Stefano Becomes a Knight - or Better, a Cavaliere

9 June 2014

We are proud to announce that Stefano Cheli received the "Cavaliere dell'Ordine della Stella d'Italia" - The Italian equivalent of Knighthood!

On 2 June 2014, Ambassador Mauro Massoni, the Italian Ambassador to Kenya, awarded the honour to Stefano at a ceremony on the lovely grounds of the Italian Embassy in Nairobi. Granted by the President of the Republic, the award represents the second highest civilian honor of the State, and is given to those who have achieved special merit in the "promotion of national prestige abroad".

In Stefano Cheli's case, the award commends his lifelong commitment towards conservation in Kenya and his outstanding achievements as a front-runner in Sustainable Tourism, together with his wife Liz, who together founded Cheli & Peacock Safaris in 1985.

Stefano comments: "I am honored to receive such recognition from the Italian Government, and I would like to add that without the great team work within Cheli & Peacock, we would not have achieved what we have been able to achieve since 1985. We started this adventure almost 30 years ago because we wanted to show people what an authentic safari is all about - and this remains our mantra!" 

Stefano served on the Kenya Association of Tour Operators Executive Committee for over 15 years and successfully lobbied the tourism community to place a moratorium on development in the Mara in 1998. He worked on the founding of the Kenya Tourism Federation in 1998. He was the driving force behind the formation of Mara North Conservancy and helped found the Ecotourism Society of Kenya to put in place Africa's first tourism eco-certification scheme. In 2013, Stefano Cheli joined the Board of Trustees of the Northern Rangelands Trust, is on the board of the African Conservation Centre and he remains the Chairman and Director of the Mara North Conservancy.

We at Cheli & Peacock congratulate Stefano!