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Campi Ya Kanzi – Wildlife PaysBy Stefanie Strothmann, Campi ya Kanzi
Campi ya Kanzi was built in partnership with the Maasai of Kuku Group Ranch in 1996 to promote environmental conservation and sustainable community development through ecotourism.
Maasai land is, traditionally, where human beings and wildlife co-exist. In fact, the most visited National Parks in East Africa have been Maasai land.
We believe in the concept of Payment for Ecosystem Services or PES. Guests of Campi Ya Kanzi who come to experience the wilderness of the Chyulu Hills contribute a conservation fee of $116 per person per day.
The funds support Wildlife Pays, a Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT) compensation program that reimburses Maasai herders for livestock killed by predators. In return, the Maasai promise not to retaliate by hunting the predators. As a result, the average number of retaliatory lion hunts has decreased by nearly 90% according to MWCT. This ensures that the wildlife that guests continue to enjoy on their game drives is protected.
Although the Maasai once saw lions and leopards as a nuisance, they now value these animals for the interest and income they generate among tourists, and most importantly – the overall benefits they receive through the education, health and livelihood programmes headed by MWCT.
To learn more about the programmes, please visit Maasai Wilderness Conservation and Trust.