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Tourism in Kenya: Wikis


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The tourist industry in Kenya is the second largest source of foreign exchange revenue after agriculture. The main tourist attractions are photo safaris through the 19 national parks and game preserves. Other attractions include the mosques at Mombasa; the renowned scenery of the Great Rift Valley; the coffee plantations at Thika; a view of Mt. Kilimanjaro, across the border into Tanzania;[1] and its beaches along the Indian Ocean. There is however a lot of disce halves Kenya Q1 tourism revenues.[2]



Lee Jolliffe, in her book Tea and Tourism: Tourists, Traditions and Transformations, argues that Kenyan tourism developed on its conservation of natural resources, though "beach tourism, eco-tourism, cultural tourism, sports tourism all form part of the portfolio."[3] During the 1990s, the number of tourists travelling to Kenya decreased, partly due to the well publicised murders of several tourists.[4] However, tourism in Kenya has been the leading source of foreign exchange since 1997, when it overtook coffee, and the trend continued, with the exception on 1997-1998.[3]


2007 – 2008 Kenyan crisis

Following the controversial 2007 presidential election and the 2007-2008 Kenyan crisis that followed, tourism revenues plummeted 54 percent from 2007 in the first quarter of 2008.[2] It fell to 8.08 billion shillings (US$130.5 million) from 17.5 billion shillings in January-March 2007[2] and a total of 130,585 tourists arrived in Kenya compared to over 273,000 that year.[5] Tourist income from China, however, dropped 10.7 %, compared with over 50 % from traditional revenue earners the United States and Europe.[2] Domestic tourism also improved by 45 %, earning the tourist sector 3.65 billion shillings out of the 8.08 billion in the period being reviewed.[5]

Conference tourism was badly hit during the first quarter, dropping by 87.4 % compared to the growth that was witnessed in 2007.[5] 974 people arrived in Kenya during that period for many conferences were cancelled.[5] Business travel declined by 21 per cent during the time period and 35,914 travellers came into the country compared to 45,338 during the same period the year before.[5]

Despite this, Kenya won the Best Leisure Destination award at the World Travel Fair in Shanghai, China, in April 2008.[6] The Permanent Secretary in Kenya's Ministry of Tourism, Rebecca Nabutola, stated that the award "goes to testify that Kenya has a unique world acclaimed tourism product. The recognition will no doubt boost Kenya's tourism and enhance its profile as a leading tourist destination."[6]

Visitor attractions

National parks

Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park, formerly Maasai Amboseli Game Reserve is in Kajiado District, Rift Valley Province in Kenya. The park is 390 km² (150 mi2) in size at the core of an 8,000 km² (3,000 mi2) ecosystem that spreads across the Kenya-Tanzania border. The local people are mainly Maasai, but people from other parts of the country have settled there attracted by the successful tourist-driven economy and intensive agriculture along the system of swamps that makes this low-rainfall area (average 350 mm (14 in) one of the best wildlife-viewing experiences in the world. The park protects two of the five main swamps, and includes a dried-up Pleistocene lake and semi-arid vegetation.

Kora National Park

Kora National Park is located in Coast Province, Kenya. The park covers an area of 1,787 square kilometres. It is located 125 kilometres east of Mount Kenya. The park was initially gazetted as a nature reserve in 1973. It was gazetted as a national park in 1990, following the murder of George Adamson by poachers.[7]

Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park (168 km²), created in 1961 around Lake Nakuru, near Nakuru Town. It is best known for its thousands, sometimes millions of flamingos nesting along the shores. The surface of the shallow lake is often hardly recognizable due to the continually shifting mass of pink. The number of flamingoes on the lake varies with water and food conditions and the best vantage point is from Baboon Cliff. Also of interest is an area of 188 km around the lake fenced off as a sanctuary to protect Rothschild giraffes and black rhinos.

A stray flamingo away from his Lake Nakuru flock in Kenya

Mount Kenya National Park

Mount Kenya National Park (0°07′26″S 37°20′12″E / 0.12389°S 37.33667°E / -0.12389; 37.33667), established in 1949, protects the region surrounding Mount Kenya. Initially is was a forest reserve before being announced as a national park. Currently the national park is within the forest reserve which encircles it.[8] In April 1978 the area was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.[9] The national park and the forest reserve, combined, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.[10]

Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park is a national park in Kenya. It became Kenya's first national park when it was established in 1946. It is located approximately 7 kilometres (4 mi) south of the centre of Nairobi, Kenya's capital city, and is small in relation to most of Africa's national parks. Nairobi's skyscrapers can be seen from the park. The park has a large and varied wildlife population.[11] Only a fence separates the park's animals from the city.[12] Migrating herbivores concentrate in the park during the dry season. It is one of Kenya's most successful rhinoceros sanctuaries. The park's proximity to Nairobi causes conflicts between the park's animals and local people and threatens animals' migration routes.

Tourist information

Tourists in most countries are required to have both a passport and a visa. Vaccinations against malaria and yellow fever are advisable.[1]

The Kenya Tourist Board, or KTB, is the government agency that markets Kenya to foreign travellers.[3] The private sector's views are established with the Ministry of Tourism, which works closely with the KNB.[3] The Ministry of Tourism is responsible for advising the KNB and opening bodies in the ministry related to specific types of tourism.[3]


In 1995, there were 34,211 hotel beds with a 44 % occupancy rate. 1,036,628 visitors arrived in Kenya in 2000 and tourism receipts totaled $257 million. That year, the US government estimated the average cost of staying in Nairobi at $202 per day, compared to $94 to $144 per day in Mombasa, depending on the time of year. [1]


  1. ^ a b c Nations Encyclopedia
  2. ^ a b c d "Post-poll violence halves Kenya Q1 tourism revenues". Reuters. 2008-05-02. Retrieved 2008-05-04.  
  3. ^ a b c d e Jolliffe 2007, p.146
  4. ^ Nagle 1999, p.115
  5. ^ a b c d e Maina, Wangui (2008-05-05). "Kenya: Domestic Tourists Help to Cushion Travel Sector". Business Daily ( Retrieved 2008-05-05.  
  6. ^ a b Gachenge, Beatrice (2008-04-21). "Kenya: Country Scoops Top Tourism Award". Business Daily ( Retrieved 2008-05-04.  
  7. ^ Hodd, Mike (2002-01-09). Footprint East Africa. Footprint Travel Guides. ISBN 1-900949-65-2.  
  8. ^ Kenya Wildlife Service. "Mount Kenya National Park". Retrieved 2009-12-30.  
  9. ^ United Nations Environment Programme (1998). "Protected Areas and World Heritage". Archived from the original on 2007-02-12. Retrieved 2008-02-23.  
  10. ^ United Nations (2008). "Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest". Archived from the original on 2006-12-30. Retrieved 2008-02-23.  
  11. ^ Riley 2005, p.90
  12. ^ Prins 2000, p.143

Further reading

External links

Government ministries and corporations


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