Rating: Deluxe Price from: £515-£680 pp full board
Campi ya Kanzi lies in a 400 square mile group ranch, owned by Masai herdsmen, situated next to Amboseli National Park and bordering Tsavo West and Chyulu National Parks. The camp accommodates a maximum of 16 guests and provides a unique opportunity to experience the real African wilderness. Here guests can experience most of the different environments of Kenya, including mountain forest, grasslands, river woodlands, bush and savanna, and the wildlife that inhabit these environments. Beside the "Big Five" animals of elephant, rhino, leopard, lion and buffalo, rarer animals such lesser kudu, gerenuk, cheetah and wild dog are sometimes seen.
Campi ya Kanzi is centered around Tembo House. Here guests can relax in the lounge, reading books from the library, playing backgammon or listening to classical music while enjoying a refreshing cold drink. The terrrace has stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro, just 35 miles away, the Taita Hills, the Chyulu Hills and the camp's waterhole. Meals are taken in Tembo House, include candelit dinners. Italian cuisine (pasta, risotto, freshly baked bread and ice cream) is the speciality, but local and international dishes are also served. Meals are complemented by fine Italian wines.
Accommodation is in 6 tented cottages and 2 tented suites. Each cottage has a wooden floor and verandah and an ensuite elegant bathroom with brass taps, bidet, basin, shower, flush toilet and hot and cold running water. All have a large log bed, a table, a colonial trunk, shelves and hangers for clothes. All furniure is locally made. The Hemingway Suite (Ernest Hemingway wrote 'The Green Hills of Africa' about the nearby Chyulu Hills) and Simba (Sahili for lion) Suite are spacious, with the same features as the cottages but also with a separate dressing room and views of the waterhole and Kilimanjaro. Each tent and suite has a dedicated Maasai attendant.
Being located outside the National Park means that you have total freedom to walk and the camp offers guided walks with Maasai trackers, You can also take game drives in open vehicles. Visits to local Maasai villages can also be arranged. Enjoying a sundowner in the company of a Maasai elder as he shares his culture and traditions, is a great way to round off the day.
Open: Campi ya Kanzi is open all year.
Location: Campi ya Kanzi is on a private Maasai reservation of about 280,000 acres about 35 miles from Mount Kilimanjaro. It is the only camp in the reservation.This area is a natural corridor for wildlife moving between Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks. The camp has its own airstrip and the flight from Nairobi takes one hour.
Rooms: There are 6 tented cottages and 2 suites, accommodating a maximum of 16 guests between them. All have an en-suite bathroom with shower, basin, flush toilet, bidet and hot and cold running water, plus a wide viewing deck with views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the Tsavo and Chyulu Hills and the waterhole. Suites also have a dressing room and sitting area. Each cottage and suite has its own Maasai attendant.
Additional accommodation is available in Kanzi House, which has 3 double and 2 twin rooms and can only be booked in its entirety and for a minimum of at least 3 nights, and is ideal for parties of friends or large family groups. The accommodation is self-contained and includes a Jacuzzi and swimming pool.
Activities: On arrival you’ll be briefed of the activities available and these will be tailored to your interest and wishes. Activities include game drives, nature walks with a guides and Maasai tracker, specialist safaris for bird watchers and photographers, Maasai village and school visits, horse riding and bush meals. Other options include game drives in Tsavo West and Tsavo East National Parks, scenic flights and fly camping. Some of these activities need to be booked in advance and incur an extra charge. The camp employs staff from the local Maasai community and has established the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust with the community, promoting sustainable conservation of the wilderness, wildlife and cultural heritage.
Facilities: The main building is called Tembo House and is a thatched structure with a large lounge, bar, dining area and terrace. Interiors are warm and inviting with large open fires. There is a selection of books and a stereo system. The camp has a wellness centre, Kanzi Amani, with a massage room, pool and jacuzzi. Campi ya Kanzi is 100% solar-powered. The founders and owners of the camp, Luca Belpietro and Antonella Bonomi, live at Campi ya Kanzi with their 3 young children and will be your hosts.
Dining: Meals are taken communally at a large dining table with other guests and the camp’s owners, Luca and Antonella. Italian food is the speciality but local and continental dishes are also offered. Vegetables are grown in the organic garden and wines come from Antonella’s Italian vineyard.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome. Each of the cottages and suites can take a 3rd bed for a child.
Health: This is not a malarial area.
Communication: There is no internet access.
Campi ya Kanzi is a pioneer ecotourism lodge owned and run by a Maasai community for the benefit of the local people. Here you will have a truly authentic experience of the Maasai culture whilst also enjoying the amazing wildlife surround the lodge.
Each day you spend here you are contributing a $100 conservation fee to the Maasai Wilderness Conservation trust (MWC). The MWC employs over 200 people in projects for conservation, health and education, human-wildlife conflict issues, and encouraging the local lion population.