Ecotourism is a fairly new phenomenon in the world as it is in Kenya and although Kenya has taken significant steps in what many environmentalists may regard as a shift from the traditional tourism to responsible travel,the common Mwanachi has yet to embrace the concept of ecotourism ;be it from ignorance or a general lack of information in this area. Well have no fear ecotourism demystified is here to educate you all you have to do is sit, relax and read. In layman terms ecotourism is basically environmentally responsible travel meaning while you are having fun and enjoying yourself in that new destination take a moment and think of how your actions affect the environment, the community in the area and future generations to come. Saying all this the fact still remains that many people have no idea what fun and interesting ecotourism activities Kenya has to offer.
Ecotourism Activities in Kenya
This is an example of interesting ecotourism activities available in Kenya. The most famous & interesting caves in Kenya has to be Kisula caves of Chyulu Hills located on the boundary of Amboseli plains and Tsavo plains. The Chyulu Hills has the deepest know lava tube caves with some of its volcanic eruptions having occurred as recently as 240years ago.Among the local community, this eruptions are still the subject of many legends involving evil spirits spewing fire from the earth.Upon extensive exploration it has been established as one of the world’s longest caves with a maximum length of 11.15km.These caves have put Chyulu Hills on the world map,attracting tourists from all over the globe who come to explore and hike through the stunning landscape with its view of the majestic Mt Kilimanjaro in the distance. From the Chyulu Hills National Park Headquarters, you can get to one of the entrances to the Kisula Caves after a 15km hike through the rugged unspoilt countryside. The area is teeming with wildlife(it being a national park & all ) therefore its advicable to get an escort from the KWS(Kenya Wildlife Service). And just to be one the safe side ensure your ranger is experienced & willing(as rumor has it that some of the rangers are superstitious about the caves.
Come see nature at its best with the amazing scene that is butterfly watching. The Kakamega Forest National Reserve, for butterfly watchers, is the place to visit. Being the only remnant in Kenya with the unique Guineo- Congolian forest ecosystem, the Park offers unique wildlife and scenic beauty suitable for picnics with friends and family. The forest is home to over 400 species of butterfly.Also for those in the city(that is Nairobi of course ) the Nairobi Butterfly Centre might be closer to home.In this beautiful wonder of nature is located in Karen,Nairobi about 1.5km from the Dagoretti Road.It opens from 9am to 5pm daily. Nairobi Butterfly Center,the world’s second largest butterfly center after the one in Britain, is home to over 1000 butterfly species.Here you will find the largest and smallest butterflies in Kenya. The center offers its visitors an informative , impressive and exciting view on butterfly rearing which is an added attraction to Eco-tourists. And if you feel a day with butterfly won’t do it and yearn for an in depth analysis of this beautiful creature then by all means take a butterfly safari which are all year round in Kenya and range from a day to week.
Game Viewing Safari
Kenya is world renowned for its outstanding and award wining game viewing safaris. Millions of tourist from all over the world grace our country for this breathe taking experience. Located in the heart of the Kenyan Savannah ;the Masaai Mara is without a doubt is in a class of it own in the world and It is still one of the best game experience you could have the pleasure of experiencing explaining the reason why people from all over the world pay thousand of shillings to see.With its spectacle of tens of thousand wildebeest braving the crocodile infested waters as the cross the Mara River en mass,the wildebeest migration(named a world wonder) is one Masaai Mara main attraction.Also the Mara is known for having a huge variety of general wildlife(so do not be surprised to see an elephant passing near your campsite). Although the migration is usually in July-October ,a good number of wildlife can be found all year round.
Guided Nature Walk.
Tired of traffic and fumes that fill the city air,the hustle and bustle that is everyday city life? Then escape this with walk to a beautiful nature trail where the only hustle and bustle you will get is from the birds singing and trees whistling. Here you get every opportunity to be one with nature;being Zen with Mother earth by leaving all the stress in the big city. Trust me yoga has nothing on a nature guided walk.Most National Parks in Kenya offer guided or Self-guided nature Travis.Also night walks are a fantastic option.The National Parks that offer this include;Nairobi Safari Walk,Kakamega National Park,Mt Kenya National park to name just but a few.
Are you searching for the perfect tourist destination with beautiful scenery and an adrenaline rush as an added bonus will we just have the thing for you,Kenya is known for its beautiful white sandy beaches, classic Savannah safaris and the exquisite phenomenon that is the Mara sunset. What you did not know is that Kenya is also gaining ground in the adventure tourism sector with its introduction of Bungee jumping. First of its kind in Kenya , its located at Sagana on the Tana River.Here you jump off a 60meter (200feet)high custom built steel tower that has been erected on the banks of the Tana River. As you jump you have adrenaline and excitement pumping your blood leaving you with this sublime feeling. The freefall leaves you feeling weightless and you are left suspended on air with no gravity to pull you down then the bungee rope kicks in, you rebound and in a flash all these feelings disappear. So if you think you can hack plunging hundred of feet with only a bungee cord to save you then by all means try bungee jumping. The high you get from this will carry you on for weeks.
Kenya is one of the richest bird areas not only in East Africa but also the world in general. With a wealth of different habitats, it is quite easy to spot over 1000 species in a day. Bird watching or Birding as it is known is all year round in Kenya and can be quiet the unique experience. From the open Savannah plains where the majority Of safaris take place or on or near waters,there are excellent bird watching opportunities .The few local bird watching hotspots in Kenya include Lake Jipe, Gatamaiya Forest,Kakamega Forest trail, Lake Baringo.
Kitesurfing is one of the world’s fastest growing and exhilarating water sports and Kenya with its warm, sheltered waters, perfect weather conditions and beautiful tropical beaches is perfect for kitesurfing. Long known for it’s game drives safaris ;Kenya is trying to venture into the unknown unchartered waters and breaking from the shackles of traditional tourism activities. So next time you are at the coast do something adventurous by indulging in kite surfing.
Hot Air Ballooning
Ever wanted to understand the whole getting a bird’s eye really means? Try hot air ballooning. These balloons stand 10 storey tall and last about 400 flying hours. The balloon’s lift comes from hot air which is slightly lighter than the surrounding cold atmosphere. The balloon is powered by ordinary cooking gas to heat the air in the envelope. An ideal ride would be one over the scenic Masaai Mara which starts early morning with a light breakfast then off for the ride over the Masaai Mara with a glass of Champagne, need I say more.
I was a bit apprehensive about this as cycling isn’t my cup of tea but after a comprehensive history of cycling in Kenya I was sold on it. The bicycle is one of Kenya’s most popular form of transport and Kenya with its fantastic climate, endless tracks and a vibrant racing recreational scene is a great place to cycle and with the development of responsible travel in Kenya has led to the development of cycling as a form of tourist attraction with various biking activities such as mountain biking holidays, family cycling and
biking holidays up on offer.
These are just a few of many interesting ecotourism activities in Kenya as a tourist destination (for both international and domestic tourists ). So next time you planning a holiday or just want some down time pick one of the many and interesting ecotourism activities available.