National Geographic – Adventure

Best New Trips in the World: Track Lions in Kenya’s Campi ya Kanzi KENYA: Save the King!

Lion kills cow, Maasai warrior kills lion. Its a centuries-old conflict in the Kenyan bush. But in the past ten years lion populations across Africa have plummeted from 100,000 to 23,000, transforming the issue into a full-fledged crisis. Alarmed research crews have come to Kenya to study the cats and teach the Maasai ways to live with them harmoniously. But one conservation group is way ahead of the curve. Kuku Group Ranch, a 280,000-acre spread in the Chyulu Hills of southern Kenya, is entirely owned and operated by the Maasai themselves. And so far theyve had dramatic success with their cat-protection efforts: In a recent 30-month period, the ranchs lion population jumped from 15 to 52. Now, in conjunction with Geographic Expeditions, Kuku will bring in its first guest-researchers.




“The marathon was excruciating but exhilarating at the same time. There were so many in the crowd yelling encouragement. It was inspiring”
Edward Norton does nothing by halves. One of Hollywoods most powerful actors, he does not so much act as live the roles that have won him critical acclaim and Oscar nominations. For the controversial Fight Club, he took lessons in boxing, taekwondo and grappling and for American History X he packed on 30lb of muscle for his role. His next outing on the big screen will see him playing a convicted arsonist in the thriller Stone, opposite Milla Jovovich and the legendary Robert De Niro, to whom he is often compared.

Los Andes online

África: elegir un lugar

Comunidad, turismo y conservación van de la mano en un campamento de lujo ubicado a los pies del Kilimanjaro, en Kenya. Un lugar indicado para los que están buscando armonía o cenar al lado de una fogata bajo el cielo africano.

domingo, 08 de noviembre de 2009 Campi ya Kanzi (ubicado en Chyulu Hills, Ernest Hemingway’s Green Hills de África) es el sueño de Luca Belpietro convertido en realidad. Él fue arrastrado por su padre a la pasión por África y tuvo en su sangre el deseo de vivir en ese mágico continente desde la infancia. Todo comenzó en el verano de 1968 cuando Luca tenía apenas 4 años y pasó su primera noche solo en una pequeña carpa en el jardín de su casa de campo. Quería demostrarle a su papá que estaba listo para participar de un safari.

Ese sentimiento de pertenecer a África ha caracterizado toda su vida y eventualmente lo ha guiado a los lugares que quería conocer. Así, no pudo resistir el llamado de ese continente. Fue de esta manera como finalmente en 1995 dejó su compañía consultora en Italia y se estableció en Kenya junto con su esposa Antonella, una abogada recién recibida, con quien ideó Campi Ya Kanzi.

Ellos querían crear algo distinto y luego de una larga búsqueda eligieron la reserva Maasai, al pie de las colinas de Kilimanjaro entre Kenya y Tanzania, y compraron un páramo que pertenecía al Kuku Group Ranch. A partir de ese momento, su plan incluía el desafío de involucrar a la comunidad Maasai en la preservación de su propia tierra, vida salvaje y cultura. No había nada: ni caminos, ni edificios, ni agua.

Todo estaba por ser hecho. Por ejemplo el agua debía ser traída en tractor desde lejos, pero los Maasai cooperaron. Tras dos años de duro trabajo estuvo listo Campi Ya Kanzi, definido como un lodge comunitario de eco turismo.

Luca recuerda con nostalgia los días en los que tenía que ducharse con un balde sostenido de la rama de un árbol. En cambio Antonella está muy contenta con el agua corriente y la electricidad. Pero los dos coincidieron en que querían dedicar sus vidas a la conservación de la herencia de este paraíso que ellos ahora llaman casa.



Kenya’s Chyulu hills: Visions in African widescreen

On the hills that inspired Hemingway, Brian Jackman drinks in the other-worldly beauty of Kenya’s sunlit plains and meets a couple on a mission to help the Maasai preserve the local lion population. Sundowners in the Chyulu hills are always special but they don’t come any better than this. I am sitting in the heart of Maasailand in Kenya on a rock the size of St Paul’s Cathedral, looking for cheetahs on the plains below.

This is widescreen Africa as I have never seen it before. Far to the north-west, across endless vistas of grass and scrub, lies the elephant country of Amboseli. If I turn around I can see the volcanic summits of Tsavo National Park receding over the horizon. Ahead, backlit by the setting sun, looms the unearthly vision of Mount Kilimanjaro; and behind, bathed in golden light, are the Chyulu hills themselves, a voluptuous backdrop of volcanic summits covered in dense cloud forest.
The Chyulus are among the youngest hills on Earth. Their steep emerald slopes look as if they have been here forever, yet they were flung up around the time Columbus was discovering America. Only the black lava flows spilling down their flanks bear out the truth of their cataclysmic birth.

Hemingway had them in mind when he wrote Green Hills of Africa, and who could blame him? This is landscape on an epic scale, and Luca Belpietro, who has brought me here, wanted to show me why of all places on Earth he and Antonella, his wife, chose to make it their home.
“I was born too late,” he laments as we sit on a Maasai blanket, drinking wine from Antonella’s Italian vineyard, scanning the crags for sure-footed klipspringer antelopes and listening to the cries of redwing starlings as shadows lengthen and a rind of moon appears above us.

He grew up in Italy but his father, a doctor, had a passion for big game hunting and was a regular visitor to east Africa. “He took me for the first time when I was 10,” says Luca. “I was totally bewitched and knew I would live there one day.” In 1995 he left his management consultancy company and flew out to Kenya for good. There, on the 400 square miles of the Kuku Ranch, he and Antonella built Campi ya Kanzi, a luxury safari lodge. The ranch is communally owned by 7,000 Maasai pastoralists, and money raised from tourism helps to maintain their traditional way of life.

Now in his mid-thirties with close-cropped hair and faded blue eyes, Luca has the patrician profile of a Caesar. “We sank every last lira into this crazy venture,” he says, “but profit is not the final goal. The investment is in seeing that the Maasai and their culture survive along with the landscape and the animals that live here.”


La Repubblica delle Donne

Da pastori seminomadi a travel manager e custodi della biodiversità.
La tribù simbolo del Kenya lavora per il futuro. Con la complicità di due italiani.


Nylon Magazine

…Founded by in Italian couple, the camp benefits the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, which keeps the surrounding land out of hands of developers, and in those of the Maasai tribe – one of whose junior chiefs, Samson, takes us on walking tours across the terrain, more green than gold…The young volcanic hills that surround us are known here as the Chyulu Hills, but more familiar, at least to American high school students, as Hemingway’s titular Green Hills of Africa…

Traveller – World Savers Awards

A new Maasai Model Winner Small Resort: CAMPI YA KANZI

When Luca Belpietro, managing director of an Italian consulting firm, moved to Kenya to open a safari camp in 1996, he didn’t dream of amassing a fortune from his wealthy guests. His wish was to ensure the protection of the wilderness, the wildlife, and Maasai culture. He made a deal with the Maasai on the Kuku Group Ranch: if they would set aside 280,000 acres as a nature reserve, he would finance a solar-powered safari camp that they could staff. Once the camp was running, Belpietro started the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, which has helped build schools, sponsor scholarships, pay for medical supplies, and employ game scouts. Last year Campi ya Kanzi injected some $650,000 into the community. (Guest pay a $70 per day fee that goes to the trust, though many give more).

Traveltip: visit the homes of Maasai who own the safari camp, or tour Campi ya Kanzi -supported schools. “The Maasai are not interested – and neither are we – in changing their way of living. This tribe is the one one in Kenya that hasn’t abandoned the traditional lifestyle” Luca Belpietro, Campi ya Kanzi.


Kenya – Campi ya Kanzi
The brainchild of an Italian expat with an economics degree, the Maasai owned Campi ya Kanzi is a brilliant model of how conservation can be a profitable local enterprise. Set on Maasai land in southern Kenya, the lodge and its foundation employ 160 tribespeople and make a daily $70 per guest donation to support new schools, merit scholarships and compensation payments to Maasai who’ve lost cattle to lions. Guest benefit too. Not only do they get to stay in stylish solar-powered cottages, complete with oriental rugs and brass fixtures, but they can also take a walking safari with a Maasai guide in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro.


Flying into Kenya ‘s Campi ya Kanzi, it is impossibìe to decide which way to look. To the right of the 12-seater jet are the Chyulu Hills: verdant waves created by volcanic eruptions, the lava paths stili visible in the form of hundreds of fingers demarcating the lush cloud forests below. To the left, Kilimanjaro straddles the Kenya-Tanzania border, its summits, Kibo and Mawenzi, linked by an 11.2km saddle floating in an alpine desert 5,791m above sea level.

Open-air Land Rovers whisk guests to the camp its name means ‘camp of the hidden treasure’ in Swahili – stopping perhaps to track a pride of lions that had been spotted earlier that morning. There they are met by the owners, a stylish young family from northern Italy: Luca Belpietro, Antonella Bonomi (whose family owns the Bonomi Tenuta Castellino vineyard near Milan, renowned for its sparkling wines) and their four-year-old daughter, Lucrezia.
Belpietro leads the way to Tembo House, a lava-stone and thatched-roof lodge that belies the splendour inside stone fìreplace, large antique dining table, library stacked with volumes on Africa, expansive verandah with plush tangerine cushions on wicker chairs and panoramic views of Kilimanjaro. He introduces the staff, referring to the 39 Maasai in traditional dress as our hosts, before serving a lunch that uses recipes from Italy and vegetables from an organic garden yards away (think pasta with green beans and olives, a basii and tornato salad, wine from the Bonomi vineyard}.

When Belpietro and Bonomi set out to build a small luxury safari camp, they wanted to avoid messy land dìsputes and the strìct rules of the national park system, which dictate that guests must always stay in jeeps on designated roads. Mostly, though, they wanted to partner with an indigenous community to create a new model for sustaining Kenya’s wildlife. Belpietro, an ardent conservationist who spent much of bis youth on safari with the last of the white hunters, explains that the old model for land conservation drawing a circle around an area to protect it – no longer works. Anìrnals easily travel in and out of reserves, becoming prey to hunters, poachers and farmers. He offers three statistics to prove bis point: 75 per cent of the country’s wildlife lives outside the national parks; over the last 40 years Kenya has experienced a baby boom that has tripled its population; in the last ten years the lion population has dwindled from 100,000 to 18,000. His is a deceptively simple solution -working with private landowners to develop eco-camps that bcnefìt entire communities.

Under a uniquely progressive model, the Maasai are, essentially, Belpietro and Bonomi’s landlords on these l,036sq km of pristine land, the very same area mythologised by Hemingway in Green Hills of Africa.
All staff come from within the community, and the Maasai chief’s son is the camp’s head guide.
A portion of all lodge fees goes to a trust that funds 14 schools with 20 teachers and to secondary-school scholarships for outstanding students. The trust pays for Maasai elders to teach in the schools -meaning that the children won’t abandon their own culture in the process of gaining a Western education as well as for a dìspensary with permanent doctor’s quarters and a sterile delivery room. It also protects Kenya’s lion population by directly compensating those who have lost livestock to predators.
Meanwhile, guests at the camp are immersed in luxury. They stay in solar-powered tented cottages with Italian linens, private verandahs, stone bathrooms and fresh flowers. They hike to a mountaintop to watch sunsets, the only visitors on an endless swath of unspoiled land where herds of giraffes and wildebeest roam.
It wasn’t easy for Belpietro and Bonomi to gain the Maasai’s trust.Tribe members recali how their elders watched, bewildered, as the British and Germans fought World War I on their land, and it took several years for the couple to convince the tribal council of their good intentions. But the result is an astonishing source of hope – many conservatìonists believc Kanzi to be a top model for sustainable wildlife development.Watching 50 zebra drink from a lake in the savannah as four Maasai shepherds walk their cattle across the same piujis; !t seems the forces behind Kanzi may indeed be onto something. From $430 per person, plus a $40 daily conservation fee; +44 20 7491 0300;


Viaggio in Kenya di Maddalena Fossati
Kenya, ovvero ritorno alla natura: il filo rosso da seguire quando si progetta un viaggio nel paese africano va in questa direzione, privilegiando un’ospitalità nel segno del rispetto dell’ambiente. … La meta è Campi ya Kanzi, dove Luca Belpietro e sua moglie Antonella hanno iniziato una nuova vita, lasciando Brescia e lo smog per avviare un’iniziativa di turismo ecosolidale volto a salvaguardare la cultura maasai. Le tende dove alloggiano gli ospiti sono d’ispirazione spartana, ma sempre confortevoli e con un tocco di chic, dai copriletti maculati così ovvi da diventare avant-garde alle poltrone ed ai cuscini rivestiti da tessuti maasai. La sera si va in tenda per dormire scortati dal proprio attendente guerriero con lancia…
Non ci sono architetti o designer creativi da queste parti, il decor delle stanze lo fanno piuttosto con spontaneità gli alberi di papaya e le pietre. Così, esattamente come è il Kenya.