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Campi ya Kanzi

Campi ya Kanzi in Amboseli, Kenya - Eco-resorts

Type: Eco-lodge

Region: Amboseli

Activities: Game Walking, Cultural Visits, Bird Watching, Elephant Research

Safaris: Upon Request

Imagine starting your day with the aroma of fresh Kenyan coffee or tea brought to your tent by your personal Masai attendant, while enjoying the privacy of your veranda overlooking majestic Mount Kilimanjaro.

Imagine taking a guided walking safari with local trackers to show you the rich flora and fauna of this undiscovered paradise, while playing a role in the conservation of this unique habitat.

Welcome to Campi ya Kanzi, Camp of the Hidden Treasure, which lies in a 400 square mile group ranch, owned by Masai herdsmen. Situated just next to Amboseli National Park and bordering Tsavo West and Chyulu National Parks, this camp accommodates a maximum of 12 guests and provides a unique opportunity to experience the real African wilderness.

Stretching from the Chyulu Hills to the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the ranch's altitude ranges from 3,000 feet to 6,900 feet. The variation and the vastness of the area assures an incredible biodiversity. Here you can enjoy most of the different environments of Kenya, including mountain forest, grasslands, river woodlands, bush and savanna, and the wildlife that inhabit these environments.

More then 50 different mammals and 400 bird species are found on the ranch. Beside the "Big Five" animals of elephant, rhino, leopard, lion and buffalo, rare animals such lesser Kudu, gerenuk, cheetah and wild dog inhabit the ranch as well. Plains game is very rich; interesting antelopes such as the Klipspringer and the mountain reedbuck are found on the hills. The fringed ear oryx and the Masai giraffe are very common.

Campi ya Kanzi in Amboseli, Kenya - Eco-resorts

Campi Ya Kanzi has been centered around Tembo House (Elephant House, so named because of a log which resembles the shape of an elephant trunk!). Here you will enjoy your Italian meals, read a book from the library, play backgammon or simply enjoy one of the many views of Kilimanjaro, Taita Hills and the Chyulu Hills.

The Camp has been built with the lowest environmental impact, using thatched roofs, lava rocks and Masai crafts. The additional Italian décor makes it a very special place!

There are six tents and the Hemingway tented suite, named after Ernest Hemingway who was thinking of the Chyulu Hills when he wrote his famous "Green Hills of Africa". Each tent enjoys different views. They all have a wooden floor ending with a verandah, and an ensuite elegant bathroom, with brass taps, bidet, basin, shower, flush toilet and hot and cold running water. Each tent has a large log bed, a table, a colonial trunk, shelves and hangers for your clothes.

The tents 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 the National Parks consists in the total freedom to walk. An early morning walk with a Masai tracker, looking for the cheetah or leopard found near the camp is an unforgettable experience. The most enjoyable safaris are a combination of easy walks and game drives.

For the more active guests, you may concentrate on beautiful walks from the Chyulu forest to the savanna plains, along rivers and through lava flows. All the vehicles are open Land Rover Defenders, and the game drive is taken with your guide (either Luca Belpietro or David Nicholas) and your Masai tracker. The biodiversity of the area needs four or five days to be really enjoyed.

The record number of animals seen on one day was at Lake Arpakai with 73 different birds and 19 species of mammals counted. A total of 1,237 animals were seen in the same day!

Birdwatching at Campi ya Kanzi in Amboseli, Kenya - Eco-resorts

The Masai are showing you their home and they are very proud of it. A visit to one of the local villages with your Masai tracker will introduce you to their cultural heritage in a very natural and enjoyable way.

Campi ya Kanzi's main goal is to make wildlife profitable, through tourism. The camp has been planned, built and realized with the total involvement of the Masai local landlords. 75% of Kenyan wildlife lives outside of National Parks and Game Reserves; the only way to preserve it is to make it valuable for the landlords.

Campi ya Kanzi is a community project that employs only Masai from the ranch area. A conservation fee of $20 per person per day is used to reimburse the Masai who have lost their livestock to wild animals, to help the poorest and the best students continue their education and to provide the community with basic medicines. By staying at Campi ya Kanzi you will not only visit one of Kenya's most uncharted areas, but you will play a very important role in conservation, both of wildlife and of the Masai cultural heritage.

One of the most environmentally friendly camps in East Africa, everything at Campi ya Kanzi is solar, from the electricity to hot water. No firewood is used in the kitchen, only charcoal made by UNEP (United Nation Environment Project) utilizing coffee husks. All water is recycled through lava filters, supplying the vegetable garden and two water ponds where lion and gazelle come to drink.

The total involvement of the Masai community is unique. The camp is their camp and they share its profits.

Campi Ya Kanzi is based on the owner's economics thesis: "Sustainable development and environmental conservation: wildlife as a natural resource in Kenya". In the first two years of operation, Campi ya Kanzi is already demonstrating how community, tourism and conservation work together for a mutual benefit.

Your hosts, beside the Masai of the Ranch, are Luca Belpietro (Professional Guide) and his wife Antonella. They are ably assisted by Kenyan born David Nicholas as a guide and by a staff of 30 Masai. All of them are dedicated to making your safari experience memorable!

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