|SANTA FE, N.M. (March 29, 2007) - Uncharted Outposts, one
of the nation's oldest and most respected safari and travel specialists,
announced Thursday that Campi Ya Kanzi, one of their favorite destination
properties, is among the first recipients of Ecotourism Kenya's new Gold
A community owned eco-resort in southern Kenya's Chyulu Hills, Campi
Ya Kanzi was one of just three properties to receive the Gold rating from
Ecotourism Kenya, a group that promotes sustainable tourism. The Gold rating
recognizes excellence in environmental management, sustainable use of resources
and community/social linkages. Five other properties received the group's
"We have watched the evolution of Campi Ya Kanzi from the very beginning,"
says Sandy Cunningham, director of sales for Uncharted Outposts. "Ten years
ago we were managing a neighboring conservation area and saw firsthand
their enthusiasm and dedication. Now we are delighted at the international
recognition they are receiving for their outstanding work."
Campi ya Kanzi (Camp of the Hidden Treasure) was opened in 1997 by Luca
Belpietro and Antonella Bonomi on the Kuku Group Ranch, a Maasi reserve
in the foothills of Kilimanjaro between Kenya and Tanzania. It is a collaboration
with the local Maasi community, which helped construct and staff the camp.
|Tembo ("elephant") House is the heart of the camp. The
clubhouse has a thatched roof and is beautifully constructed of local materials
such as lava rocks and native timbers (collected in a National Forest where
there is sustainable plantation). It is open to the outdoors, and from
its terrace you'll have a spectacular view of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Tembo House
has a large lounge where you can enjoy our books about Africa; relax with
a refreshing drink after your safari; listen to classical music while watching
a zebra drinking at the waterhole...
You will also take your meals at Tembo House. Crystal
glasses, fine table settings and candlelight dinners will be a highlight
of your Campi ya Kanzi experience. Our cooks are specially trained in the
preparation of fine Italian cuisine (home made fresh pasta, risotto, biscuits,
bread, ice-cream...), which we feature along with International and local
dishes. Fresh daily vegetables are supplied by our organic vegetable garden,
as well as fresh milk from our organic dairy and fresh eggs from our chickens.
Wines are from South Africa and also from the Italian vineyards of Antonella,
specially bottled for Campi ya Kanzi.
The lodge was designed to have minimal environmental impact. Buildings
were constructed from local materials, like lava rocks, thatch and lumber
from a reforestation program. Hot water comes from solar boilers, while
electricity is produced by solar systems and the food is prepared with
eco-friendly charcoal. Waste is collected, recycled or incinerated - or
used as compost for a small organic vegetable garden. Water is collected
from the roofs and purified through lava filters, then recycled and fed
into a pond for wildlife.
Luca and Antonella also created The Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust,
employing teachers at local schools and nurses at dispensaries who provide
supplies and medicine. In addition, Maasai game scouts protect wildlife
and compensate herdsmen for loss of livestock. This project, crucial for
the survival of the lion, is generously supported by Cartier and by actor
Edward Norton. Campi ya Kanzi guests, who donate $40 to the trust for every
night spent at the lodge, provide additional funding.
Visitors further support the trust by generously offering donations
to "The Maasai Foundation of East Africa," a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit.
In choosing Campi ya Kanzi, guests are visiting one of the few remaining
spots of pristine African wilderness, while supporting a meaningful conservation
The Eco-rating system - Africa's first - has three successive levels:
Bronze, Silver and Gold. It offers travelers to Kenya a guarantee that
the product they are consuming is ecologically and socially responsible.
On 22nd March 2007 Ecotourism Kenya announced and awarded the first
tourist accommodation facilities to achieve Gold and Silver Eco-rating
in the Eco-rating Scheme.
Basecamp Masai Mara, Campi ya Kanzi and Malewa River Lodge are the premier
winners of Gold Eco-rating. Gold Eco-rating signifies excellence and/or
innovation in environmental management, sustainable use of resources and
community/social linkages. It is the highest level of certification in
the Eco-rating scheme.
Additionally, Amboseli Porini Camp, Mara Porini Camp, Olonana,
Ol Seki Mara and Turtle Bay Beach Club were awarded Silver Eco-rating.
These are also the premier winners of this level of rating. Silver Eco-rating
signifies a facility that is moving towards excellence in the areas of
environmental management, sustainable resource use and community linkages.
The Ecotourism Kenya-managed Eco-rating Scheme was the first in Africa.
The scheme has three successive levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Up to
22nd March, there were 31 facilities that had been holding Bronze Eco-rating.
Apart from evaluating performance of lodges/camps, the Eco-rating Scheme
is contributing to branding of Kenya as an ecotourism destination. In a
market where travellers are increasingly concerned about the ecological
and social impacts of their holidays, this scheme offers guarantee to the
traveller that the product they are consuming is ecologically and socially
Ecotourism Kenya's Eco-rating scheme
Ecotourism Kenya manages a scheme that certifies tourist accommodation
facilities in Kenya. The Eco-rating Scheme, as the scheme is called, is
an initiative of the Kenyan tourism industry that is designed to further
the goals of sustainable tourism by recognizing efforts aimed at promoting
environmental, social and economic values. Eco-rating is a systematic approach
for verifying a tourism organisations performance when evaluated against
an agreed suite of criteria. The scheme is voluntary; any hotel, lodge,
camp, bush home or banda can participate. Being awarded a label under the
scheme is confirmation that the facility has invested time, money and other
resources in betterment of the environment, resource use and the welfare
of local communities
|Campi ya Kanzi
Eco-rating Scheme Award Gold
Facility Type: Permanent Tented Camp
Year Opened: 1998
Situated in Southern Kenya, 25 miles from Mt. Kilimanjaro, in
a Maasai Group Ranch, Campi ya Kanzi is joint venture with the local Maasai
Address: Campi ya Kanzi
P.O. Box 236- 90128 Mtito Andei
Phone +254-45-622516 or +264 720 461300
Fax +254-45-622516 or +264 720 461300
14 guests are accommodated in six luxury tented cottages and the Hemingway
and Simba suites, all set on wooden platforms with thatched roofs and large
en-suite bathrooms with hot (solar boiler) and cold running water, special
eco friendly flush toilet, shower and bidet. Bedding is of the finest Italian
linen. Tents are named after the view from the verandas, from Chyulu Hills
bird watching, bush picnics, bush walks, forest walks, game drives,
Sustainable tourism measures
Outstanding & replicable tourism practices
Other responsible tourism practices
The reason for selecting the campís location (a place where there is no
water) is an outstanding practice. Most tourism facilities in Kenya are
located very close to water sources.
The Maasai Wildlife and Conservation Trust that seeks and manages funds
for various environmental and social support initiatives, including paying
compensation to members of the community for wildlife depredation, construction
of 4 classrooms and employment of five teachers at a local primary school,
giving scholarships, etc.
Has won other sustainable tourism recognition, including winning the 2005
Skal Ecotourism Award, 2006 Tourism for Tomorrow Award and being a finalist
at the 2004 Word Legacy Award.
The camp is small and blends well with its environment
All garbage is separated before disposal
Uses only charcoal briquettes for all cooking
Use of a comprehensive guest briefing and information sheets, all which
have enabled the lodge to take maximum advantage of travelersí philanthropy
Uses dual flush toilets for water efficiency
Detergents used have been chosen because they are known to be eco-friendly
Energy efficiency - minimum use of the generator, with excess power being
stored in batteries to be discharged later
Laundry and dish-washing machines have been chosen due to their water efficiency
Every unit has a water meter to monitor water usage
Rainwater harvesting and storage, using roof catchment
Use of a three-chamber composting system to manage kitchen wastes
Use of effective micro-organisms in septic tanks to break down wastes
Use of a reedbed system as part of their wastewater management initiatives
Scouts the Chyulus for KWS as the state agency does not have enough rangers
to do it
Safety: there is a fire hose and a fire extinguisher in every unit
Technology/innovation: has a charcoal fridge for storing vegetables
Community support: pays $40 bed night fee and a yearly management fee of
Ksh. 300,000 to Kuku. Apart from what the Trust gives, the manager estimated
that in 2006, the community received in excess of 15million from the camp,
in form of conservation fees, salaries, tips, etc.
Has employed 39 locals at the camp
Covered the black PVC tanks used for water collection with dry sticks,
as a way of ensuring they blend with their environment