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“A truly african experience”
Review of Campi ya Kanzi

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Campi ya Kanzi
Certificate of Excellence
London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A truly african experience”
Reviewed 24 January 2011

Campi ya kanzi offers a unique and authentic african experience. The project is run under the auspices of a Trust whose aims are to conserve the Maasai Mara culture including its rich wild life and to improve their educational and living standards. The staff of the hotel is all committed to the goals of the Trust and most of them are Maasai themselves. The hotel is absolutely comfortable and ecologically responsible and is set in a wonderful location, between the Kilimanjaro and the Chyulu Hills (Hemingway´s Green Hills of Africa). The food is fantastic. The game drives are great and they are combined with walks across the hills where you get to places where the views are breathtaking. Very children friendly since the owners, who live on site, have 3 young children themselves. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Periland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucakanzi, Owner at Campi ya Kanzi, responded to this review, 24 February 2016
Asante sana!! The green hills are awaiting your return :)
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96 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Antwerp, Belgium
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2010

Although spending some days in Campi ya Kanzi is not the cheapest, it is more than worth considering the effectiveness of the work that is done by the people of Campi ya Kanzi for both the local Maasai community, as well as the wildlife. As a part of the amount spent on your staying is directly contributed to the Maasai conservation trust fund, you get to see a clear insight of the good work this fund is doing for the community.
Next to that, the camp is located (believe us, we've seen quite some places in Kenya) in one of the most beautiful, breathtaking and poetic landscapes man can imagine. Spending the day with your Maasai guide, just him and your family, wandering in the middle of this amazing nature makes you realize the power and beauty of Kenya.
It's of course not only about discovering the power of Kenya's nature and its authenticity, it is the concept, brought to you by inspiring, warm and caring people that make you discover your inner self.
We are more than convinced that the project founded by Luca, his family and the whole team, as well as the Maasai people deserve extra appreciation and credit in your specific chapter and magazine.
This part of our Kenya experience is surely not a thing for John Doe, but most surely it is a recommendation for people looking for integrity, respect for nature and local traditions, in combination with an exclusive and rather luxurious approach.
We loved it, and we will definitely go back there when visiting Kenya. We also would like to thank Luca, Antonella, Stefano, Pashiet and the whole team of Campi ya Kanzi for bringing this experience to our hearts and souls forever!
Vanessa, Jurgen & Matisse - Nov 2010, Antwerp, Belgium

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Vanessa_Jurgen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucakanzi, Owner at Campi ya Kanzi, responded to this review, 24 February 2016
Thank you for staying with us! We are happy you enjoyed yourselves :) Hope to see you again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
1 review
Reviewed 24 June 2010

My wife and I spent a magical week at Campi Ya Kanzi in late May 2010.

Getting There
We were greeted by James at Nairobi International Airport, who hastened us through the Kenyan customs/visa process, somehow ;-) avoiding the long queues, and boarded us and our luggage on the Campi’s private propeller plane. Anna, our very friendly pilot, took us over the beautiful Kenyan landscape and gracefully landed the plane on a small grass airstrip located a few miles from the camp. So started our unforgettable safari vacation.

Our Hosts
Our gracious hosts, Luca and Antonella Belpietro, built this award-winning ecotourism resort as a joint venture with the local Maasai community about 15 years ago. Although very busy with day-to-day operations of the resort, wildlife conservation projects, Maasai community education and healthcare development, international fundraising efforts, and raising their three young children, they spent unhurried time with us and joined us at every formal meal. Over the course of the week, we developed a strong friendship with them.

The Facilities
The resort accommodates about six couples/families. The accommodations for each couple/family is a wooden cottage with a thatched roof, canvas tent walls, and a balcony/patio overlooking a watering hole frequented by zebras, gazelles, giraffes, buffalo, and the occasional lion (not all at the same time, of course), and with a great view of Mt. Kilimanjaro at the horizon. Cottages (all designed by Luca) are dispersed on the property, and provide absolute privacy and a great view. The interior of our cottage contained a queen/king size bed, a sitting area with armchairs, dressers and closets, and a full bathroom with shower. The décor (all designed by Antonella) was very tasteful and elegant. Meals (which are four or five course experiences) are enjoyed in the main hall, which is a large wooden building located centrally and a short walk from the cottages. The structure has a long balcony with a great view, a living room/den area with a wood-burning fireplace as the centerpiece, and a dining room with a large table that can seat eighteen. Luca and Antonella have hired all Maasai workers from the community to run the place.

Eco-Friendly
The electricity for the entire property is from a 4 kW standalone battery-backed solar panel array designed and installed by Luca himself. Although Luca is not a electrician or engineer by training (he is an economist), he has managed to wire up the property so elegantly that it would put the work of many licensed electricians to shame. Instead of electric stoves or ovens, food is prepared with wood-burning ones (imported from Italy), which are not only more environmentally friendly, but also gives the food an amazing flavor. Rainwater is gathered, filtered, and distributed through the resort using state-of-the-art processes and equipment, and wastewater is reclaimed, filtered and routed to the wildlife watering hole. Soaps used and provided to guests are imported from a boutique shop in Italy made from all natural and biodegradable ingredients. It is this attention to detail that makes Campi Ya Kanzi such a wonderful and unique place.

Safaris
Luca planned safaris after consulting with us about our interests. Some started early in morning (6am), with breakfast “in the field”, while others were after a full breakfast (eggs, bacon, croissants, cereal, fruit, coffee, etc.) in the dining hall. Unlike the safari vehicles used by resorts in the national parks, which are minivans encased in glass and in which are 6 or more guests, our vehicle was an open air Land Rover Defender. Our safari guide, his assistant, and at most one other couple accompanied us. Our guide, Pashied, was a former Maasai warrior and one of Luca’s first employees. He was very friendly, spoke excellent English, was an expert at spotting animals and birds, and had an amazing knowledge of wildlife (English/Latin/Maasai names, gestation periods, behavior, diet, tribal lore, and anything else we had questions about). We were there at the tail end of the rainy season, which apparently is not the ideal time to see wildlife. Nevertheless, we saw over 60 species of animals and birds, including elephants (highlighted by a close encounter with a curious baby and its protective mother), giraffes, zebras, buffalo, gazelles, impalas, and a cheetah on the prowl. We did not encounter any lions or leopards on this trip, despite significant searching by Pashied. Unlike another reviewer on this site, we don’t blame Campi Ya Kanzi for this!

Hiking
Afternoons were usually spent hiking or climbing hills (nothing very strenuous), to see spectacular sunsets and views of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Our guides served us drinks and snacks when we reached the summit.

Conclusion
Our week at Campi Ya Kanzi was an unforgettably beautiful and magical experience, and we have been raving about it to everyone we know since we have been back. We plan to return next year, this time with our children. We highly recommend Campi Ya Kanzi to anyone and everyone without reservation!

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Anna_Ara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucakanzi, Owner at Campi ya Kanzi, responded to this review, 24 February 2016
It's been a while but we want to say thank you for having stayed with us and for the kind words! We hope to see you again soon, we will have a cold beverage and a seat facing Mt. Kilimanjaro for you on your return :)
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Los Angeles, California
1 review
Reviewed 6 June 2010

Just back from nearly three weeks in East Africa and our stay at Campi ya Kanzi was a revelation. Its location in Kenya's Chyulu hills is spectacular, and still feels truly wild. We saw amazing wildlife and did some great walking safari (actually a bit hard to do in much of the region the national parks there don't allow it.) The camp itself is gorgeous - relaxing and stylish. But perhaps the most remarkable thing about the place are the owner's, Italian couple Luca and Antonella, commitment to preserving the environment and working with the local Masai people. Our visit to a local school that the camp's trust helps fund was as thrilling as the pack of lions we saw near our tent one night at dusk. The camp's motto is "bringing you the real Africa" and damn if they don't deliver.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank zborow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucakanzi, Owner at Campi ya Kanzi, responded to this review, 24 February 2016
Asante sana for the kind words :) We hope you still have fond memories of your stay here :)
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Kigali
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 July 2009

Anyone planning a safari should make sure that Campi Ya Kanzi is on their itinerary. I used to plan safaris and so I have been to many places across eastern and southern Africa and CYK is among the best experiences I have ever had.

Too often, I have found, you have to sacrifice a little bit of comfort in order to have an authentic experience, or you have to sacrifice an authentic experience to make sure all your needs are met, but at CYK you really do get the best of both worlds.

Many of the reviewers have already mentioned the beautiful accommodation, the wonderful food, the graciousness of the hosts and the beauty of the landscape, and I would echo all of those feelings. I would also emphasize the commitment of CYK to the health, education and general well-being of the surrounding Maasai community (see www.maasai.com)

There are two things that make CYK stand out: the first is the ability to go on walks. On safaris in parks, you are not allowed to get out and walk. Spending your mornings and afternoons driving around in a safari vehicle chasing after game can feel surprisingly stifling after 2, 3 or 4 days. Being on foot allows you to see the landscape in an entirely new manner, get to places you can't go in a vehicle and just stretch your legs! Our walk into the cloud forest was one of the most spectacular walks I have ever taken.

The second thing that stands out is the quality of the guides. Too often on safari you are taken to see a lion, an elephant - but at Campi ya Kanzi the journey truly is the experience. You may be heading to an area where lion are known to be, but on the way you learn about why wildebeest and zebra tend to stick together or talk to a maasai tracker about maasai culture and soon enough forget that you even set out with hopes to see a lion!

The entire experience was spectacular, and some of my favorite moments were just sitting on the porch of the Tembo House, looking out at Kilimanjaro, watching animals come to the watering hole, sipping some tea and enjoying that incredible breeze.

Don't miss CYK - there are no other experiences like it.

I

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank msnkigali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucakanzi, Owner at Campi ya Kanzi, responded to this review, 24 February 2016
Wonderful, thank you and we hope to have you back here in the Green Hills of Africa again soon :)!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2009

Incredible. Amazing. Enchanting. Campi Ya Kanzi’s brochure calls this “Real Africa”. I would offer that what it really is, is “Authentic Africa”- the Africa you dream about when you close your eyes 10,000 miles away and visualize it. A wise philosopher once said that man is not searching for meaning; he is searching for experience. I wholeheartedly agree. Today, so many are willing to accept the prefabricated notion of an experience, neatly packaged and conveniently delivered. No risk, no real reward - marginally better than photoshopping yourself into pictures of far away places and landmarks. Campi Ya Kanzi is one of those increasingly rare places that still provides the type of authentic experience our souls crave, which seeks to satisfy the compulsion to see what lays out beyond the horizon.

This is not the drive-through-zoo of the national parks. Here it is not, “let’s go see the lions”. Its “let’s go see if we can *find* the lions”. Real Maasai trackers with you, often on foot outside of the car, searching the ground for animal tracks to follow. There is a genuine sense of adventure. You simply do not know what you are going to find when you leave the comfort of the camp. The thrill of the hunt that will appeal to the true adventure seeker, the romantic and the poet. This is not for everyone- and at 16 guest maximum capacity, it is not supposed to be. If you seek an authentic experience in exotic lands in the tradition of bygone days...when the journey tested you and the experience validated you and your connection to all things...and in the process you learned more about yourself...this is a place for you.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank stevesf123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucakanzi, Owner at Campi ya Kanzi, responded to this review, 24 February 2016
It is was our pleasure! Come back again soon :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2009

We have been to Mombo, Xigera, Jack's Camp, Londolozi, Skeleton Coast, etc., and while all of those experiences were wonderful, Campi ya Kanzi is the jewel in the crown. Yes, one needs to go to the Maasai Mara or the Serengeti and definitely to the Okavango Delta and, if one can, Jack's Camp and Londolozi (or adjacent private reserves next to Kruger NP), but be sure to visit Camp ya Kanzi at least once in your life! We so enjoyed our walking safaris to amazingly beautiful overlooks (and sundowners) with panoramic views of this stunningly beautiful, unspoiled landscape (as far as the eye can see in all directions w Kilimanjaro to the south, the "green hills of Africa" to the north). We loved our hikes in the hills, our visit to the Maasai village, and our game drives with our Maasai guides. The lodge and tent-bungalows are also very comfortable and beautiful, with nearby watering holes so one can see wildlife right from one's deck. The staff is warm and inviting and the food was memorable. Campi ya Kanzi is a wonderful blend of land, wildlife, and human "treasures," including the remarkable hosts. One is not just visiting a safari camp, this is a project to enable the Maasai to both continue to live as they prefer, but to also enjoy a range of choices going forward, as well as to preserve and enrich this magnificent landscape and population of wildlife.

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank MCMSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucakanzi, Manager at Campi ya Kanzi, responded to this review, 27 March 2009
It is a pleasure to learn that we provided such a great experience and we are committed to only improve what we offer.
Thank you for your appreciation of our dedication.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Campi ya Kanzi

Property: Campi ya Kanzi
Address: Mtito Andei, Kenya
Phone Number:
Region: Kenya > Rift Valley Province > Amboseli Eco-system
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 20 Speciality Lodging in Amboseli Eco-system
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Campi ya Kanzi 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Campi ya Kanzi is widely recognized as one of the most unique and inspiring safari experiences in Africa. Situated at the foot of the legendary Chyulu Hills, Hemingway’s Green Hills of Africa, it is a luxury camp offering an incomparable combination of 5-star luxury, first class wilderness adventure, amazing wildlife, and authentic immersion in Maasai culture. This is truly the ultimate African safari.This luxury lodge has been built in partnership with the Maasai community of the 280,000-acre Kuku Group Ranch.Campi ya Kanzi has a unique commitment to community development and environmental sustainability: we are leaders in real ecotourism, engaging the local Maasai in benefiting from wilderness with thriving wildlife. Built from local materials, it uses solar technology to supply hot water and electricity to the six luxury cottages and two suites. In front of Kilimanjaro, with a Maasai warrior taking you on safari, among elephants and lions, you will experience your dream African adventure. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Campi Ya Kanzi Hotel Amboseli Eco-System

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