Campi ya Kanzi was built by and for the Maasai. Located on Kuku Group Ranch, the “Camp of the Hidden Treasure” is the only safari lodge on a Maasai-owned reserve spanning 283,000 acres of pristine wilderness at the foot of the Chyulu Hills in southern Kenya. Campi Ya Kanzi was founded in 1996 by Italian-born Luca Belpietro and his wife Antonella Bonomi.
Luca who was born in Italy, and with his family have been a part of Africa since 1969. Campi Ya Kanzi has been a model of sustainable and responsible tourism. The camp uses only solar power and rain water in order to preserve Maasai lands. It also celebrates Maasai culture by employing warriors to perform traditional dances and we support local women’s groups by purchasing beaded jewelry in the villages.
During the Ecowarrior Award which was held on 27th Sep 2017 on the World Tourism Day, Campi ya Kanzi won under SDG13, which in form of an order states; Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Apart from the make conservation initiatives the camp conducts, they currently supporting MWCT and other conservation organizations in the development of a REDD+ carbon project that will sell carbon credits to ensure the preservation of forests and grasslands in the Chyulu Hills. The REDD+ carbon project which was launched with 2 million credits paves the way for ecosystem-scale conservation efforts to finally grow beyond perpetual dependency on philanthropic grant funding and finally be underwritten sustainably and long-term by cutting edge market economic models. Every guest is charged a dollar per stay towards this initiative as well to remain carbon neutral
The project creates benefits for the community and the ecosystem in the following ways: preserving 1,000,000 acres of land, conserving 3 National Parks & a vital dispersal area for Amboseli National Park, helping 70,000 Maasai people, preserving a critical watershed, feeding water to Mombasa (2nd largest city in Kenya) and protecting iconic and endangered wildlife.
The Judges’ comments: Campi ya Kanzi is at the forefront with one of Kenya’s most successful climate action programs. Collaborating with host community in carbon trading program that is transforming lives and attitudes towards the environment. The REDD+ carbon project that will sell carbon credits to ensure the preservation of forests and grasslands in the Chyulu Hills. Purchase of carbon credits, every guest is charged a dollar per stay towards this initiative as well to remain carbon neutral. 2 million carbon credits available for purchase. Impressive and quantified benefits to community through the Maasai wilderness Conservation Trust.