WILD LIFE AND TOURISM
- WILD LIFE AND TOURISM Plants (flora) and animals (fauna) in their natural habitats.
Factors that Influence Distribution of Wildlife in E. Africa
- Heavy rainfall results in big forests which favour animals such as elephants and buffaloes e.g. Mt. Kenya forest.
- Arid and semi-arid climate supports hardy animals which can stand scarcity of water e.g. hart beast and gerenuk which can stand scarcity of water.
- Windward sides which receive heavy rainfall support big forests which favour animals such as elephants while leeward sides of mountains which experience low rainfall favour grasslands which favour carnivores which in turn attract herbivores e.g. Amboseli.
- Hunting animals like cheetah are found in plains and plateaus which are relatively level where they are able to run for long distances chasing their prey.
- Infertile and shallow soils favour grasslands which suit many herbivores and carnivores.
- Birds live where there are trees so as to have shelter.
- Savannah woodlands with more acacia trees favour giraffes which feed on foliage from the trees.
- Desert and semi-desert vegetation supports hardy animals such as grants gazelle.
Availability of water
- Fish are found in rivers, lakes and oceans e.g. Lakes Victoria Kyoga and Indian Ocean.
- Some animals such as hippos and crocodiles live mainly in fresh water in rivers and lakes e.g. R. Nile and L. Naivasha.
- Man hunts animals illegally threatening some species with extinction.
- Man has displaced animals from their natural habitat by clearing vegetation for agriculture and settlement.
- Man has taken measures to conserve endangered species of wildlife through establishing national parks, game reserves and sanctuaries.
- Area set aside for preservation of scenery, wildlife and historical sites e.g. Tsavo, Mombasa marine, Amboseli, Samburu in Kenya, Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Serengeti in Tanzania and Kipendo valley and Ruwenzori in Uganda.
- Established by an act of parliament
- Managed by the government
- No other form of land is permitted.
- May be fenced off to keep off people and prevent animals from going out.
- An area set aside for preservation of wildlife e.g. Maasai Mara in Kenya, Selous game reserve in Tanzania and Kigezi wildlife reserve in Uganda.
- Managed by local authorities.
- Accommodates both wildlife and livestock.
- May be or not fenced off.
An area set aside for protection of birds or other kinds of animals which are endangered e.g. Kisumu Impala Sanctuary, Rhino Sanctuary at L. Nakuru National park and Mwaluganje Elephant sanctuary.
- Hunting isn’t permitted.
- Predators are controlled.
- Breeding and keeping young ones until they are fit for release.
Significance of Wildlife
- Tourist attraction which brings foreign exchange and revenue for the government by paying entry fee to the national parks and reserves.
- Wildlife conservation has led to proper utilisation of marginal areas of marginal areas where crop growing is difficult due to unreliable rainfall.
- Creates employment for people raising their standards of living e.g. game rangers, tourist guides and drivers and workers in tourist hotels.
- Wildlife preservation helps to preserve and protect water catchment areas and soil and also modifies the climate resulting in increased rainfall.
- A source of food e.g. animals meet and honey from bees.
- Wild plants such as Muarobaini are used as a source of medicine.
- It has led to development of industries by providing raw materials e.g. trees provide timber used in the building and construction industry.
- It has led to development of infrastructure when good roads are built to make Game Parks more accessible to tourists.
- It has diversified the economic base of East African countries instead of relying on agriculture as a major source of revenue.
Problems Facing Wildlife in East Africa
- Poaching which is likely to bring rare species of animals to extinction e.g. rhinos and elephants.
- Adverse climatic conditions which causes death of some animals due to shortage of water and pasture.
- Floods which drown animals and destroy plants depriving animals of pasture.
- Bush fires which destroy large tracts of land and kill animals which may cause extinction of rare species and expose land to agents of erosion.
- Overgrazing by high population of herbivores resulting in destruction of vegetation which exposes land to agents of erosion destroying habitats of animals causing them to migrate to areas with adequate pasture.
- Wildlife-human conflict where by pastoralists kills carnivores which kill their livestock.
- Pests and diseases such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus which threatens to reduce the lion population in many parts of Africa.
- Human activities e.g.
- Overgrazing by livestock where grazing is allowed leading to destruction of the natural habitat for wildlife.
- Destruction of vegetation by tourists’ vehicles which reduces the amount of food for browsing animals.
- Encroachment of land which was formerly reserved for wildlife by clearing land for settlement and agriculture which has led to killing of animals.
- Overfishing which threatens the survival of certain species of fish and other marine life.
- Environmental pollution such as release of sewage from lodges which pollutes the water leading to the poisoning of animals which drink it e.g. at L. Nakuru where it has led to the death of flamingos and noise pollution from vehicles and people which disturbs animals making them unable to feed well.
Management and Conservation of Wildlife
Wild life management is effective planning and control of wildlife while wildlife conservation is protection of wildlife against interference and destruction by people.
- Educating people through print and electronic media on the need to preserve wildlife.
- Establishing wildlife clubs in schools to create awareness on the importance of wildlife conservation.
- Formation of wildlife conservation bodies e.g. Kenya Wildlife Service charged with management and conservation of wildlife.
- Initiating game ranching or wildlife farms to control overexploitation of wildlife resources from the natural habitats.
- Culling of old animals to give room for the younger ones and to control the animal numbers.
- Translocation of animals whose population increases beyond the capacity of park to other parks where their number is small to prevent the problem of overgrazing.
- Encouraging of domestic tourism by lowering entry fee into parks to help people to appreciate the value of wildlife and thus accept conserving it.
- Banning hunting in order to prevent extinction of endangered species.
- Banning trade in wild game and trophies to prevent endangered animals from becoming extinct.
- Setting up of game parks to protect wildlife against destruction by people.
- Setting up of wildlife sanctuaries to protect the endangered species of wildlife.
- Employment of paramilitary personnel by the government to combat poaching.
- Process of travelling to other places for pleasure, business or education.
- environmentally friendly tourism or tourism emphasizing environmental conservation where tourists and local communities are involved in enjoying nature as well as conserving it or.
Aspects/Characteristics of Ecotourism
- Tourists are guided along marked trails instead of driving to the areas where there are animals.
- Telescopic viewing of animals to avoid disturbing animals.
- Use of camping sites rather than big tourist hotels so as not to put pressure on resources which animals depend on.
- Prohibiting off road driving and travelling by foot.
- Allowing particular types of vehicles.
- Warning people against throwing cigarette remains on dry vegetation.
Its encouraged by:
- Creating awareness among the local communities to understand and appreciate nature by visiting Game parks.
- The local community directly benefits from income from tourism which provides them with incentive to conserve wildlife.
There are two types of tourism namely:
Domestic tourism involves local people visiting tourists’ attractions which are within their own country.
Why Domestic tourism is Encouraged
- To understand features available in the country so as to appreciate them.
- Understand and appreciate the need to conserve wildlife.
- To compensate for the low turn outs of international tourists in April and October this helps to run the hotels without relying on tourists from outside.
Its encouraged by:
- Lowering entry fee to game parks.
- Lowering charges in tourists’ hotels for Kenyans who want to stay in them.
Mass tourism is where large institutional groups of students of staff visit tourists’ attractions.
Green Tourism is where people travel seeking to protect and restore the damaged environment e.g. by planting trees.
International tourism involves movement of persons from one country to another for leisure.
Factors Influencing Tourism in Kenya
- Tropical location which causes tourists from temperate countries to come to Kenya to escape the harsh winter cold.
- Attractive scenery such as snow capped Mt. Kenya, unpolluted sandy beaches, Great Rift Valley, hot springs and geysers, great rivers with falls etc which attract tourists.
- Richness in wildlife e.g. many plants because of warm climate e.g. rain forests and acacias of savannah and tropical animals and birds which are conserved in their natural habitat. Its home to the famous wildebeest in the Mara.
- There are different ethnic groups with unique way and dancing, handicrafts, and dressing which attracts tourists.
- Presence of historical sites which feature artefacts of iron age e.g. Kariandusi in Nakuru and Orgesailie near Magadi which attract tourists.
- Political stability which assures tourists of their safety.
- Accessibility of many tourist sites by road, air and water and also there are communication facilities throughout the country.
- There are comfortable tourist accommodation facilities e.g. high-class hotels and lodges in major towns and game parks.
Tourist Attractions in Kenya
-Grouped into two:
Main Attractions at the Coast
- Beautiful natural uncrowded and unpolluted sandy beaches which are ideal for sun-bathing (sitting or lying in strong sunlight in order to make the body brown).
- Warm and sunny climate due to tropical location which attracts tourists from temperate regions who escape from the harsh winter cold and come for health purposes.
- Water sports like yatching, surfing and sport fishing which are carried out in the Indian Ocean.
- Historical sites such as Fort Jesus, Gedi ruins, Vasco Dagama and slave caves in Malindi and Shimoni.
- Traditional culture of the coastal people e.g. they have a unique way of dancing, songs, clothing and handicrafts and shrines e.g. Kaya of the Mijikenda which attracts tourists.
- Mangrove swamps which have unique plants and different species of fish, snails, snakes, birds etc.
Main Attractions Inland
- Wild life conserved in National Parks and Game Reserves. Wildlife is conserved in their natural habitats.
- The Famous wildebeest migration in the Mara.
- The sunny warm climate which attracts tourists from temperate countries.
- Attractive scenery such as the snow capped Mt. Kenya, the Great Rift Valley and its lakes and hot springs and geysers and great rivers with waterfalls.
- Diverse culture of inland people e.g. the Maasai way of dressing, dancing, housing.
- Historical attractions such as Kariandusi near Gilgil and Orgesailie near Magadi featuring artefacts of Iron Age.
- National museums of Kenya in Nairobi.
Significance of Tourism
- Tourism earns the country foreign exchange by paying for their services in foreign currency which is used to trade with other countries.
- It employs many people enabling them to earn an income and hence raise their standard of living e.g. tourists guides, drivers, in tourist hotels etc.
- Source of revenue for the government from licenses from tour operators, entry charges to game parks rental fee paid by game lodges etc.
- Has led to improvement of infrastructure resulting when new roads are constructed and existing ones improved and also airstrips constructed which benefits people living along the routes which in turn stimulate development.
- Promotes international understanding resulting in peace between countries by bringing together people from different countries of the world..
- Promotes conservation of wildlife and historical sites sine they are tourist attractions.
- Promotes agriculture as tourist hotels rely on farmers for the supply of food e.g. fruits and vegetables.
- Promotes development of industries e.g. craft industries when tourists buy curios e.g. wood and stone carvings and
Problems facing Tourism in Kenya
- Insecurity whereby tourists are robbed of their belongings which discourages potential tourists from visiting the country. The government is increasing security patrols in the areas frequented by tourists.
- Ethnic classes in tourist attraction areas which make tourists to stay away than put their lives at risk e.g. ethnic clashes in Molo. The solution is preaching peace among the tribes since the clashes are fuelled by ethnic hatred.
- Illegal hunting of animals which reduces some rare wildlife species which attract tourists which reduces the number of tourists visiting the country. Some tourists encourage poaching by buying trophies and involvement in smuggling skins, ivory and other articles out of the country. The solution using game rangers to patrol game parks to hunt for illegal hunters and banning trade in game trophies and inspecting tourists at departure.
- Terrorism attacks such as the bombing of tourist resort at Kikambala which causes foreign countries to issue travel advisories to their citizens which reduces the number of tourists. Security personnel are being trained on ways of detecting and countering terrorism.
- Pollution of aquatic systems such as L. Nakuru which has caused the death of flamingos reducing the number of tourists since some are specifically attracted by flamingos. The solution is regular inspection of factories to ensure treatment of effluents before they are released to water bodies.
- International media giving negative publicity of Kenya by portraying it as an insecure country. There should be established tourism promotion bodies in foreign countries to report positively to counter lies.
- Air fares from and to many parts of the world is high due to high fuel prices which discourages tourists from coming to Kenya.
Problems Associated With Tourism
- Local people borrowing from tourists some social cultural values with negative consequences e.g. homosexuality and lesbianism which could lead to breakage of marriage life and spread of S.T.Ds.
- Government neglecting other sectors of the economy such as agriculture and development projects like health and education by using a lot of money on tourist infrastructure such as construction of roads and airstrips in tourist areas some of which are rarely used.
- Some tourists encourage poaching by buying and smuggling souvenirs in form of game trophies which make poachers to kill animals so as to meet demand for these products.
- Destruction of vegetation by tourist’s vehicles as they move over it which reduces the amount of pasture available for browsing animals.
- Tourists chasing animals while trying to get close-up photographs which destructs the animals feeding and bleeding habits. Noise from vehicles and people also disturb animals.
- Some tourists come with the purpose of trafficking drugs and some introduce youths to drugs leading to drug abuse and its related consequences.
- It may cause some male and female children to drop out of school to be showing the tourists around and obtain money by befriending tourists e.g. beach boys.
Tourism in Switzerland
- A country in C. Europe which is landlocked.
- 60% of the country is mountainous.
- Its one the leading world destination for international tourism.
- Tourism is highly developed and is the leading foreign exchange earner for the country.
Factors Influencing Tourism in Switzerland/Why it gets more tourists than Kenya.
- Beautiful scenery produced by Alps which is the main tourist attraction in summer. There are features formed by glacial erosion. There are features such as snow capped mountain peaks, clear blue lakes, waterfalls etc.
- Climate whereby tourists like visiting there during warm summers and especially the southern region of Ticino which receives more tourists as it experiences a warmer summer due to proximity to Mediterranean Sea.
The country also experiences winter in which the mountain peaks and slopes provide excellent ground for skiing and skating.
- It has Excellent infrastructural facilities with a well developed network of roads, railways, electrified rail cars and cable cars which enable tourists to travel easily to centres of attraction.
- The policy of neutrality which makes people from all the parts of the world to feel at home while there.
- Several major languages of Europe are spoken which makes it possible for tourists to get excellent services in the country.
- Accessibility due to its location in C. Europe for tourists from countries from France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Belgium.
- It has excellent accommodation facilities which are fairly priced and offer discounts to mass tourists.
- It’s highly industrialised and many people are employed and earn a good income enabling people to save for holidays.
- It’s a centre for international meetings since the UN headquarters are in Geneva and the people who go for meetings take time to tour various parts of the country.
- Tourists organise themselves into groups in order to negotiate for air travel and hotel accommodation making tourism possible for a cross section of the society.
- The country has favourable banking laws so people visit that country as they go to bank their money.
- It has one of the lowest crime rates in the world which make many tourists to tour it because their security is guaranteed.
Significance of tourism to Switzerland
- Earns the country foreign exchange which is used to finance development.
- The country earns revenue through taxation and direct fee collection.
- Creates employment in both Switzerland.
- It has encouraged development of other industries e.g. banking, insurance and transport.
- Has opened up unproductive areas for development e.g. glaciated landscapes.
- Switzerland has gained good international reputation and fame through tourism.
Comparison between Tourism in Kenya and Switzerland
- Both counties have similar tourist attractions e.g. snow capped mountains, waterfalls and rich culture.
- Both countries have well established hotel industry offering excellent accommodation to tourists.
- Both countries have health spas with mineral water which people consider to cure certain ailments. In Switzerland they are at Mt. Moritz and in Kenya at L. Bogoria.
- In both countries tourists visit all year round.
- In both counties tourism sector earns a significant fraction of foreign exchange.
- Both countries enjoy a peaceful political environment suitable for tourism.
- Tourists in both countries are attracted by waterfalls. In Switzerland they are associated with hanging valleys while Kenya’s are along her rivers.
- Both countries have national parks e.g. Swiss National Park in Switzerland and Amboseli National Park in Kenya.
Differences/ What Tourists Go To See In Kenya Which They Cant See In Switzerland and Vice Versa
- Kenya has more physical features which attract tourists than Switzerland e.g. Rift valley, lakes, mountains.
- Kenya’s climate is warm throughout the year while Switzerland experiences warm summers and cold winters.
- Kenya has tropical wildlife such as the elephant, cheetah, lion etc. which Switzerland lacks.
- Kenya is richer in traditional culture than Switzerland due to its many ethnic groups.
- Switzerland receives more visitors than Kenya and revenue from the industry is far much higher compared to Kenya’s.
- Kenya has marine attraction which Switzerland lacks because it’s a landlocked country.
- In Kenya animals are kept in game parks while in Switzerland they are kept in zoos.
- Switzerland has winter sports such as skiing and ice-skating which Kenya lacks.
- In Switzerland domestic tourism is more pronounced than in Kenya due to high levels of income.
Reasons Why Many Kenyans Don’t Visit Other Places as Tourists
- Shortage of accommodation especially during the tourist peak season making accommodation expensive and hence unaffordable.
- Unemployment which makes many people unable to afford to travel let alone pay for food and hotel accommodation.
- Low income from employment making many people unable to afford holidays in tourist attraction areas.
- Some employees are unable to get leave so as to be able to visit tourists’ attractions.
- Many people haven’t developed the habit of going to visit areas with tourists’ attractions during holidays.
The Future of Tourism in Kenya/Ways in which Kenya is Planning to Expand her Tourism
Tourism in Kenya has good prospects and may expand in future if the following factors are implemented:
- Improvement of infrastructure in semi-arid areas which have tourist attractions e.g. N. Eastern Province.
- Aggressive promotion and marketing of Kenya as a tourist destination in other countries which is done by (KTDC) Kenya Tourist Development Corporation and (KTB) Kenya Tourism Board.
- Encouragement of domestic tourism by showing documentaries through the electronic media on Kenya’s tourist sites e.g. ‘Out and About’
- Offering domestic tourists favourable rates of accommodation in the hotels during the off peak tourist season.
- Beefing up security to ensure tourists don’t gain access to the country in order to make tourists to choose Kenya as their destination since their safety will be guaranteed.
- Lowering tariffs levied particularly on food and accommodation in tourists hotels to encourage tourists to come and spend more days.