Where is Kenya?
- - it has an attractive climate (tropical) with sunshine all year round, hot and humid at the coast; temperate inland and dry in the NE (rainy season - April-June and Oct-Dec, heavy rainfall in the afternoon and early evening)
- - Safari holidays are popular - e.g. in the Maasai Mara / Nakuru National Park - Kenya has spectacular wildlife - including the big 5 - Lion, Elephant, Rhinoceros, Leopard and Buffalo
- - Cultural experience - many tourists visit local tribes such as the Maasai to find out more about their lifestyle and traditions
- - Coastal Holidays - SE of Kenya has fine sands and coral reefs with spectacular marine life - e.g. Mombassa
Why have numbers of tourists visiting Kenya increased?
- - Kenya was one of the first LEDC countries to acheive mass tourism and in the 1970s and 1980s there was a rapid increase in the numbers of tourists, particularly following the release of the films Born Free and Out of Africa.
- - Tourist numbers have also increased as larger aircraft in the 1980s brought prices of air travel down.
- - Tourism encourages the building of new roads and better communications
- - Jobs in tourism have helped develop people's business skills
- - Tourism has created all year round jobs for Kenyans
- - Tourism is Kenya's biggest earner of foreign exchange
- -Tourism has stimulated farming, by creating a demand for local food from farmers
- - National Parks have been created - encouraging people to protect the environment.
- - there is leakage of income - with a lot of the money paid for holidays never actually reaching Kenya (travel companies and foreign owned hotels get it instead)
- - Safari minibuses disturb animals - often getting too close (e.g. can be 30-40 buses around a single animal in the Maasai Mara), they also cause soil erosion as the wheels churn up the grass
- - many Maasai are traditionally nomadic, but many have been forced out of the National Parks - losing their land and also losing their traditional lifestyles.
- - Hot air balloons in parks disturb animals - by casting shadows and from the noise of the burners.
- - Coastal Environments such as those in Mombassa have been damaged - e.g. destruction of coral reefs as tourists step on the coral and also take souvenirs.
- - Drugs and crime has increased and AIDS is a major problem
Working towards sustainable tourism in Kenya - KIGO CONSERVANCY - An example of ECOTOURISM.
Kigio Conservancy was set up in 1997 on an old beef / dairy ranch with the aim of providing a wildlife sanctuary and a sustainable eco-tourism destination.
The accommodation at Kigio is in "cottages" built of mud, timber and thatch, using local and reclaimed materials and methods. The furniture is built from re-claimed timber from the ground and there is no electricity, oil lamps are instead used.
Kigio has a number of ecotourism activities it is involved in:
- - partnerships with local communities - helping to fund and work on community projects
- - provides links with local schools with schools in the UK, raising money for new classrooms and other projects (e.g. water tanks)
- - partnerships with conservation organisations such as the Tusk Trust - which has involved setting up conservation centre for use by local schools and providing sustainable development education for local communities
- - employees local people - e.g. guides and other workers
- - conservation activities - e.g. looking after orphaned wildlife - e.g. 2003 relocation of giraffe into the area - including a baby giraffe from the Karen Blixen Giraffe Orphange in Nairobi.