Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Tuesday, September 22, 1998 Published at 17:46 GMT 18:46 UK


World: Africa

Wildlife watchers stay away from Kenya

The wilderbeasts of Kenya - more animals, less tourists


"One of the greatest shows on earth"
Wildebeests are preparing for their annual migration from Kenya's Masai Mara Reserve in numbers seldom seen before, due to much rainfall and good grazing.

However, the spectacular event, which once drew herds of tourists to Kenya, is being watched by just a handful of people.


[ image: Providing space for wildlife is costly]
Providing space for wildlife is costly
Overseas visitors are shunning the country because of fears about security.

Bloody political violence last year and the bombing of the American Embassy in Nairobi in August have scared off tourists.

The beaches are also nearly empty, and coastline hotels are struggling, with thousands of hotel staff being laid off.

The country's economic life is in steep decline, and conservationsts fear that a long-term drop in tourist revenue would have a serious impact on conservation and the management of places like the Masai Mara.


[ image: Crocodles pose a great danger - so does lack of revenue]
Crocodles pose a great danger - so does lack of revenue
Stefano Cheli, of the Association of Tour Operators, says that without people paying to see the animals their prospects are bleak.

"A drop in tourism means a drop in revenue for the game parks and the local communities that live around the game parks. This means that wildlife is not sustainable and therefore there is no future for it," he said.

There have already been calls for the reintroduction of hunting in Kenya, but the tourist industry, which wants to keep animals alive for the cameras, has so far managed to resist it.

But without tourists - and their money - to rely on, its arguments are dwindling away.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia


Internet Links

The Masai Mara National Park

The World Wildlife Fund


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Dam builders charged in bribery scandal

Burundi camps 'too dire' to help

Sudan power struggle denied

Animal airlift planned for Congo

Spy allegations bug South Africa

Senate leader's dismissal 'a good omen'

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Zimbabwe constitution: Just a bit of paper?

South African gays take centre stage

Nigeria's ruling party's convention

UN to return to Burundi

Bissau military hold fire

Nile basin agreement on water cooperation

Congo Brazzaville defends peace initiative

African Media Watch

Liberia names new army chief