Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Introducing... the Volunteer Safari!

Would you like to effect positive change as you travel?  Why not volunteer on vacation?  Campi ya Kanzi and the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust are thrilled to introduce the new volunteer safari!  Guests are invited to volunteer with MWCT for three weeks while also enjoying a discounted stay at Campi ya Kanzi.  These guests will receive the same five-star treatment that Campi ya Kanzi is known for while also making a difference for the local Maasai community.

Are you ready to put your talents to use?  By traveling to the Chyulu Hills and the Maasai-owned Kuku Group Ranch, you can support the local economy while also helping to protect the wildlife and people who live here.  Make an impact in the areas of conservation, education, and health as you immerse yourself in the colorful Maasai culture and explore the unspoiled wilderness of the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem.  During your stay, you will live in a luxurious tented cottage, enjoy Italian cuisine at Tembo House, and split your time between safari and volunteer activities.  Spend the morning teaching a science lesson to local Maasai schoolchildren, then take a game drive and watch the sun set over Mount Kilimanjaro with a refreshing gin and tonic.  Vacation for a good cause and enjoy the trip of a lifetime as you promote positive change for the Maasai.  Read on to learn how you can help.

 
Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust
  
The Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust is a non-profit organization in southern Kenya that works to protect wilderness, wildlife, and culture across the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem through projects that directly benefit the local Maasai community.  MWCT has developed conservation, education, and health programs which demonstrate that the Maasai can thrive by managing their environment wisely.  MWCT employs nearly 250 Kenyans and serves a population of 17,000 Maasai.  To learn more about MWCT, visit www.maasaiwilderness.org.
How You Can Help
 
Conservation
        •    Assist with wildlife counts
        •    Accompany MWCT rangers on their monitoring patrols
        •    Place camera traps in various locations and analyze their photo data of wildlife
        •    Teach lessons about the environment in local primary schools


Health
        •    Participate in health outreach events
        •    Assist the doctor at a local health clinic
                    o    Help with infant check-ups and immunizations
                    o    Record patient data in medical files
                    o    Assist with the dispensation of medicine at the pharmacy
        •    Give health talks in local primary schools
                    o    Possible topics include HIV/AIDS, puberty, and substance abuse

Education

        •    Teach guest lessons at a local school in the subject of your choice
        •    Assist the librarian at the Iltilal school library
        •    Help the teachers to prepare lessons, worksheets, and PowerPoint presentations


Other
We value the specific talents that you bring to MWCT.  Tell us about your skill set so we can put it to use in the best possible way.
        •    Are you an artist?  Paint a mural at a local school or health clinic.
        •    Are you a botanist?  Assist the conservation team with rangeland monitoring.
        •    Are you a photographer?  Take pictures for our website and social media platforms.
        •    Are you a blogger?  Write about your volunteer experiences on the MWCT blog.
Ready to sign up?  For more information, contact bookings@maasai.com.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Holiday Cheer at Campi ya Kanzi

The holiday season at Campi ya Kanzi has been festive and fun as we celebrate Christmas on the savannah.  Instead of a white Christmas, we relish a green Christmas, where the verdant Chyulu Hills set the backdrop for a solar-powered, eco-friendly holiday.  Tembo House is decked with sparkling lights and fragrant wreaths of lavender, rosemary, and bougainvillea.  The Christmas tree is covered with safari-themed ornaments, including lions, giraffes, elephants, and zebras.  Even Mount Kilimanjaro has donned a wintry snow cap.

Camp is full to capacity and bustling with activity. Our feast on Christmas Eve brought people together from five different countries to dine at our table.  Kenyans, Italians, Americans, Norwegians, and Spaniards all enjoyed a magnificent four-course meal prepared on wood-burning stoves.  Hikes, game drives, scenic flights, and cave dinners have kept the guests busy and bright-eyed from sunup to sundown.  Scroll down for photos of our very happy holiday!

Lions and African dolls adorn the Christmas tree in Tembo House.

The tree is teeming with wildlife ornaments and wrapped in a Maasai shuka.

The table was elegantly decorated for our Christmas Eve feast.

Our wonderful waiters wore Santa hats!

Barbara, the Assistant to the Director, played Christmas music
on her violin to set the tone for the evening.

Traditional Christmas carols filled the air.

Lucrezia, daughter of camp co-founders Luca and Antonella,
sat by the fire to enjoy the violin music.

Our beautiful host, Antonella

Wreathed lanterns adorned the tables and provided a soft glow.

Matthew and Barbara were all smiles in Christmas red.

Our international guests enjoyed a delicious four-course meal.

We thanked the cooks and waiters for their tremendous effort.

The towering Christmas pudding!

We had not one dessert but two!
We couldn't forget the traditional Italian panettone.

Merry Christmas from Campi ya Kanzi!

Black and white photos by Stefano Ricci

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Yoga Safari

Are you longing to relax and to reconnect with nature?  Why not strike a yoga pose in the the African savannah?  Take some inspiration from the animals that surround you.  Find the straight and tall posture of a giraffe, the impeccable balance of a marabou stork, the weightlessness of a soaring snake eagle, and the perfect stillness of a lion laying in wait.  Discover your inner peace amidst the natural harmony of pristine wilderness....

Perfect peace in the Chyulu Hills

In our increasingly complex and technology-driven lives, it is more important than ever to find time to relax.  Campi ya Kanzi is the perfect place to unwind and escape, restoring mind, body, and spirit in one of the world's most beautiful places.

Campi ya Kanzi recently hosted ten guests for a week-long, rejuvenating yoga retreat.  In addition to hikes and game drives, the guests enjoyed restorative yoga practice twice a day in a variety of locations - at Okoikuma for a sundowner, at Tembo House under the stars, even pool-side with a view of Kilimanjaro.  They also visited the Chyulu Conservation and Research Center, picnicked in the cloud forest, and even taught some yoga to the Maasai children in a local village.

The guests represented the Modo/Moksha community from Modo Yoga NYC and Moksha Yoga Montreal, which have raised over $85,000 for the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.  We are extremely grateful to the Modo/Moksha community for its tremendous support!  We absolutely loved hosting this yoga safari and look forward to further collaboration in the future.  Here, we share some wonderful photographs and feedback from our Modo/Moksha guests.

Lenkai, a local Maasai warrior, strikes a fierce and fitting warrior pose.

Our Maasai staff have clearly mastered the warrior pose.  It's second nature.

"Campi ya Kanzi connects you to people, nature, and the beauty of the Chyulu Hills, stimulating thinking around sustainability and conservation and the interconnection of it all.  It awakens your consciousness, and you feel so alive.  It truly is the perfect place to practice yoga.  There really is no other place like it."

- Rebecca
(pictured above with the staff)

Can you do this?

Our guests shared their love of yoga with the children in Iltilal.

Happy to see the bar after a full day of yoga!

“The sheer beauty of this land is hard to grasp through pictures.  The air was so pure and clear that you could see hundreds of miles away.  The skies were filled with more stars than I had ever seen in my life.  The savannah was so quiet most of the time that it invited you to a constant state of peace and meditation.  I had my best yoga practice experience ever on top of a 25-million-year-old lava rock overlooking the plains of Africa, facing the sunset and Mount Kilimanjaro."

- Guillaume
(pictured in the third photo below)

Sunset yoga at Okoikuma.  Pure bliss.

Daytime yoga at Okoikuma above the endless plains

Guillaume takes in the view.

"As the saying goes, 'life is not measured by the breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.'  This trip was the one time that every moment took my breath away.  It left me speechless.  Campi ya Kanzi is the perfect canvas for a yoga safari retreat, which is destined to leave pieces of your heart up on a mountain during a yoga practice.  Waking up facing the savannah, zebras, and giraffes was magical, but nothing left me more stunned than the heartfelt people.  Luca and Antonella did more than host; they invited us into their home with arms wide open.  Parashi, Stefano, Sunde (and I can go on and on) felt more like family and friends that made us feel like anything was possible.  I am truly inspired by these humble, big-hearted people.  I can't wait to do this again!  Asante sana."

- Sonia
(pictured at the top of the page)

Monkeying around on a natural tree swing in the cloud forest

The yogis pose at the "cathedral" fig tree in the cloud forest.

Thank you to our ten wonderful guests and to the entire Modo/Moksha community
for supporting MWCT and for bringing your beautiful yoga practice to Campi ya Kanzi!