Kampi ya Kanzi’s Blog repost

Luca of Kampi ya Kanzi in the Chyulu Hills posted an interestingpiece on his blog yesterday which deserves to be shared:

The safety (and immense pleasure) of being on safari in Kenya

3rd April 2015. Jacopo’s birthday. Today he is 8 years
old.
His Maasai name is Leshan, the one who brings the rains.
And today it rained, which is always magical in Africa.
Here is what my eyes were seeing just a few minutes ago.

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But no celebrations. Only compassion.

That is the only word which comes to me in this moment.
Compassion for the Kenyan families devastated by yesterday’s
terrorist attack in Garissa, near Somalia.

I would also like to share another kind of compassion:
empathy for those hundreds of thousands of Kenyans whose
lives depend on tourism. Those hard workers who have kids,
who need to pay their school fees, who need to bring food to their tables each day….

This blog is a window onto the world, and I would like to open
this window to reach out to you: yes, you, exactly you. It is up
to you to support these hundreds of thousands of peaceful
Kenyans and to understand how terrorists are targeting our
lifestyle everywhere, not just in Kenya. It just happened at a
café in Copenhagen, at a kosher market in France, in Paris,
in Tunis….

You can enjoy a safari in Kenya in total safety.
It takes two days to travel to Garissa from where we live.

So, can it be “business as usual”?
Can you still consider Kenya as a holiday destination?
My answer is a no to the “business as usual” question and a
loud YES as to the safety of coming on safari with us.

No, it must not be business as usual. We need to stand up and support Kenya by visiting its safari destinations. All very safe, all hundreds of (and up to a thousand) kilometers away from the troublesome border with Somalia.

YES: it is absolutely safe to be on safari in Kenya. In the
Maasai Mara, in Amboseli, or here in the Chyulu.

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What is meaningful for a conservationist like me is that
conservation needs tourism. What is even more significant
is that hundreds of thousands of Kenyans depend
economically on tourism. And so do thousands of wild
animals, whose protection without tourism is simply
unaffordable, even in the National Parks.

So, most substantially of all, if we want our children to be
able to enjoy lions and elephants in the Maasai wilderness
when they have their children, we must act now.
Act by saying no to “business as usual,” and support Kenya
with tourism.
Act by understanding that YES, a safari here is safe.

Why? Here are three direct reasons:
– Our Maasai reservation is 15 miles from Tanzania.
It would take a two-day journey to get to the areas near the
Somali border;
– Your hosts here are the 15,000 Maasai landlords, whose
children go to school, whose sick get medical assistance,
and whose livestock are protected and compensated for when
predated, thanks to your $101 conservation fee paid for every
day you spend with us;
– Lastly, because we employ 101 Maasai rangers, making this
paradise on Earth probably much safer than your home is,
given the madness of today’s world….

Choose Kenya for your coming holiday. Choose the
community-based Campi ya Kanzi for your safari: it will be
one of the most serene trips you ever have.

Can I now use the window provided by this blog to have you
look into our world? Why don’t you look through the eyes of
those who have been here?

Let these images talk to you….

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Mia Camargo, age 5, last
year,
walking hand
in hand with Parashi.
I bet she will remember this
for a
long, long time….
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A walk in the Chyulu Hills
last
week.
(Photo credit: 7 Mila
Miglia
Lontano)
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From my bedroom, a couple of
days ago…
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Warriors, as seen by my
brotherly
friend Nicola Tonolini
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The happiness of Maasai
children,
again seen
from the camera lens of
Nicola Tonolini

This is what it is to be on safari….
And much, much more…

Come and enjoy it… here, in the Maasai Mara, in Amboseli,
wherever you like. Do not leave Kenyans alone. Make a
difference and come on safari to the home we all come from:
Kenya….

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