Campi ya Kanzi believes that true ecotourism needs to address diverse aspects: minimized Carbon footprint, minimized usage of water, protect wildlife, recycle garbage, and use of sustainable suppliers.
Fairleigh Dickinson University Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies
Campi ya Kanzi’s operations have no harmful impact on the environment. The hotel has made efforts to conduct sustainable activities and reduce the carbon footprint. Luca Belpietro, the Executive Director of Campi ya Kanzi, stated that Campi ya Kanzi’s carbon footprint is zero in several areas. For instance, the hotel has photovoltaic panels which transform sun-light into electricity. Then, the light is saved in the hotel’s bank of batteries. Three inverters continuously convert the continuous current in alternate current, at 220V and 415V. As a result, the hotel can operate the entire property, all their appliances and hotel’s lights, using only solar energy.
The hotel also has a unique water catchment system which is 12,000 square meters (130,000 square ft.) and runs through the hotel’s roof system (1,500 square meters, or 16,000 square ft.). The hotel can collect rain water with it. The hotel stores water in PVC tanks and bladders that combined capacity is 1,600,000 liters (about 400,000 gallons). Campi ya Kanzi is the only one accommodation in East Africa where rain collection entirely covers its water needs.
Campi ya Kanzi recycles dirty water, from bathroom sinks and washing machines, by using unique filters imported from Europe. For example, the use of specially imported ecological soaps assures perfect chemical purity of the water. After filtering several steps, water is then used in ponds for the wildlife. Every guest room also has its solar heated boiler, to offer hot water in the bathrooms.
In the kitchen, Campi ya Kanzi cooks its food using a special charcoal which is eco-friendly charcoal, made from coffee husks. Besides, the kitchen uses its organic foods from its farm of natural vegetables. The hotel also has a few chickens and cows, to have a biological production of eggs and milk. All garbage of organic origin becomes compost. The other garbage is selected for recycling or incinerated in special incinerator built on UN specifications.
Luca Belpietro stated that Campi ya Kanzi and Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust had to create a new model of ecotourism where the Maasai community is fully engaged, having built a further payment for Ecosystem Service where tourism protects predators in general and lions in particular. Furthermore, many traditional tribes like the Maasai had to protect the ecological treasures that exist within the land that they own. As a result, the Maasai themselves needed to figure out how to benefit from their incredible natural resources while protecting and preserving them. Campi ya Kanzi’s inspiration comes from promoting sustainable economic benefits to the Maasai community and protecting wildlife and cultural heritage through sustainable tourism.
Luca Belpietro said that Campi ya Kanzi is making efforts to maintain the environment and the Maasai culture. The hotel has disciplined its workers in Southern Kenya about their sustainability practices. For example, Campi ya Kanzi has its own orientation and trips to educate its workers to better protect their wilderness. By doing it, most workers of the hotel can have a mindset of sustainability. On the hotel’s website, there is specific information about what they do for ecotourism. For example, the hotel has several events of eco-friendly tours such as “among elephants” that guests can watch keeper feeding milk to the elephants, or “fly camping”, which is a mobile camp in a remote area such as top of Kilimanjaro or lava forests. The reputation of Campi ya Kanzi is spread by online articles, and magazines to the world because of these tours. As a result, Campi ya Kanzi has become a role model of ecotourism in the world.
Campi ya Kanzi's founder, Luca Belpietro, wrote “Kenya: Environment Conservation and Sustainable Development”. According to Belpietro, Campi ya Kanzi is the result of that thesis. Campi ya Kanzi also believes in the concept of payment for Ecosystem Services. The guests of Campi ya Kanzi have to pay a $101 conservation fee per day. Then, the hotel supports a Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT) compensation program that reimburses Maasai herders for livestock killed by predators such as lions. In return, the Maasai do not to retaliate by killing the predators. Although the Maasai think of predators like lions and leopards as a nuisance, they now consider these animals for the interest and income they generate among tourists. By doing it, the guest of Campi ya Kanzi can enjoy wildlife in Southern Africa. The hotel and Maasai community also get financial benefit. Furthermore, the hotel can help to maintain the wildness.
Campi Ya Kanzi offers to its guests a beautiful, quiet, luxurious place, and incredibly challenging experience with wholly wildlife sourced product and events. Guests of Campi ya Kanzi can have a chance to be closer to animals and nature. By choosing a unique water filtering system and solar panels, the hotel can minimize its carbon footprint. Besides, the hotel can offer jobs to the local community. By doing these, the workers of the hotel can have more motivation to work. In addition, the hotel uses the $101 conservation fee from Campi ya Kanzi’s guests, also pay for the employment of teachers, doctor, and numerous nurses who assist the local community of more than 15,000 Massai in four local dispensaries.
Luca Belpietro, The Executive Director/ Founder
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Mtito Andei, Makueni County, KE
Business Website: http://www.maasai.com/
Year Founded: 1996
Number of Employees: 51 to 200