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Sustainable Tourism Case Study Kenya Daily Nation

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Impacts of Tourism:

Why visit ?

§         to experience natural beauty in wildlife

§         Seeing the animals in their natural habitat, not in cages in zoos

§         Thrill and edge of danger (different experience, cannot find elsewhere)

§         Beaches, e.g.

§         Media influence: movies (films in ), internet (cheap prices), and TV advertisements (wild life)


§         lies on the equator and is three times the size of the .

§         The longest river in is River Tana and the largest lake is .

§         The rift valley runs through from north to south. This area contains extinct volcanoes.

§         The tallest mountain peaks are Mount Kenya (5199m) and Mount Elgon (4321m), on the border with .

§         Much of ’s surface is made up of highland areas, although the South East contains the highest and steepest land.

§         In these highland areas, rainfall is plentiful but the north receives less than 250mm.


§         Tourism is the biggest foreign exchange earner in (allowing the country to import more goods) (rather than selling cash crops, e.g. tea or coffee)

§         8% of the land is game reserves (40 game reserves in total)

§         Three main game reserves: (environmental impacts)

Ø      Tsavo – East (South-East of )

§         Largest game reserve

§         10 times bigger than Maasai Mara

§         Low key-tents instead of hotels

§         Animals in their natural habitat, therefore difficult to see (have to look for and stalk the animals)

§         Density of animals is not as high as Maasai Mara’s

§         Not same luxury as Maasai Mara

§         See more of in Tsavo

Ø      Amboseli (Southern border)

Ø      Maasai Mara (South-West )

§         Maasai Mara tribe: nomadic herdsman

§         600 miles squared

§         Other attractions:

Ø      is a major holiday destination (environmental impacts on the coast)

Ø      is the water national park where corals are protected (environmental problems)

Ø      Lamu is another coastal resort and is north of (making tourism more sustainable)

Impacts of the game reserves:





§    Cultural integration with Kenyans that speak English

§    Attracts tourists, generating revenue, thus increasing GDP per capita

§    Provide jobs

§    Increase standard of living, taking people out of the poverty line

§    Largest foreign exchange earner

§    Game reserves protects wildlife, animals, and ecosystems

§    Game reserves protect land from deforestation

§    Encourages ecotourism

§    Making the building colour blend with nature


§    Hot air balloons (fun fair for tourists) disturb wildlife, e.g. rhinos (intruding the peace and natural landscape)

§    Lodges produce rubbish and are just left outside

§    Animals become scavengers, e.g. elephants die from eating battery acid

§    Rubbish contaminate water supply for animals

§    Lions and cheetahs mate less because disturbed by tourists

§    30-40 minibuses per day to MaasaiMasa, damage roads, tramping vegetation, thus soil erosion

§    “Like a big zoo”

Impacts of tourism on the Maasai Mara tribe:



Maasai Mara tribe receive community investment from revenue generated by the game park

Maasai Mara tribe pushed out of land and settled at the edge of the Maasai reserve

Better water supply

Some members of the tribe are part of the attraction (before they were nomadic herders)

Better education, some speak fluent English

Change from subsistence lifestyle, now selling souvenirs

Land is now protected so animal migration routes are blocked

No longer living with harmony with nature because fences are constructed

Nevertheless, tourism may perhaps conserve the MaasaiMasa tribe’s culture since some have to dress up in their traditional costumes, and play their traditional music to attract the tourists, whilst other tribe members are seen wearing jeans and t-shirts.

In the future, little MaasaiMasa tribe members will be left only to show that their culture used to be.

Impacts of tourism in :





§    Cultural integration

§    Create job opportunities, direct and indirect (food suppliers)

§    To sustain this tourism, have to take good care of the environment?


§    A divide between the rich, foreign holiday makers and many of the locals who are very poor in comparison

§    Tourists do not respect local custom/religion (wear bikinis, against Islamic)

§    Younger generations ‘copy’ western culture and may ‘led away’ from their culture and education

§    Locals have been excluded from ‘private’ beaches and hotel areas

§    Sex, drugs, alcohol and prostitution

§    Many goods used by tourists are imported so ’s companies do not benefit

§    Import leakage: importing products/facilities tourists want

§    Some farmers lose their job as their farm land is taken over by hotel development

§    Fisher men cannot access the beach for launching their boats

§    A lot of the money spent on these holidays goes to companies in the tourists’ own countries (about 90%)

§    Loans for tourist developments have to be paid back with interest

§    Litter left on beaches

§    Visual pollution – views spoilt by buildings

§    Traffic – cars/coaches – exhaust fumes (congestion)

§    Fumes from engine-powered boats

§    Coral reef damaged – people standing/touching

§    Boats’ anchors dragging

§    Starfish and shells with living creatures taken from sea

§    Trees/plants/small wildlife removed for new hotels

§    Turtles lose their way because of the bright lights

Impacts of tourism on the :

Environmental problems:

§         Glass bottles from hotels on the beach and in the sea

§         Standing and walking, damages the corals (both tourists and locals)

§         Anchors dropped on corals during low tide, as a result corals destroyed

§         140 tonnes of shells removed from the coast for souvenirs

§         Wildlife disappearing once habitat destroyed

Unsustainable tourism – tourists have choice to go to other locations once they are no longer attracted, ’s economy may suffer from this.

More sustainable tourism in Lamu:

§         Small scale tourism since the city is isolated

§         Limited number of bars serving alcohol in order to preserve their culture

§         Education tourists about their culture

§         Tourism revenue is paid to help preserve the architecture, thus preserve their culture

§         Trees are used to hide the buildings since they are not allowed to be more than 3-storeys high, i.e. below the tree line

§         Buildings are painted white and Islamic architecture to blend

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