wildlife profitable for the local community, through tourism. The whole camp has been planned, built and realized with the total involvement of the local landlords, the Maasai. Campi ya Kanzi has a staff of 45 Maasai and, through a Trust, employs 23 game scouts, 10 teachers in the schools, 1 nurse and 1 doctor at the dispensary.
For each guest accommodated at the camp, $30 of conservation fee per day is set aside for the community. It is used to reimburse the Maasai who have suffered losses of their livestock because of wild animals, to help the poorest and the best students to carry on with their education, and to provide the Community with basic medicines. By staying at Campi ya Kanzi you will not only visit one of the most uncharted areas of the country, but you will play a very important role in Conservation, both of Wildlife and of the Maasai cultural heritage, and in helping people.
The Camp
The whole camp has been centred around Tembo House (elephant house, so named because of a log which resembles the shape of an elephant trunk). This is where you will enjoy your Italian meals, read a book from the library, play backgammon, or simply enjoy music, and be taken away by the note of Mozart with the immensity of the African savannah in front of you.
This is the house of Luca and Antonella, who share it with their guests.
Your en suite bathroom at Campi ya KanziThere are six tented cottages and the Simba and Hemingway tented suites, the latter named after Ernest Hemingway who was thinking of the Chyulu when he wrote his famous “Green Hills of Africa”. They all enjoy different views, they have a wooden floor ending with a veranda, ensuite concrete elegant bathroom, with brass taps, bidet, basin, shower and flush toilet and hot and cold running water. Each cottage has a large log bed, a table, a colonial trunk, shelves and hangers for your clothes. The linen and the bath clothes have been specially made in Italy.
The cottages are far enough from each other to assure maximum privacy. They are named after the view they face, from the Chyulu Hills to Kilimanjaro. Each tent has a different animal engraved in the galana rocks with which the bathroom is built.
The advantage of being outside of National Parks consists in the total freedom to walk. An early morning walk with a Maasai tracker, looking for the cheetahs or the leopard that are found near the camp is an unforgettable experience. The most enjoyable safaris are a combination of easy walks and game drives, with totally open Land Rover. For the most active ones we may concentrate in beautiful walks, from the Chyulu forest to the savannah plains, along rivers and through lava flows. Being out on foot in the African Wilderness with you professional guide and your Maasai tracker is a very special experience.
Enjoy your dinner with a stunning view of Mount Kilimanjaro at Campi ya Kanzi

The biodiversity of the area needs 4 or 5 days to be really enjoyed and fully explored. The record of animals seen on one day was achieved going to our lake, Arpakai: 73 different birds were counted and 30 species of mammals. A total of about 1,800 animals were seen in the same day!
The Maasai are showing you their home and they are very proud of it. A visit to one of the local village with your Maasai tracker will introduce you to their cultural heritage in a very natural and enjoyable way.
If you like you could enjoy an air safari: Andrew, our commercial pilot, will be happy to fly you over the Chyulu Hills or around Kilimanjaro.
As the main goal of the camp is conservation all the buildings have been done with local materials. Campi ya Kanzi is one of the most environmentally friendly camps in Africa. The whole camp has been built with the lowest impact on the environment. The electricity is provided by solar panel and the hot water by solar boiler. We burn a special ecological charcoal, we recycle our waste and we have a compost for the organic waste. We have a small vegetable garden, which is an organic, meanings that no pesticides and chemical fertilizer have ever been or are used. All water is recycled through lava filters and it supplies the vegetable garden and two water ponds where lions and gazelles come to drink.
The total involvement of the Maasai community is unique. The camp is their camp and they share its profits.
The Camp is based on Luca Belpietro’s thesis in Economics: “Sustainable development and environmental conservation: wildlife as a natural resource in Kenya”. Campi ya Kanzi has demonstrated how community, tourism and conservation can come together for a mutual benefit.
Guided bush walk at Campi ya KanziAdventure Magazine of the National Geographic Society has mentioned Campi ya Kanzi as the best eco tourism lodge in Africa. To mention some of our achievements: finalist of the 2004 World Legacy Award, winner of 2005 Skal International Ecotourism Award, winner of Tourism for Tomorrow Award 2006, bronze certificate from the Ecotourism Society of Kenya.
Realizing Campi ya Kanzi was not sufficient to make the proper impact to help the entire Maasai community, Luca and Antonella created the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, in 2000.
The Trust employs 43 local Maasai. It is involved in wildlife and environment conservation (through 23 game scouts and 2 lions scouts), in education (through the employment of Maasai teachers at the local schools and by offering secondary school scholarships), in health (assisting two dispensaries and employing a nurse and a doctor.
We have a consolation scheme project, financed through a generous contribution of Hollywood actor Edward Norton and jewels maker Cartier. Livestock killed by predators is compensated to the Maasai, if no predators are killed. This scheme has been proven very efficient in defending the lions population, on the edge of extinction in the African Continent (estimated population of lions in the entire African Continent in the early 90s: 100,000 individuals, four years ago, 23,000, two years ago 18,000).
Guests are encouraged and welcome to visit all the Trust’s activities.

Your hosts, beside the Maasai of the Ranch are Luca Belpietro (Professional Guide) and his wife Antonella. They are ably assisted by a staff of 45 Maasai and by Stefano Ricci. All of them are dedicated to make your safari experience memorable.

Contact Details

Campi ya Kanzi
PO Box 236 - 90128
Mtito Andei, Kenya

Telephone and fax: +254 45 622516
Satellite: +88 2165 1103557
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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