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  • chyulu hills


How Much Does It Cost?

It depends on your choice of accommodation and the length of your stay.
We offer four types of accommodation:

Luxury Tented Cottages
$750 per person per night (sharing)
$950 per person per night (single occupancy)
$375 per child per night (in a third bed)

Luxury Tented Suites
$950 per person per night (sharing)
$1,200 per person per night (single occupancy)
$475 per child per night (in a third bed)

Swimming Pool Suite
if booked on a per person basis (sleeps two)
$1,300 per person per night

Kanzi House
if booked on a per person basis (up to six adults and two children)
$1,300 per person per night

Kanzi House and Swimming Pool Suite
if  booked together in exclusivity for a group (minimum of three nights)
$8,000 per night for the first three nights
$7,000 per night thereafter
$6,500 per night for bookings of seven nights or longer
$6,000 per night for bookings of ten nights or longer

Bookings are subject to additional conservation fees that directly support the community projects of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.  The fees are $101 per adult per night and $51 per child per night in the luxury tented cottages and luxury tented suites.  The fees are $151 per adult per night and $76 per child per night for Kanzi House and the Swimming Pool Suite.  You can read more about the importance of these fees on the Trust website.

The luxury tented cottages and luxury tented suites are designed to accommodate two people each.  When two people are sharing, they will be charged the standard "sharing" rate.  If one person occupies a tented cottage or tented suite alone, a higher "single occupancy" rate is charged because the second space inside cannot be booked by someone else.  In the safari industry, cost is assigned by bed space and not by room.

While we understand that these rates might not be for everyone, we would like to remind our prospective guests that the rates are all-inclusive, covering full board, drinks, accommodation, and safari activities.  While pristine wilderness provides for a unique safari experience, operating a lodge here involves significant logistical costs.

Please see the Rates section for details.

Why Do You Charge Conservation Fees?

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Campi ya Kanzi is a community ecolodge that aims to preserve wilderness, wildlife, and culture.  For every day that a visitor stays here, a conservation fee is paid directly to the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.  The conservation fees fund Wildlife Pays, a compensation program that reimburses Maasai herders for livestock lost to predation.  In return for compensation payments, the Maasai have agreed to protect predatory animals instead of killing them to protect their livestock.  Thus, your visit will make a huge impact on the preservation of this ecosystem and its wildlife.  The local lion population is growing thanks to guests like you!

Your conservation fee will also afford you the privilege to explore 283,000 acres of wilderness without the presence of other tourists.  The Maasai landowners offer your this rare gift in thanks for your support.  Because Campi ya Kanzi is the only safari camp on Kuku Group Ranch, you will never see other travelers out on safari.

The conservation fee is higher for Kanzi House and the Swimming Pool Suite than for the tented cottages and tented suites.  We feel that the luxury of a swimming pool and a Jacuzzi calls for a more meaningful return to the community.

Is Campi ya Kanzi in a Malaria Area?

No, there is no risk of malaria here.  Luca and Antonella have three young children who are growing up malaria-free at Campi ya Kanzi.  If you plan to visit other areas of East Africa, please check with your doctor and travel agent for advice about antimalarial medications.

How Do I Make a Reservation?

Fill out the inquiry form on our Reservations page, then click Submit.  We will get back to you shortly to discuss the details of your reservation.

How is Campi ya Kanzi Sustainable?

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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, 20 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 12,000 square meters (over 140,000 square ft) and a water storage of approximately 1,600,000 liters (nearly 420,000 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. With Luca & Antonella, they are your hosts.

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-seat 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.

On all flights maximum total luggage allowed is 15 kg (35 pounds) per passenger, in soft duffle bags.

If you prefer to travel by road, we offer transportation from Nairobi to the camp in a 4WD vehicle (maximum four passengers). This costs $600 one way per vehicle, plus $75 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 e-mail luca@maasai.com or bookings@maasai.com.

When is a Good Time to Come?

Any time of year is beautiful at Campi ya Kanzi!  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 to be very pleasant months 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-January for a great stay at the Coast).

Why Should I Choose Campi ya Kanzi?

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Why should you choose Campi ya Kanzi?
For three special reasons:

1) Exclusive wilderness: with 283,000 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: 283,000 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, horse-back riding, 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 is Campi ya Kanzi 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. 283,000 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 Can I Do at Campi ya Kanzi?

  • bush dinner longido
  • Hiking in the Chyulus

Whatever you like!  At most other lodges, activities are scheduled with limited flexibility.  At Campi ya Kanzi, however, each safari is custom-designed and tailored to the interests of our guests.  Safari planning occurs twice a day between you and your host.  Based on your input and preferences, several options will be suggested.  Choose whatever you like best: your safari is designed by you!  Whether you are a seasoned African traveler or a first-time safari-goer, we will ensure you make the most of your trip.

There are many activities to choose from, including game drives, guided walks, hiking, birdwatching, scenic flights, village visits, horse-back riding, fly camping, national park excursions, and more. For detailed information, visit the Safari Activities page.  You will be surprised just how “busy” you can be on safari. Even so, we suggest that you take some time to slow down and relax. Embrace Africa, enjoy the scenery, and take in the beauty that surrounds you.  Consider a massage in the cloud forest or spend an afternoon watching wildlife from the veranda of your tent.

What Animals Can I See?

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  • lioness and cub

The Big Five (elephant, buffalo, lion, rhino, and leopard) can all be found here.  The group ranch is a 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 hartebeest, wildebeest, and Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelles.  Impala and Cape buffalos are frequently seen, as well.  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?

Visit our Downloads page to find a suggested packing list.  In general, dress at the camp is smart casual and comfortable.  The climate is temperate (see details above).  It is important that you bring soft luggage (duffel bags) with no armored cases or wheels.  The luggage allowance is strictly 33 pounds (15 kilograms) total per person.  Exceeding this limit cannot be solved by charging for extra weight.  If you are traveling by chartered airplane, you might be required to charter a larger plane at 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?

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Our safari experience is special and we desire all our guests to enjoy it!
Please keep in mind that Campi ya Kanzi is not your typical Safari resort or has an area where children can be left unattended to play. However, a family with children might consider staying at the Kanzi House for a completley private stay.
The Maasai staff love children and 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.
Silence while on safari is a key to approaching game successfully. Therefore, out of respect for the wildlife, the Maasai trackers and other guests, we kindly ask for children to remain well mannered during all game drives.
We have enjoyed on 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.
If you still have some questions regarding bringing your children, feel free to contact us and we will happily answer all your inquiries.