Campi ya Kanzi
The Maasai are the landlords at this inspirational lodge that received Travel + Leisure’s 2014 Global Vision Award for Conservation. Campi ya Kanzi is a cutting-edge example of sustainable tourism and community-based conservation. Set on 260,000 acres but hosting only 16 guests at a time, Campi ya Kanzi is located in one of the most unspoiled areas of Africa, which remains so in part due to the efforts of Campi ya Kanzi and MWCT. While the privacy of the lodge is a compelling reason to visit, it is the local Maasai guides, who offer companionship and an introduction to their home, that make the experience at Campi ya Kanzi so unforgettable. Nestled in the Chyulu Hills, which Hemingway made famous, this unique project is the vision of Italian husband and wife team Luca Belpietro and Anotella Bonomi. In building the lodge, their goal was also to build a partnership with the local Maasai as a way to protect their cultural heritage and local wildlife.
The lodge, which embodies all the best aspects of ecotourism while providing one of the most memorable safari experiences available, runs on a profit-sharing platform in conjunction with the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. A portion of the proceeds from each night’s stay at the lodge supports a community fund that covers the salaries of over 100 anti-poaching scouts. The trust further protects the community and wildlife by doubling as an insurance agency for herders, compensating them when lions or cheetahs attack their livestock and de-incentivizing the practice of retaliatory killings.