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Section D - Kenya case study

Page history last edited by K J Hutchinson 6 years, 12 months ago

Lesson 1 - Where is Kenya and what is the physical environment like?

 

Learning objectives:

- to be able to locate Kenya

- to be able to describe at least 3 different tourism environments in Kenya

- to be able to explain why these environments attract tourists

 

Where is Kenya?

 

Kenya is a country in east Africa. There is a coastline on the east (Indian Ocean). It is a tropical country - the equator runs through Kenya and the country lies almost entirely between 5 degrees north and south of the equator.

 

  

 

To the north, Kenya is bordered by Sudan and Ethiopia; to the east by Somali; to the south by Tanzania; to the west by Uganda. Kenya is a land of great diversity and contrasts - this is something that attracts tourists.

 

Kenya covers 581,309 km2 (224,445 square miles) and has a population of about 44 million. The country is named after Mount Kenya, Africa's second highest mountain.

 

Why do tourists visit Kenya?

 

The tourist industry in Kenya is the 2nd largest source of foreign exchange revenue following agriculture.

 

A large proportion of Kenya's tourism centres around safaris and tours of its great National Parks and Game Reserves. While most tourists do visit for safari there is also great cultural aspects of the country to explore in cities like Mombasa and Lamu on the coast. The Maasai Mara National Reserve is usually where the Maasai Village can be found that most tourists like to visit. There are also a lot of beaches to visit in Kenya, where you can experience water boarding, surfing, wind surfing and many more fun activities that raise much needed income for Kenya's economy. Other attractions include the mosques at Mombasa; the renowned scenery of the Great Rift Valley; the coffee plantations at Thika; and a view of Mount Kilimanjaro across the border into Tanzania.

 

Kenya's climate varies across the country, from the tropical humidity of the coast, the dry heat of the savannah or semi-arid areas and the cool air of the highlands. Temperatures in these areas are fairly constant year round with an average of 27°C (80°F) at the coast, 21°C to 27°C (70°F to 80°F) in the hinterland, while in Nairobi and the highlands over 5,000 ft, the daytime temperatures normally range between 19°C and 24°C (66°F to 75°F). Most parts of the country experience two rainy seasons: the 'long rains' falling over a ten week period between April and June, and the 'short rains' over a five week period between November and December. The rain tends to fall mainly at night and is usually a short and heavy tropical downpour.

 

STA Travel suggests that there are three main types of holiday in Kenya:

 

- safari

- coastal

- cultural

 

Other companies also note city experiences as being an important holiday type in the country. You can download the STA Kenya brochure here. This video from BBC Learning Zone also summarises the main environments and tourism features of Kenya.

 

Safari holidays

 

Wildlife safaris have been the mainstay of Kenya’s tourism for decades, and several Kenyan parks, like Tsavo National Park, are among the best places in Africa to see lions, elephants, leopards and the famous wildebeest migration. Kenya rates as one of the top five bird-watching destinations in the world.

 

The Maasai Mara is Kenya’s most impressive landscape. For any visitor to the Mara, the best way to appreciate the Mara is from above, on a dawn balloon flight.

 

The Mara has long been considered the ultimate ballooning location by hot air enthusiasts- and it’s easy to see why. Perfect flying conditions are matched by expansive big sky, incredible views to enjoy whichever you turn, and Kenya’s world famous big game below the basket.

 

 

Game parks are a major source of currency for Kenya. Entry fees are currently US$80 per day for adult non-East African Residents and $30 for children.  There are a number of lodges and tented camps for tourists inside the Reserve and the Conservation area borders.

 

Lodges and camps are available inside the Reserve. Balloon safaris are also available. Mara Serena Airport, Musiara Airport and Keekorok Airport are located in the Reserve area of the Maasai Mara. Mara Shikar Airport, Kichwa Tembo Airport and Ngerende Airport are located in the Conservation area of the Maasai Mara.

 

Coastal destinations

 

The Kenyan coast is lined with pristine white sand beaches fringing the warm inviting waters of the Indian Ocean. Here the wilderness meets the sea, and the ocean itself holds a world of spectacular coral reefs teeming with life and colour.

 

The coastline south of Mombasa is a tropical paradise of palm fringed white sand beaches, where the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean meet beautiful coral reefs. The protective reefs have created ideal beaches with calm, inviting waters. Days are filled with sunshine and nights are balmy and warm with gentle sea breezes. The offshore reefs are alive with coral, myriad fish, sea turtles and dolphins. Both outer and inner reef walls offer world class diving with spectacular coral gardens and drop offs. At Kisite-Mpunguti, a Marine Reserve has been established around beautiful Wasini Island, an ideal day trip for divers and snorkellers. The beaches are bordered by lush green coastal rainforests with prolific birdlife and variety of wildlife including baboons, rare colobus monkeys and even leopard.

 
   

 

City destinations

  

Kenya has three cities and several major towns in its eight provinces. The capital city is Nairobi. The other cities are Mombasa and Kisumu. The other major towns are headquarters in their respective provinces. In these towns are luxury hotels and lodges located in these major towns.

 

Nairobi has plenty of tourist attractions. The most famous is the Nairobi National Park. The national park is unique, in being the only game-reserve of this nature to border a capital city, or city of this size. The park contains many animals including lions and giraffes. The park is home to over 400 species of bird, which is more than the entire British Isles.

Nairobi is home to several museums. The National Museum of Kenya is the largest in the city.  Other prominent museums include the Nairobi Railway Museum and the Karen Blixen Museum.

Nairobi is nicknamed the Safari Capital of the World, and has many hotels to cater for safari-bound tourists.

 

This video summarises some of the main attractions in Nairobi, Kenya's capital city.

 

 

 

Lesson 2 - The impact of tourism on the Maasai Mara

 

Learning objectives:

To recognise that tourism in the Masai Mara nature reserve has both positive and negative consequences.

- To be able to classify these impacts into social, economic and environmental.

 

Look at the image below. It outlines a typical safari holiday in the Maasai Mara. What impacts will it have on people and the environment?

 

 

 

Social impacts

- Tourism creates employment opportunities for local people eg. as tour guides. However, many of these jobs are low paid.

- It promotes cultural awareness and can help preserve local cultures and traditions. However, many people feel that by locals putting on 'cultural shows' for the tourists they are actually destroying their own culture as the visitors look on it as a 'freak show'.

- The Maasai perform traditional dances for tourists who come to  their villages. These dances used  to be performed for special  occasions, but now they are performed for money.

- When the game parks were set up, the Maasai were driven off the land to make way for wild animals.

 

Economic impacts

- Income from tourists can be used to develop local infrastructure and services eg. new roads, schools, sanitation systems, health centres.

- A survey revealed that less than 2% of the money spent in the Maasai Mara Park benefited the local people - even the daily entry fee went directly to the government in Nairobi.

- The Maasai are now selling souvenirs to tourists for money instead of herding their cattle.

 

Environmental impacts

- Natural features that attract tourists in the first place can be protected using income from tourism - eg. places designated as National Parks.

At peak times, especially during the migration from June to August, more than 8,000 people can be in the park at the same time, leading to lines of 70 or more safari vans queuing at prime viewing points. This can disturb animals.

- Off road driving in parks also affects the habits of animals. Drivers are keen for a tip from tourists so they try to get as near as possible to the animals, which disturbs them and may alter their behaviour.

- Minibuses or tour buses have a tendency to stray all over the Mara making new tracks. This erosion of the soil causes ruts to develop in the roads. They churn up the ground in the wet season.

- The presence of lodge restaurants is changing the diet of birds and mammals such as baboons as they are eating food from the rubbish bins. Some scavengers, such as hyenas, may change their natural feeding habits and became permanent garbage feeders.

- Hot air balloons in parks disturb animals by casting shadow and from the noise of the burners.

- The infrastructure development for the tourists including roads within the reserve, hotels, resorts and camping have negative impact on the wildlife habitat.

The soil compaction is the major effect of off road driving. Weighted vehicles wheels' roll outside the road affecting vegetation immediately and the pressured area remains affected for a long time. Compacted soil does not allow infiltration. Nor does it allow penetrating plant roots.

 

This video summarises some of the benefits of tourism for the Maasai people.

 

Overall, do you think that tourism is good or bad for the Masai Mara and its people? Justify your answer.

 

Lesson 3 - Responsible tourism in Kenya - Kigio Wildlife Conservancy case study

 

Learning objectives:

To be able to define the terms: ecotourism, fair trade tourism, responsible tourism.

- To develop a case study of responsible tourism in Kigio, Kenya.

 

Definitions

 

Ecotourism - holidays that do little or no damage to the natural environment and local community

Fair Trade tourism - makes sure that the benefits go directly to those whose land, natural resources, work, knowledge and culture are being used

Responsible tourism - tourism that protects the environment, respects local cultures, benefits local communities, conserves natural resources and causes minimum pollution

 

 

Kigio Wildlife Conservancy

 

Kigio Wildlife Conservancy is a 3,500-acre conservancy between Nakuru and Naivasha in Kenya. The area has approximtaely 3,500 heads of wildlife (including the endangered Rothschild Giraffe, a 200 strong herd of buffalo, impala, Grant's and Thomson's gazelle, eland, hyena, leopard, hippo and over 250 bird species) which are protected by an electric fence on three sides and the Malewa River on one. The Conservancy is at the forefront of eco-tourism in the Rift Valley lakes area.

 

Accommodation is available at 2 new properties - Malewa Wildlife Lodge and Kigio Wildlife Camp.

 

Kigio Wildlife Camp

 

The camp is constructed from sustainable pine-wood, local earth from the conservancy, traditional thatch provided by the surrounding community and canvas panels - there has been minimal usage of cement and steel and the environment has been carefully preserved during its construction. Power is provided by solar panels.

 

 

Accommodation is in eleven spacious suites (each 72 square metres) and one 2-bedroom family suite, each built on deck and containing a large bedroom and sitting area, a private bathroom with flush loo, shower and balcony. The dining area is situated in a glade overlooking a towering red cliff that houses colonies of bee-eaters. A most attractive bar sits between two tall fever trees facing the cliff while dining decks are extended up to the river. At night hippo and buffalo visit the camp to feed on ground salts and vegetation, in the morning zebra and giraffe wander through as more than 250 types of birds sing away. Guests can take part in complimentary nature walks with naturalists, fishing and biking.

 

School Firewood Project

One of the resources that is used regularly at the lodge is firewood. The owners are currently working with two primary schools in the villages bordering KWC to plant woodlots for firewood production. Years from now branches from these trees will be harvested by the schools and sold to the lodge for firewood. The schools can then use the profits for supplies, fieldtrips, and other education programs.

 

Malewa Community Products

The lodge makes an effort to buy as many of its supplies locally as possible. The dish soap and some cleaning supplies come from a local man who makes them from aloe vera and other local plants. The honey that is served at breakfast comes from a women's group in Mwitumberia village who harvest it from their bee-hives. The carpets at Kigio Camp come from a local group of artisans who weave with handmade looms. The shops will only sell products manufactured by the community.

 

Community Tours

The lodge encourages community tours for guests as it contributes to the local economy. For each tour a fee is collected and donated to the community. Tours can include going to local schools, taking a basket weaving class with a local women's group, planting trees in the villages to offset the carbon emissions from a flight and much more.

 

Lamwe Organic Farm

Kigio's goal is to buy all the produce that they use in the kitchen from local farmers. This will reduce trips to the city to stock up and it will help the local economy. To realize this, the lodges are helping a group of 15 farmers, men and women, from Mwitumberia and Langalanga villages to start an organic garden at the border of the two villages. The group has decided to call themselves "Lamwe," a combination of their two

village names. With the help of local organic farmer John Motura, KWC are training the participating farmers on organic alternatives to chemical pesticides and fertilizers. The lodge has begun to compost its food waste and this compost will be given to the farm to fertilize the soil.

 

Waste Management

KWC looks for creative ways to manage their wastes. They compost their organic waste, recycle what they can, and look for innovative ways to reuse what is left. For example, they donate their magazines and milk cartons to a local group who makes them into jewellery. They donate any empty glass jars from the kitchen to a women's group who fill them with honey to sell. They give some of their empty water bottles to a local man who fills them with dish soap, shampoo, and toilet cleaner for sale. They train their staff to be environmentally sensitive, to use water sparingly, to sort waste, to pick up litter whenever they see it, and to explain to guests what they are doing and why.

 

You can read more about the Kigio Wildlife Camp here.

 

 

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