Community Tourism Project in Kenya

Sara Thopson - Jun 27, 2011
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Community Tourism’s objective is to provide a rich cultural experience coupled with development work to tourists in Kenya.
Community Tourism is an initiative using tourism as tool to eradicate poverty within the community. The initiative was started in 2009 as way of helping the community showcase and market their heritage and products to the tourists community in a more responsible and sustainable way. The reasons as to why it was started are lack of school fees, scarcity of food, scarcity of water, lack of access to medical facilities, market opportunity and self employment.

Community Tourism focuses on programs that generate income to the community and also provide rich fun filled experience to tourists. The programs are designed in such a way that they provide a win-win situation between the community and the tourists. Below are some of the program activities that we have embarked on:

  • Paper recycling to make shaanga for necklaces, bracelets and earrings
  • Making of hand warmers, scarves and Marvin’s through use of wool
  • Making mats using bottle tops
  • Helping those who are aged, sick and needed people within the community
  • Selling of shares
  • Tree planting

Community Tourism runs a couple of projects in a bid to promote community tourism in Kenya. These projects are in partnership with various Non Governmental Organizations, Community Based Organizations, Faith Based Organizations, Self Help Groups and private institutions:

Rhino Camp Site

Rhino Camp Site is a campsite run by women that provides camping services to visitors in Nakuru. The camp site is maintained solely by women. They also use the campsite for cooking classes for guests who want to learn more about African cuisine. You can also book for lunch or dinner with community meal prepared by the women or prepared together with you.

Spend a night in the camp, wake up early and go for a village walk whereby you will have firsthand experience with the women as they work. Afterwards go for horse safari whereby you will watch wild animals; a real and unique way of a game viewing. Our camp have hot shower and security is guaranteed plus an operation bar. 20% of the money goes directly to the community.

Lake Nakuru Lodge

The lodge has supported the principles of responsible tourism since 2000 and has to implement responsible tourism policy plan. In 2009 it included them as a founding principle of its corporate social responsibility framework. It has adopted responsible tourism policy and action plan. This plan ensures that the lodge is well on its way towards being truly responsible destination. The lodge exercises its mandate for local tourism through creation of supportive policy environment and actions based on environment, economic and social-economic principles of responsible tourism.

Having incorporated responsible tourism, the lodge has following characteristics of responsible Tourism:

  • minimizes negative economic, environmental and social impacts;
  • generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the wellbeing of host communities, improves working conditions and access to the industry;
  • involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life changes;
  • makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, to the maintenance of the world’s diversity;
  • provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues;
  • is culturally sensitive, engenders respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence

Mwariki Heart to Heart Women GroupOverview

Mwariki project is a community based group which uses tourism as tool to eradicate poverty within the area. The above organisation was started in January 2009 by Lake Nakuru lodge as way of helping the community.

Project has been involving the community address gaps and challenges by turning them into innovative, economic and conservation ventures.

Waste recycling to come up with jewellery has been a great innovation. Community members have greatly contributed to the project design.

Combines planting of trees that are both medicinal, and also improves on the environment.

Empowers the community economically through groups and self employment ventures.

Culture of saving and community cohesiveness enhanced.

Enhances the capacity of the community members to fully take charge of their lives and fully address emerging challenges using available resources.

The scarcity of water has led to famine in the past due to lack of project addressing water conservation in the source area.

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