Stephen Cunliffe
South Africa ZA

Stephen is a travel writer and avid conservationist whose work appears in prestigious magazines such as Africa Geographic and Travel Africa.

Category: Sustainable Lodge of the week

Situated on Kuku Group Ranch in the Amboseli region of Kenya, Campi Ya Kanzi was established with a guiding philosophy that it should be for the benefit the local Maasai cattle-herding community.

And it has accomplished just that. The lodge and its non-profit, the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, employ over 300 local Maasai and are responsible for funding and operating schools, clinics, and a corps of 100 community game scouts who protect the ranch and its wildlife. Conservation fees levied per bed night raise approximately $200,000 per year, primarily to alleviate human-wildlife conflict and to compensate for livestock losses to predators.

Amazingly, the sun powers the entire lodge, while kitchen stoves run on eco-friendly charcoal briquettes rather than electricity or gas. Rainwater is funneled and stored in 120,000-liter bladders before being gravity-fed to the lodge, negating the need for a noisy diesel pump.

Community-driven Campi Ya Kanzi is a proud member of the top 50 sustainable safari operations, as selected by David Bristow and Colin Bell for inclusion in their magnificent coffee table book: Africa’s Finest. This ecologically responsible book identifies a handful of truly sustainable safari operations from amidst the sea of green-washers and eco-pirates that pervade the African safari lodge industry. If you’d like to get your hands on a copy of the book, then you can order it here.


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