Ecotourism in Kenya
Kenya has a growing ecotourism industry, with green travel helping local communities and the environment.
In Kenya, the money you spend on eco-tours can go a very long way to help regenerate the landscape and boost local businesses. However, it's also a place where you must be careful where and how you spend. If you really want to help local communities, you'll need to make sure you know where your cash is going.
"Do your research before you go and try to support a cause where your money will actually go to the local communities."
One of the best ways to help is to sign up for a volunteer program. Often lasting several months, these gap-year type expeditions will allow you to really get stuck in to helping animals, people and communities. Doing some teaching and donating money to schools can be a huge boost to some of the poorer areas, and this is where you can make a real difference.
Of course, for most of us, taking a couple of months is out of the question, and the longest we'll get is two or three weeks. In this case, a carefully chosen holiday can be both memorable and eco-friendly. Choosing where you'll go and what cause you wish to support is the first thing you'll need to do. Do your research before you go and try to support a cause where your money will actually go to the local communities. A lot of tour operators will pledge a percentage of your fee to go back into the environment, but in reality much of it will never see the local people if you're not careful.
A sure-fire way to make sure your money gets to local people while you're on a holiday in Kenya is to take a trip to into town to visit the market. Tour operators will sometimes say to not give any money to street sellers because of theft. Often the case is that they just want you to spend your money with them and at the hotel.
"A sure-fire way to make sure your money gets to local people while you're on a holiday in Kenya is to take a trip to into town to visit the market."
The unfortunate fact is that local markets and street souvenir vendors are the ones who actually need your money. As long as you stay safe, one of the best things you can do is head to a local town by bus and buy a few mementos from local people. Your money can be of great help to them.
It's easy to be a green-conscious traveller in Kenya if you know what you're doing. You'll be able to make a big impact on the community that you visit while enjoying an unforgettable tour through the great African safari.