faq

FAQ

Before booking, here are some questions you may have…

Questions

How Much Does It Cost?
Why Do You Charge $100 Conservation Fee?
Are you in a Malaria Area?
How Do I Make a Reservation?
How Are You Sustainable?
Is it Safe?
How Do I Get There?
When is a Good Time to Come?
Why you and What Do You Offer?
How Are You Different?
What Will I Do?
What Will I See?
What Should I Bring?
How Long Should I Stay?
Can I Bring My Children?

How Much Does It Cost?

It depends where you decide to stay and for how long.
We offer four types of accommodations:

Luxury tented cottage 
$750 pppn sharing
$950 pppn single occupancy
$375 per night for a child in a third bed

Hemingway & Simba suites
$950 pppn sharing
$1,200 pppn single occupancy
$475 per night for a child in a third bed

Swimming Pool suite on a per person basis (sleeps 2)
$1,300 pppn

Kanzi House on a per person basis (up to 6 adults & 2 children)
$1,300 pppn

Kanzi House & Swimming Pool suite exclusive use (minimum 3 nights)
$8,000 per night for the first 3 nights
$7,000 per night thereafter
$6,500 per night for bookings of 7 nights or longer
$6,000 per night for bookings of 10 nights or longer

 Bookings are subject to a conservation fee of $101 per adult and $51 per child in the luxury tented cottage and tented suites. Conservation fees for Kanzi House and the Swimming Pool Suite are $151 per adult and $76 per child.

While we understand these rates might not be for everyone, we would like to remind our prospective guests that the rates are all inclusive (full board accommodation, drinks, safari activities) and that being in the middle of true wilderness -while it provides for a unique safari experience – it involves significant logistical costs.
Please read Rates section for details

Why Do You Charge $101 Conservation Fee?

Campi ya Kanzi is a community eco-lodge. For every day a visitor stays with us, $100 are paid to Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. The funds are used for Wildlife Pays, a compensation program which reimburses to the Maasai landlords the losses caused by wildlife to their livestock. The extra $1 is paid to the Chyulu REDD+ carbon credit project, to cover all carbon emission of a guest in a day.
The Trust employs 250 Kenyans and runs conservation, education and health programs.
In return you have 280,000 acres wilderness to explore and enjoy, without other tourists.
As a further return you should know that your visit contributes to preserve the same wilderness, wildlife and tribal culture you come to enjoy.
Should you decide to stay at Kanzi House, you will contribute $151 conservation fee per person per day. We feel that enjoying the luxury of a private villa in the middle of pristine Maasai wilderness, with a swimming pool and a Jacuzzi, calls for a more meaningful give back to the community.

Are you in a Malaria Area?

No, we are not. Luca and Antonella have three very young kids: it is safe, there is no risk of malaria at Campi ya Kanzi and at Kanzi House. Should you visit other areas in East Africa, it would be wise to check with your agent and with your doctor for their advice on antimalaria.

How Do I Make a Reservation?

Go to contacts page, you will be able to choose type of accommodation and dates. We will reply immediately.

How Are You Sustainable?

We are Gold rated (first lodge in Kenya) by Ecotourism Kenya and we are -to our knowledge- the most eco-awarded lodge of East Africa. Sustainability is not just about using renewable resources (the sun, for our electricity and hot water) or minimizing the environmental and carbon footprint of the lodge (water from rains, recycling, no generators, cooking eco-friendly). It is about preserving the very same wilderness, wildlife and people which are hosting us and for which -ultimately- our guests come. We have a decalogue of what is for us “ecotourism”:

1)Real involvement of local communities: Conservation in the 21st century should consider people, so the first point for ecotourism should be how a tourist facility relates to the local communities.
Campi ya Kanzi is a community lodge, in community land, employing locally, paying tourism revenues locally,  supporting a community Trust.
2)Carbon footprint on electricity usage, hot water, cooking:  We use only renewable energies. Photovoltaic panels for our electricity; solar boilers for hot water; we cook all our food in “Agha” stoves where a charcoal made from coffee husks  is used (this eco-friendly charcoal is a project of the United Nations Environmental Program, we have been the first lodge to adopt it, 12 years ago).
3) Environmental footprint on water usage: Campi ya Kanzi fulfills all its water needs by cropping the rains and storing water in special PVC bladders. We have a water catchment  of approximately 8,500 square meters (over 90,000 square ft) and a water storage of approximately 1,200,000 liters (nearly 350,000 gallons)
4) Preservation of wilderness: hard to consider ecotourism not linked with preserving the wilderness one visits. MWCT and Campi ya Kanzi have the same mission: preserving the Maasai wilderness of the Greater Kilimanjaro Ecosystem.
5) Preservation of wildlife: the same applies to wildlife. Ecotourism is about protection of natural resources. In our ecosystem the most valuable resource is wildlife.
6) Preservation of culture: ecotourism cannot happen without considering the local communities. In our case we are dealing with arguably the most iconic tribe of Africa -the Maasai – whose culture is still very much alive, and deserves full protection.
7) Employing locally: in order to support the local communities not only an eco facility should employ locally, but also train local staff. Campi ya Kanzi has a staff of 70 Kenyans, 90% of which are local Maasai. All guides, trackers, maids and waiters are Maasai from the community.
8) Environmental footprint in recycling wastes: not only do we use recyclable energies for our electricity, for our hot water and for our cooking, we also recycle all of the recyclable wastes: organic waste goes into the camp compost, utilized in our organic vegetable garden; wastes are separated (glass, paper, plastic, tins) and recycled were feasible. The un-recyclable wastes are incinerated in a specially built incinerator.
9) Environmental footprint in building: our buildings were built not only with sustainable materials collected locally (lava rocks, thatched grass roofs, etc.), but we avoided any landscaping. No soil was removed (beside the digging for the foundations), and no trees were cut. Local people were employed, instead of contracting builders from outside.
10) Environmental footprint of supplies: sometimes buying locally it is implied as a good environmental practice. It depends on the circumstances. We buy from Nairobi suppliers in bulk, using the best of our knowledge to support those suppliers who care about the environment. Where we are located, local farming is done totally unsustainably; it is leading to subdivision of the land. We have seen many lodges praising themselves for purchasing locally, while by doing so (and saving on logistical costs) they contribute to the destruction of the environment.

Is it Safe?

At Campi ya Kanzi, your safety is our primary concern. No guest of the camp has ever been injured. However, you will be visiting an area where the wild animals are free to roam wherever they wish. This is not a zoo. That is why a professional guide and Maasai trackers will escort you on each safari. On arrival you will be requested to sign a release of liability form. This is a requirement should you like to join our game walks.
Unlike in the National Parks, you will be free to get out of our Land Rover and approach game on foot, accompanied by our guide and trackers. Of course if you wish, you can remain in the vehicle. For any urgent communication, the camp is equipped with a satellite phone.

How Do I Get There?

It’s actually fairly easy. If you can get yourself to Nairobi, we’ll take care of the rest!
Our hostess will meet you at the International Airport in Nairobi and help you with your transfer to our camp. If you arrive late in the day, we’ll take you to your hotel in Nairobi. If you’re coming in early enough, we’ll make the transfer that same day.
Our recommendation is that you take our own air services. We operate commercially a 6 seaters Cessna 206. It just takes one hour to fly from Nairobi to Campi ya Kanzi airstrip. We offer daily flights, 7 days a week, at the most convenient time for our guests. We’ll handle the transfer from Nairobi International to Wilson Airport.
The cost of the flight is $400 per person one way, with a minimum of 2 passengers.
We can also fly you from Mombasa or Malindi, just one hour and 10 minutes flight, for $450 per person one way, with a minimum of 2 passengers.
In all flights maximum total luggage allowed is 15 kg (35 pounds) per passenger, in soft duffel bags.
If you prefer to travel by road, we offer transport from Nairobi to the camp in a 4WD vehicle (maximum four passengers). This costs $800 one way per vehicle, plus $80 per person for the Tsavo National Park entrance fee. The trip is about 200 miles, and takes approximately six hours. We suggest flying.
If you have any questions, please contact us at luca@maasai.com

When is a Good Time to Come?

Anytime is good. Temperatures are very comfortable year-round, with daytime highs around 90sºF/35ºC. Nighttime lows are around 50sºF/14ºC. The coolest month is July, with January and February being the warmest. During the Short Rains of November, there may be brief showers several times per night. During the Long Rains (April to mid-May), there will be nights with a lot of heavy showers. During and after the rains the landscape is particularly attractive. At this time, everything is green and the elephant population is at its peak. Kilimanjaro will have snow peaks, all will be blossoming. We therefore find April, May and November very pleasant months to come at Campi ya Kanzi. Depending on other destinations in your safari, you might need to consider a different season (for example: February for calving in the Serengeti, July/August and mid to late October for the great migration in the Maasai Mara, November/December for a great stay at the Coast).

Why You and What Do You Offer?

Why should you choose us?
For three special reasons:
1) Exclusive wilderness: with 280,000 acres (400 square miles) we are 2/3 the size of the Maasai Mara reserve (or 20 times Manhattan Island!). The Maasai Mara has room for 5,000 tourists, while Campi ya Kanzi  has room for just 16 guests.
You will enjoy real African wilderness in privacy and exclusivity, away from the zoo safari experience typical of a National Park.
2) Best safari location: you will be in one of the most iconic (if not the most) places for a safari. We are just 30 miles away from 19,340 ft Kilimanjaro. Campi ya Kanzi is on the foothills of the Chyulu Hills, Hemingway’s Green Hills of Africa. Lions, Elephants, Buffaloes, Giraffes, Zebras all type of antelopes populate the reservation. This is a place you do not want to miss in your safari.
3) Personal hosting: you will not be in an hotel, but in our home in the bush. Us (Luca and Antonella, the founders) and the Maasai (who are the landlords of this Paradise) will be your hosts. All activities will be tailor made on your desires, from classic game drives in many different habitats, to lovely game walks with a Maasai guide and a Maasai tracker.

Campi ya Kanzi offers an authentic safari experience, in a pristine and iconic wilderness, with a connection to the local Maasai tribe which is profound and genuine.
We provide you with the ability to enjoy a safari away from the tourists’ crowds: 280,000 acres of wilderness for a maximum of 16 guests.
The different landscapes and the immense biodiversity mean your wildlife experience will be rich and diverse.
We also offer an amazing arrays of safari activities, not just game drives and game walks, but also a real understanding and connection with the Maasai community, fly camping and flight excursions.
Walking on foot with a Maasai tracker, learning to read footprints, to approach wildlife, to identify trees and birds: pretty special.
Contrary to most of other lodges in East Africa, here you are hosted by the founders.
Visiting us offers you the chance to explore one of the last wild places in East Africa, while your visit plays a role in preserving it.

How Are You Different?

In terms of viewing wildlife, there are several differences. Normally, in a National Park, you must stay in your vehicle (mini-van or four wheel drive). It is against Park regulations to get out of the vehicle at any time. Since Campi ya Kanzi is located in the Maasai-owned Kuku Group Ranch, these laws do not apply. Therefore, while staying with us you will be able to enjoy, in safety, different walks: in the savanna, in the cloud forest, next to the lake, on the river. Also, Campi ya Kanzi is very exclusive: our camp hosts a maximum of 16 visitors in our eight tented cottages. 280,000 acres of wilderness all for our guests!
We are 2/3 the size of the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. However, the Maasai Mara has beds for over 5,000 tourists. At Campi ya Kanzi, you will see game, but you will never be surrounded by hordes of mini-vans full of tourists!
Animals in the Parks are more used to vehicles, and easier to approach. The draw back is that they will ignore you and there will be very little, if at all, interaction between you and them.
At Campi ya Kanzi animals are wild; they behave naturally and you will not have the zoo safari experience of the crowded Parks.
We focus in providing information about animal behavior, ecology, biology, geology. We would like to pass you our passion for the wilderness; the more knowledge and experience we will be able to pass you, the better guides we will have been.
We like to focus on your connection with the Maasai community, what is going on and why, the interaction of different species, the social behavior among one species, conservation challenges. Your experience withis will not just be about what animals you will see.

What Will I Do?

Whatever you like! At most of other lodges, your days will be scheduled with very little flexibility, if some at all.
When you arrive at Campi ya Kanzi Luca will brief you about the camp and what safari activities can be arranged for you. He will learn from you what your interests are, what your previous African experiences have been, what you like most.
With your help, he will tailor make the perfect safari for you.
In other words you will decide, with our assistance and experience, what you will do.
There are very many activities to choose from (game drives, game walks, forest walks, bird watching, scenic flights, Maasai village visits, Trust activities visits, fly camping, excursion to Tsavo…), you will be surprised by how “busy” you will be. But we suggest that part of your safari experience should be about embracing the “African time” and “cleanse” yourself from the hectic pace of the Western world. Nothing wrong in considering taking “a break” and simply enjoy looking at Kilimanjaro and at the wildlife coming to drink at the camp waterhole, from the veranda of your tent.

What Will I See?

The Big Five (elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion and leopard) are all findable here.
The ranch is permanent home to many prides of lions, and others roam from Amboseli National Park and Tsavo West National Park. Zebras and giraffes are very common. We have herds of elephants and many hartebeests, wildebeests and Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelles. Impalas and Cape buffaloes are frequently seen as well. Hippos are easy to find, and baboons are quite common. We have leopards and black rhinos on the ranch, but they can be harder to spot.
We have some very interesting gazelles and antelopes (quite uncommon elsewhere) such as the lesser kudu, fringe-eared oryx, klipspringer, gerenuk, mountain reedbuck, bush pig and -in the cloud forest – the giant forest hog. Although seldom seen, the endangered African wild dog are residents of the ranch. Other common animals include dik dik, duiker, hyena, jackals, serval, caracal, bat-eared fox, aardwolf, wart hog, eland, waterbuck, bushbuck, cheetah, porcupine, aardvark, mongoose, and many others. In addition, the ranch is home to a spectacular array of bird life.
Of course, the ranch is very large and animals roam from place to place every day. Thus, there can be no assurance that on any given day you will see a particular species, or even that during your stay you will see all the species mentioned above. However, the ranch is rich in wildlife, and the longer you stay, the more you will see.
Our best record in one day of safari has been to spot 33 different species of mammals! Our record for bird species sighted in one day is 73!
Generally speaking you will see more quantity of game in a National Park. Here you will enjoy more diversity (you will see more species here than in the average National Park), you will immerse yourself in an authentic tribal experience, you will feel privileged by not being surrounded by tourists, you will be provided with all our knowledge about animals, their behavior, their ecology and the challenges to preserve them.

What Should I Bring?

In general, dress at the camp is casual and comfortable, and the climate is temperate.
Email us and we will send a list of what we suggest you bring. It is really important that you pack in soft luggage (duffel bags) with no armored case and wheels. Luggage allowance is strictly 33pounds or 15kg total luggage per person: exceeding it will not be solved by charging for extra kgs… if you are traveling by chartered airplane you might be required to charter a bigger plane, with significant extra cost.
The nearest store is six hours away over dirt roads, so double-check what you’re bringing!

How Long Should I Stay?

Our experience is that guests who stay longer enjoy their visit more. The best motto for the best holiday, especially in Africa, should be quality time in quality places.
There are so many different animals, so many different environments, that you could stay with us for two weeks doing something different every day. With habitats that include a lake, three rivers, wide open plains and the clouds forest of the Chyulu Hills, you can enjoy most of the East African vegetation and the animals which inhabit it.
A day excursion to Tsavo National Park, visiting the impressive Mzima Spring home to crocodiles and hippos will be extremely interesting.
A night spent in a fly camp will be a unique experience of real safari. We also offer an extension to Tsavo East, where guests can visit an amazing orphanage, where elephants are reintroduced into the wilderness. Also, resting longer in one place instead of rushing from one place to another, makes a holiday more relaxing. Do not make the mistake to rush from one lodge to the other for just two nights in each place.
Though the recommended stay is between 5 to 7 days, there is no minimum requirement. Even if you have less than four days, you can still have a very enjoyable holiday with us.

Can I Bring My Children?

Yes, indeed, but as long as you and your children understand fully what a safari experience with us is all about.
Our safari experience is special and we desire all our guests enjoying it.
While we love to have children around, some guests may not. So keep in mind that Campi ya Kanzi is not a resort with a swimming pool (unless you stay at Kanzi House), or with an area where children can be left unattended to play. A family with children might consider Kanzi House for a completley private stay.
Maasai staff love children. The trackers will share all their lore with them. A visit to the schools may be a very enlightening moment in their lives, comparing their Western world with a very different one.
Children will need to be respectful of animals.
Silence while on safari is a key to approach game successfully.
Therefore the experience of Campi ya Kanzi is reserved to well mannered children (an endangered species?)!
We enjoyed in many occasions families with children, as young as three years old.
Our daughter, Lucrezia (born in July 2002), and our sons Jacopo (April 2007) and Lorenzo (May 2009) live at the camp (since they were 5 days old!) and will love to have playmates around.
A safari with us will be an unforgettable experience for your children and for your family.
It will be an educative experience as well.
Up to you now to decide if your children are fit for the above or not…

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