31st January 2011
After decades of exploitation Kenya’s Masai tribesmen have developed an eco-tourism scheme that promises to give them income while helping to protect local wildlife.
In Naboisho Conservancy, local Masai communties are pioneering a new scheme that stands outside both traditional tribal lifestyle and classic safari tourism.
The programme involves travel companies leasing the Masai’s land, within which local tribesmen run guided safaris, giving them both money from rent and sustainable employment.
This scheme was set up in 2010 at the suggestion of local Masai landowners as a means to help them gain more than has been afforded by the classic safari-game-park model of tourism.
The money earned by the Masai is being put towards water projects, schools and medical clinics and because the safaris are staffed completely locally, the project promises sustainability in the long-term.
For tourists the benefit is the opportunity to take a wildlife holiday with the satisfaction of knowing that their money goes to the right people. Those wanting even more involvement can also sponsor local community projects.