Absolute Travel’s Katie Losey and Brooke Garnett are currently traveling in Tanzania and Kenya. They are sending us updates from the road…
It is a challenge to stand out in New York City, but during November’s marathon, I couldn’t help but notice two Maasai runners in their traditional bright blue and red shukas. Little did I know that only a few months later I would reunite with them on their home turf – and then I would be the one who stood out!
One of the Maasai runners from the marathon!
Campi ya Kanzi is nestled between the Chyulu Hills and Amboseli and Tsavo West National Parks, with dramatic views of Mt. Kilimanjaro from its 280,000 acres. This unique project is the vision of Italian husband and wife team Luca Belpietro and Anotella Bonomi, whose goal was to build a partnership with the local Maasai as a way to protect their cultural heritage and local wildlife. Luca’s exposure to Kenya began when he was a little boy accompanying his father on hunting expeditions in eastern Africa. Over time, his purpose for being there evolved and he dedicated his work to protecting the fragile ecosystems and demonstrating that conservation is a means of profitable survival. Their passion for and knowledge of this corner of the world was very evident to us, and certainly was recognized among the people they now call their neighbors.
View from Campi ya Kanzi
Campi ya Kanzi is not trying to be a cultural immersion program, but we all left with a much better appreciation for traditional Maasai life. And one of our traveling companions, JD, spent the afternoon running alongside our guide Parashi to his village. It turns out that they had finished the NYC marathon within four minutes of each other just months before!
We are already planning our Maasai friends’ visit to our home turf when they return to New York next year!
– Katie (and Brooke)