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Eco-Resorts: Changing the World - One Journey at a Time.
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Elephants in the Masai Mara

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 safari option.

"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 game.

THE ECO-SAFARI

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!

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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 their areas.

CONTACT: Anne Loehr
EMAIL: anne@eco-resorts.com

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L - Eco-resorts safari in East Africa.ots to read and discover about ecotourism and the environment
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