A Kenyan Recipe for Going Green
January 26, 2001
Watamu, Kenya. Take a dollop of local tribes-people, a cup
of endangered wildlife, a sprinkling of stunning landscape and a pinch of tourists...
the perfect recipe for an eco-friendly safari.
Tourism often benefits only the large hotel and airline companies,
bypassing the local communities, with little investment or return to the area
visited by the clients. However, this is now changing with the creation of Kenya's
first real eco-friendly safari. Eco-resorts, an eco-adventure safari company,
has created Kenya's first real eco-safari, offering the informed traveler an additional
"Many tourists are tired of jumping off a plane, climbing in a
mini-bus, taking photos of elephants and rushing to the next lunch buffet in a
large lodge," explains Melinda Rees, Eco-resort's customer service director. "We're
creating a unique opportunity for our clients, using only camps and lodges that
support the wildlife conservation projects and local tribes. Many people think
eco-friendly means eating granola and roughing it. It doesn't; it can be quite
luxurious too. Either way, eco-friendly travel introduces you to local wildlife
and culture, making little impact on the environment and creating a strong influence
on the local communities."
To Eco-resorts, "eco" means Environmental and Community Orientated.
In this eco-safari, Eco-resorts uses camps and lodges that are on the cutting
edge of ecotourism. The properties are either directly owned by the local community
or have been established on community tribal lands in direct negotiations with
the villagers, generating an alternative income for the local villages. The facilities
are also involved in wildlife conservation, often bordering national parks or
areas with high wildlife density, allowing travelers the chance to easily spot
Traveling from Amboseli in southern Kenya to the Laikipia northern
region and finishing in the famous Masai Mara, this eco-safari provides an opportunity
to explore a diversity of Kenyan ecosystems, deserts, plains and grasslands, with
the most knowledgeable guides from the local communities.
Built with local materials by local craftsmen, each facility in
the eco-safari is unique, offering a variety of atmospheres and styles, from permanent,
tented camps to private homes hosted by owners who have lived in Kenya for generations.
Freshly prepared meals energize the traveler for the next game walk or game drive,
while the friendly and knowledgeable staff educate their guests about the local
customs, wildlife and peoples during the various activities.
Eco-resorts created this eco-safari specifically to help the local
communities use wildlife as their natural resource. In each of the itinerary's
regions, wildlife is threatened from exploding human populations and economic
growth, causing human/wildlife conflicts. In order to resolve some of these conflicts,
ecotourism is a viable alternative to cattle ranching or farming. By providing
a direct benefit to communities for tending to wildlife, the properties in this
eco-safari help resolve and alleviate these conflicts. In addition, Eco-resorts
donates a percentage of their proceeds to local schools, orphanages and libraries.
A true eco-safari is a gain for everyone!
About Eco-resorts (http://www.eco-resorts.com) Eco-resorts sells
tailor made, eco-friendly adventure safaris in Kenya and Tanzania, such as camel
trekking, cultural immersions and wildlife walks, to suit all budgets and ages.
A percentage of these safaris support their East African community and conservation
projects, such as the local schools, clinics and orphanage. Their featured camps
and lodges can be environmentally friendly by using solar panels or wind turbines,
recycling waste, planting trees or building camps without damaging the environment.
These companies could also be community orientated by leasing land from the local
tribes, giving a percentage of their profits to the local communities, supporting
the local schools and clinics, or training and educating the tribes people in
CONTACT: Anne Loehr