Kenya is the world’s most popular safari destination. On average, there are over one million annual tourist arrivals into Kenya with 300,000 of these coming from inside Africa itself and a whopping 700,000 coming from the rest of the world. The country occupies an area of 58,367 square kilometers, out of which approximately 44,359 square kilometers or 75 percent is wildlife conservation area. Kenya is the ideal vacation destination if you’re looking to see the Big Five, and with a near endless supply of wildlife to spot and marvel over, it really is a dream destination for a vacation you’ll never forget. Kenya also has over 500 km of sandy white beaches for when you simply want to relax and unwind. Thinking of choosing a Kenyan safari for your next vacation? Here are just a few reasons why it’s important to ensure that when you choose a vacation you ensure that it’s a sustainable one:
Closer to Nature
- Sustainable tourism is increasingly important to modern travelers: a 2012 study conducted by Trip Advisor found that 71% of their customers would be making environmentally friendly choices when booking their next vacation. Another study by Conde Nast traveler found that 58% of their travellers’ hotel choices are influenced by the support the hotel gives to the local community. Sustainable tourism is defined as “tourism that respects both local people and the traveler, cultural heritage and the environment”. Almost all areas of tourism are working hard to improve their eco-credentials, including those who previously had a notoriously high carbon footprint, such as cruise liners. The cruise industry, for example, is working hard to reduce waste and carbon emissions and become more eco-friendly, utilizing solar panels and turning their waste materials into a power source. One industry that is head and shoulders above all the others when it comes to offering sustainable options though is the safari industry. No doubt being so close to nature on a day to day basis increases awareness about how important the conservation of nature is. If you’re looking to have a sustainable vacation and enjoy all of the splendor of a safari vacation then there is no better place to visit than Kenya.
Sustainability at the Heart
- The most famous safari destination in Kenya, if not in the world, is the Masai Mara National Park. Here you can see the Great Migration, one of the largest mammal migrations in the world, elephants, and an exceptionally large population of big cats. The total area engulfed by the national reserve is a total of 1,510 square kilometers or 583 square miles. The Masai Mara is an entirely sustainable destination, making it the perfect place to travel for an environmentally guilt free vacation. The tour operators working in the Masai Mara have been noted for displaying a high level of investment in conservation and community support and the Basecamp Masai Mara destination within the national park has been awarded international recognition in sustainable tourism, including 2005 First Choice Responsible Tourism Award for Best Practice in Protected Areas. If you’re looking to minimize your carbon footprint and support investment in local community schemes and practices whilst you enjoy your safari vacation then Basecamp Masai Mara is one of the very best places in Kenya to stay and to visit. Many people living within the Masai Mara, and within wider Kenya still live very traditional lives, working in harmony with the wildlife and removed from the tourism: it is important that this is respected, and that the standard of living for these people is maintained.
Kenya is a truly incredible country that you will want to visit again and again. Luckily, with its focus on sustainable, environmentally friendly tourism, you will be able to visit as many times as you like without feeling any guilt that the vacation you enjoy so much will impact negatively on the environment.
By Susie Winnard
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