Our Story

History of Campi Ya Kanzi

It really began in the ’60s, when a 4-year-old Luca wanted to impress his dad and slept all alone in a tent in the family Italian vineyards. He wanted to prove he could go on safari! Luca came to Kuku Group Ranch, the Maasai 283,000 acres reservation where Campi ya Kanzi is, in 1975 when he was just 11 years old. 20 years later he came back with his then-girlfriend;  now wife, Antonella. Together they engaged the local Maasai landlords and formed a unique partnership, creating the community-owned lodge Campi ya Kanzi.

More than 20 years and 3 kids (Lucrezia, born 2002, Jacopo born 2007, and Lorenzo, born 2009) later, this is their home. Together with amazing Maasai who with them built the lodge, like Parashi, Matasha, Samson, Pashiet, Lengou…

Here is our African journey. In images and few words. Come and continue living it with us!

1975: The adventure begins! Luca with his mom and brother in Iltilal, during a family safari. Campi ya Kanzi would get built on those hills in the background 21 years later!

1975-1994: 20 years to dream of Africa!

1995: Luca & Antonella visit the Chyulu to discuss with the Maasai landlords creating a tourism joint venture. We lost this year’s images in a fire… the hardship of living in the African bush.

1996, 1997: We lived in a tiny tent for two years, building Campi ya Kanzi. Images are gone, because of the mentioned fire, but sweet memories will remain forever…

1998: We open Campi ya Kanzi, the first fully photovoltaic lodge in Africa! Here are some images of our beginning.

1999: Luca & his beloved Yago, an Irish setter who followed us from Italy. We got married that December.

2000: A very young Samson Parashina with his team… we love how Samson grew from waiter to UNEP Champion of the Earth and now MWCT Chairman!

2001: The entire team of Campi ya Kanzi lined up outside Tembo House. Luca still had some hair 🙂

2002: Antonella with Lucrezia in her womb.

Antonella with Matasha, Kibo, and Yago. Lucrezia was born that July.

Luca hosting a young guest and playing the fatherly role…

2003: Enjoying a sundowner.

Antonella with a 1-year-old Lucrezia, who then joined the team!

2004: Matasha, Antonella, and Luca, on the very top of the Chyulu Hills, in the magical cloud forest

2005: Sarijore (Samson’s oldest son) and Lucrezia, so sweet! Safari memories.

Lucrezia and her four-legged friends: Selous, Kibo, and Sambu.

2006: L&A on safari with Lucrezia

2007: Lucrezia on safari with baba, her first walk to the top of the Chyulu!

Antonella with Jacopo in her womb.

2008: Xmas family photo, Lucrezia was already an Obama fan!

2009: A terrible drought made a bushbuck, Pongo, befriend Lucrezia. He lived with us till the first rains came. We kept seeing him around the home for years to come.

Lucrezia and her schoolmates at a Xmas play.

Lorenzo is born, here is the whole family.

2010: Lucrezia learns to ski and…

2011: …she wants to share the experience with all her Maasai schoolmates! How did we pull this off we are not sure!!

2012: All family fly camping!

2013: First driving lessons for Lucrezia!

2014: Family photo and first Air Safari, from Kenya to Namibia. Unforgettable!

2015: Some of our favorite images from a guest, Hens Peter Brondmo.

2016:  Still lovebirds…

2017: There is nothing better than raising your kids in the bush!

2018: Chyulu walk with Jacopo!

2019: Family moments and Antonella’s 49+1 birthday!

2020: Camping on top of the Chyulu, with Claudia, Campi ya Kanzi manager.