Campi Ya Kanzi

Cozy, intimate, tranquil, contemplative

C103, Kenya


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At a Glance

Combining an inspiring commitment to admirable values—community outreach, conservation and environmentalism—with laid-back glamour (the Trust’s president is a Hollywood star), this remote lodge feels far from the madding crowds of other lodge locations.

Indagare Loves

  • The involvement with and respect for the Masai people (the owners call the camp “a community eco-lodge”) and ongoing conservation efforts
  • The sight of mist-wreathed Mount Kilimanjaro looming on the horizon
  • The chance to get out of the jeep and embark on walking safaris with highly knowledgeable local guides


Located in southeastern Kenya between the Amboseli and Tsavo national parks, Campi ya Kanzi is known for its authenticity. The owners, Luca Belpietro and Antonella Bonomi, bring a certain European charm to the proceedings, particularly when it comes to the communal dinners featuring home-made pasta and wine, along with a multilingual United Nations-worthy diversity of guests. The couple also helped found the Masai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT), an organization whose mission is to preserve the ecosystem and work to conserve the biodiversity of the Masai tribal lands while creating sustainable benefits for the community: the board includes actor Edward Norton and Samson Parashina, a Masai warrior and safari guide, among others.

There’s a real sense of conviviality at Campi ya Kanzi: the resident Masai guides—Matasha, Pashiet, Parashi and Sunte—are considered family, and their guided walks, with their emphasis on tracking animals, can feel like being inducted into a insider’s club. (Don’t expect to see the vast numbers of game you might in places like the Mara or Serengeti, but the landscapes are equally stunning, and you’ll feel like you have the whole place to yourself, blessedly free of mini-vans.)

Accommodations are constructed of native timber, local lava rocks and canvas, with views over the plains and waterholes, often visited by cheeky baboons. With only six tented cottages and two suites—all solar-powered and outfitted in Colonial-inspired rustic-luxe style with log beds and porcelain sinks—the camp hosts no more than fourteen visitors at a time. The main Tembo House resembles something out of an African version of Lord of the Rings, all undulating thatched roofs, chimneys and lava stone walls. One of the highlights of the property is the breathtaking views of Mount Kilimanjaro, visible from most of the cottages and the main house: its ever-changing face, brooding across the border in Tanzania, is enough to inspire a Hemingway-esque short story of your own.

Written by Emma Sloley

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