Sustainable Travel and Ecotourism in Kenya
Ecotourism is becoming an increasingly growing trend and should be rightfully so. After all, certain aspects of tourism are a large contributor to environmental degradation. Beyond that, tourism can also be a cruel industry where its profit falls into the hands of the few and not necessarily the local community. Such was the problem of Kenya...that is, until the dawn of sustainable travel and ecotourism - By Richards Cole
Planning to head over to Kenya for a visit? Well, before you go and get the family car ready, or go contact a travel agency, maybe have a read as this article will give you a great idea on how you can travel to Kenya and enjoy its wonders while also being a responsible tourist.
I am going to share with you some of the spots we recommend you visit as well as some tips on how to make your trip more environmentally-friendly. So without further ado, let’s get started…
The best way to ensure that your trip is not going to hurt the environment and the local community is to choose destinations or establishments that support the same values. In fact, if we had to choose the only tip that we’d want you to take away from this article, it would be that.
Do you know which species of giraffe this is? If not, why not take our EcoTraining Giraffe Quiz and test your knowledge? EcoTraining Giraffe Quiz
How to Be a More Responsible Tourist
Here are some tips on how to be a more conscious traveller:
Research on where your chosen destination gets its resources from.
For instance, how was the establishment built? Did they use felled timber or did they use the wood of trees that have naturally fallen? We also appreciate those that use solar power for their electricity and water in order to minimize the use of fuel.
Do not favour the use or consumption of single-use products.
Instead of using a disposable coffee cup or water bottles, for example, you might want to use an actual cup or glass instead.
Don’t overuse the provided luxuries.
While we have suggested later in this blog that lounging in a hot tub is the dream when visiting the Masai Mara Bushtops, this doesn’t give you the free pass to waste precious water.
Never leave anything behind and never take anything aside from pictures.
Here’s a basic rule of travelling etiquette. Don’t leave anything behind, not even a wrapper of candy or your name carved to a tree. And even if you only want to take pictures, please be respectful and ask for permission first before snapping a photo of a random local.
By keeping the tips we have shared with you in mind, we’re sure that you will be able to enjoy your trip to the fullest with a clear conscience, knowing that you still did your part to contribute to the environment and the local community.
You can choose from a variety of environmentally conscious establishments in Kenya, the list includes luxury lodges, immersed safari experiences and even educational holidays. I will expand on some of the options below:
What makes this course so exceptional is that guests will spend time traversing three northern conservancies within the Masai Mara, the famous route of the great wildebeest migration.
This adventurous and educational course will teach guests about the importance of ecology, understanding of animal behaviour, conservation issues, bird identification and so much more. Participants will spend time on foot in pristine wilderness areas learning how to identify tracks, trailing and how to safely approach dangerous game.
There are a lot of conservancies across Kenya. These spots are places that are supported by the national government itself but are owned and maintained by the local communities. These places seek to make a balance between three factors: the conservation of wildlife, the existence of the local communities, and tourism.
If you picture these places as tented sites where you’ll be exposed to insects and wildlife, then you’re mistaken. There are actually luxurious places that bridge the balance between comfort and the wild outdoors. One of these spots is the Mara Bushtops located within the Bushtops Conservancy.
Imagine this: you can enjoy the view of wild giraffes roaming in their natural environment while you’re soaking in a hot tub and sipping champagne. If that’s not posh enough for you then we don’t know what is!
If you really want to enjoy the wildlife even more intimately, then we highly suggest the Governors’ Camp. It really gives you a closer experience. In fact, it’s BBC’s destination choice when they’re shooting their documentaries and a top on our Kenya Travel list.
This tented camp has half-a-century of history and it has helped establish (and maintain) health and educational facilities for different surrounding local communities.
Speaking of local communities, if you want to immerse yourself into the cultural aspect of your trip, then we recommend Porini Camps. Almost all of their staff are from the local community and they have a lot of cultural activities that you can explore such as watching local dances, attending talks by village elders, and more. This establishment supports a lot of local community initiatives as well.
There are certainly other destinations that you can consider visiting whilst in Kenya, but the three featured above are by far some of the favourites for Kenya Travel.
About Richard Cole
Richard Cole is a Marketing and Content Manager at MustGo.com and has been working in the Digital Marketing industry since 2002. He writes about marketing, lifestyle, travel and everything else in between. As a conversion-driven marketer, he is passionate about helping businesses expand their online visibility and reach their goals.