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Ecotourism Kenya. Making Kenya’s Tourism Responsible. Linking Communities, Tourism and Conservation. Ecotourism Kenya. Ecotourism Kenya is a tourism sector association founded in 1996 to promote Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Practices in Kenya. What is Ecotourism?.

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ecotourism kenya
Ecotourism Kenya

Making Kenya’s



Linking Communities, Tourism and Conservation.

ecotourism kenya1

Ecotourism Kenya

Ecotourism Kenya is a tourism sector association founded in 1996 to promote Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Practices in Kenya.


What is Ecotourism?

Responsible tourism that invests in and supports the protection of the environment and conservation of natural resources, respects local cultures and involves local communities to ensure equity amongst all stakeholders.

WHAT WE ARE ABOUT: Ecotourism Kenya in a nutshell

OUR PROGRAMMES: 5 focal areas

EK Vision: To be a leader in the knowledge and practice of ecotourism

Mission: To effectively link communities, tourism and conservation for sustainable tourism development in Kenya

Goal: To promote tourism practices that will conserve Kenya’s natural environment and improve livelihoods of associated communities.

  • Community Outreach
  • Standards and Best Practice
  • Public Information and awareness
  • Research and Consultancy
  • Leadership and Mentorship

Registered under the Societies Act as a Civil Society, EK is a membership organization that promotes sustainable tourism

membership categories

Membership categories

Individual students – 44

Individual Full members – 40

CBO – 60

Corporate - 204


Conscientious, low-impact visitor behavior

  • Sensitivity towards, and appreciation of, local cultures and biodiversity
  • Support for local conservation efforts
  • Sustainable benefits to local communities
  • Local participation in decision-making
  • Educational components for both the traveler and local communities

Principles of Ecotourism

eco rating scheme
  • Bronze: Entry level (40)
  • Silver: Demonstrate innovation(10)
  • Gold: Best Practice –commitment over time (2)
case studies eco rated facilities
Case studies: Eco-rated facilities

Sunbird Lodge (12 rooms, Bronze)

  • Unique architectural design, built using local stone materials
  • All solar energy heating
  • Electricity closely monitored, all energy saving bulbs
  • Waste management
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Supports local enterprises e.g. artefacts, supplies, labour

Greystoke Mahale (Silver)

  • Semi-permanent rooms built from local materials
  • Facility uses ecofriendly soaps and detergents, refillable containers
  • Waste management, including organic waste composting
  • Tongwe Trust, local community enterprise
  • Community mobile education unit
case studies ecorated facilities
Case studies: Ecorated facilities

Campy Ya Kanzi (Gold)

  • Elaborate environmental and natural resource management policy in place
  • 80% renewable sources of energy
  • Stringent water conservation measures
  • Creation of Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (Compensation for livestock depredation)
  • Mobile wildlife education, outreach and extension
  • Land easements – securing more land for conservation, increasing benefits to locals
  • Shareholdings by local Masai, ensuring their involvement in development and decision making
  • A variety of social development activities
case studies community enterprises
Case studies: Community enterprises

Mt. Suswa Conservation Trust

  • Community conservancy (2006)
  • Two serviceable campsites
  • 5 kms from Narok-Mai Mahiu Tarmac Road
  • Located on a busy tourist circuit
  • Unique attractions
    • Volcanic craters – accessible
    • Most complex lava tubes in the world
    • 76 caves – only 18 described
    • Inhabited by semi-nomadic Masai pastoralists

Il Ngwesi Conservancy

  • Community conservancy (1998)
  • Eco-lodge 18 beds (community-owned and managed)
  • Remote location (transitional zone between Laikipia highlands and Samburu/Isiolo lowlands
  • Unique attraction
    • Critical wildlie migration corridor
    • Cultural activities
case studies community enterprises1
Case studies: Community enterprises

Gazi Women Enterprise (2006)

  • Msambweni, Kenya Coast
  • Joint 3 women groups
  • 500 metres board walk, facing Chale Islaand
  • Cultural enterprises, including opportunity for visitors to experience fish landing/mongering
  • Unique historical monuments amidst
  • Exceptional marine resources abound

Greater Tsavo Ecotourism Association (2010)

  • 108 community groups
  • A wide variety of attractions and products
    • Home stays
    • Cultural exhibitions and museums
    • Geological features
    • Nature hiking trails
    • Artefacts, including elephant dung paper