Kenya is in East Africa, where low plains rise to central highlands, bisected by the Great Rift Valley. The Kenyan Highlands are one of the most successful agricultural production regions in Africa. Glaciers are found on Mount Kenya, Africa’s second highest peak at 5,199 meters. The Barrier Volcano is an active shield volcano located in the north.

The climate of Kenya varies from tropical along the coast, to arid in the interior. Natural hazards include both recurring drought, and flooding during the two rainy seasons. Environmental issues in Kenya include water pollution from urban and industrial wastes, water shortages and degraded water quality from the increased use of pesticides and fertilizers, flooding, water hyacinth infestation in Lake Victoria, deforestation, soil erosion, desertification, and poaching. For instance, even though Elephant hunting in Kenya was banned in 1973, poaching continues to be a problem. 

There are 411 protected areas listed for Kenya, including 1 game sanctuary, 23 national parks, 4 marine national parks, 5 marine national reserves, 1 community wildlife sanctuary, 2 nature reserves, 6 national sanctuaries, 2 private protected areas, 4 private ranches, 9 locally managed marine areas, 1 private nature reserve, 31 national reserves, 16 private reserves, 5 “not reported”, 28 community nature reserves, 234 forest reserves, 1 wildlife sanctuary, 1 proposed national park, 1 group ranch, 21 community conservancies, 6 wetlands of international importance, 6 biosphere reserves, and 3 natural world heritage sites.

The famous environmental activist and Nobel laureate, Wangari Maathai, founded the Mazingira Green Party of Kenya. Established in 1989, the Kenya Wildlife Service is a state corporation that manages most of the national parks and reserves in Kenya, with the prominent exception of Maasai Mara National Reserve, which is managed by local authorities. Prominent wildlife conservation organizations based in Kenya include the African Conservation CentreEast African WildLife SocietyGrevy’s Zebra Trust, and the Great Apes Survival Partnership.

Eco-Resort is one prominent Kenya based safari and eco-lodge provider. Cheli & Peacock Safaris also provide luxury camps and lodges in Kenya. Elsa’s Kopje, in Meru National Park, is one of a number of well known boutique safari lodges in East Africa. Serena Hotels also operates a number of high end camps and lodges in East Africa. More grassroots tent camps and lodges in Kenya include Campi ya Kanzi, Karibuni Eco-Cottages, and Shompole Wilderness.

Biosphere Reserves:

IUCN Members:


The population of Kenya is heavily concentrated in the West on the shore of Lake Victoria. Other areas of high density include the capital of Nairobi, and on the Southeast coast along the Indian Ocean. Jomo Kenyatta lead Kenya to independence from Britain in 1963, and remained in power until 1978.

The Kenya Tourism Board operates an official website at The Ecotourism Society of Kenya was founded in 1996, and renamed Ecotourism Kenya in 2006. The African Propoor Tourism Development Centre is based in Kenya, and offers a wide range of community development support programs. Launched in 2003, KECOBAT (Kenya Community Based Tourism Network) is an umbrella group representing the interests of community based tourism organizations. COAST (Collaborative Actions for Sustainable Tourism) was a five year project based in Kenya with the aim of reducing harmful impacts of tourism development on coastal ecosystems, in both East and West Africa. 

Established in 2006, National Museums of Kenya is a state corporation overseeing the country’s museums. The Centre for Heritage Development in Africa is a Mombasa based civil society organization dedicated to heritage preservation.

Natural World Heritage:

Cultural World Heritage:


  • Indigenous Ecotourism as a Poverty Eradication Strategy: A Case Study of the Maasai People in the Amboseli Region of Kenya – TG Ondicho – 2018
  • The ecotourism metaphor and environmental sustainability in Kenya – L Atieno, JM Njoroge – 2018
  • Contribution of Ecotourism Towards Sustainable Livelihood of the Communities Living on Wasini Island, Kwale County, Kenya – JN Koki – 2017
  • Costa Rica and Kenya as Ecotourism Destinations: Country Strategies vs. Visitor Perceptions – M Talvinen – 2017
  • Sustainable management of community based Tourism: the case of community based tourism projects in Isiolo county in Kenya – HA Jaldesa, DRK Sabala – 2017
  • Eco-tourism as a community strategy to fight HIV/AIDS on the Islands and Beaches in Usigu division, Siaya County, Kenya – EO Okeyo – 2016
  • Gaps identified in tourism-environment policy in Kenya: a content analysis to assess sustainable tourism policy in the country – BM Kitheka, KS Backman – 2016
  • Provider value perception in co-creation, ecotourism offering development and classification at Dunga Beach in Kisumu County, Kenya – FO Awuor – 2016
  • Sustainable Tourism Through Community Based Approach: Case Study Of Maasai Mara National Reserve-Kenya – MM Akinyi – 2016
  • Attitudes And Perception Towards Ecotourism Among Pastoral Communities In Laikipia County, Kenya – BJ Rono, GO Obwoyere, G Owuor – 2015
  • Climate Change and Tourism: Regional Tourism Sustainable Adaptation with a case study of Mombasa County, Kenya – JM Njoroge – 2015
  • Looking from a local lens: Inbound tour operators and sustainable tourism in Kenya – E Cavagnaro, S Staffieri, F Ngesa – 2015
  • Perceptions of leadership and sustainable tourism in emerging economies: Narok County, Kenya – JS Nampushi – 2015
  • Recreational Waters under Multiple Stress: Exemplifying Sources, Implications and Sustainability Options for Ecotourism Enhancement in Kisumu County, Kenya – JO Okungu, PO Hayombe, SC Lagat… – 2015
  • Sustainable wetland resource utilization through eco-tourism development for poverty reduction: a case study of Kingwal swamp, Kenya – S Momanyi, G Ariya – 2015
  • The ecotourism metaphor and environmental sustainability in Kenya – JM Njoroge – 2015
  • The link between poverty, environment and ecotourism development in areas adjacent to Maasai Mara and Amboseli protected areas, Kenya – BEL Wishitemi, SO Momanyi, BG Ombati… – 2015
  • Towards A Gender Analysis Model For Environmental Managment Of Ecotourism Resources In Kisumu County, Kenya – WHA Olima, CO Gor, SG Agong, PO Hayombe… – 2015
  • University, County Government and Community Partnership for Wetland Conservation and Ecotourism Development on the Shores of Lake Victoria, Kenya – WHA Olima, PO Hayombe, IM Nyamweno – 2015
  • Abindu sacred site: socio-cultural capital for ecotourism promotion and community empowerment in Kisumu County, Kenya. – PO Hayombe, FZA Odede, SG Agong – 2014
  • An exploratory study of the potential contribution to peace through sustainable enterprise in the tourism industry in Haiti and Kenya – C Butler, H Séraphin – 2014
  • Collaborative Actions for Sustainable Tourism (Coast) Project: Reef and Marine Recreation Management (RMM) Thematic Area Kenya – B Mclean, K Jonathan, G Jayshree, N Violet – 2014
  • Community and ecotourism entrepreneurship in Kenya: sustaining tourism through valuation of ecosystem services – JM Ndung’u – 2014
  • Community based tourism initiatives and sustainable tourism development: a case of Mwaluganje Elephant sanctuary in Kwale County, Kenya. – P Musila, A Kariuki, B Kihima – 2014
  • Global Change and Sustainable Mountain Tourism: The Case of Mount Kenya – M Irandu Evaristus – 2014
  • Impact of community based ecotourism on households’ livelihoods and environmental management in Il Ngwesi and Lekurruki group ranches, Laikipia county, Kenya. – VG Gaitho – 2014
  • Local communities, biodiversity conservation and ecotourism: a case study of the Kimana Community Wildlife Sanctuary, Kenya – SM Makindi – 2014
  • Local Residents’ Understanding of Ecotourism in Manguo Wetland, Limuru, Kenya – OK Ezekiel, M Stephen – 2014
  • Promotion and Challenges of Ecotourism in Greater Amboslei Region, Southern Kenya – M Assefaw – 2014
  • Prospects for Urban Eco-Tourism in Nairobi, Kenya: Experiences from the Karura Forest Reserve – TW Mbatia, S Owuor – 2014
  • Simbi Nyaima: An Interplay of Nature and Mythology in the Lake Victoria Region; Planning and Management for Ecotourism Transformation in Kenya – FA Odede – 2014
  • The Role of Ecotourism in Promoting Women Empowerment and Community Development: Some Reflections From Kenya – EM Irandu, P Shah – 2014
  • Community based conservation and ecotourism as an environmental management practice for climate change adaptation in Ewaso Nyiro arid land ecosystem, Samburu County Kenya – OW Ogara, JO Seneiya, EB Ongoro – 2013
  • Demonstrating the adoption and linkages of global best available practices and technologies (BAPs/BATs) in reducing land based pollution in the Collaborative Actions for Sustainable Tourism (COAST) Project in Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania – HJD Garcia, MMC Pinto-Rodrigues, H Gibbon… – 2013
  • Eco-certification and insertion of socioeconomic and cultural best practices in ecotourism operations in Kenya. – JK Muriithi – 2013
  • Horticulture in harmony with wildlife’: the awkward marriage of ecotourism and industrial floriculture in Naivasha Kenya – B Büscher, V Davidov – 2013
  • Kakamega Forest: ecotourism and rural livelihoods–linkages and interactions for the Kakamega Forest region, Western Kenya – OK Ouma, C Stadel – 2013
  • Kaya Kinondo Community Ecotourism Project in Kenya: A Decade Later – BO Kihima, E Kimaru – 2013
  • Links between nature-based tourism, protected areas, poverty alleviation and crises—the example of Wasini Island (Kenya) – H Job, F Paesler – 2013
  • Sacred Habitats at Got Ramogi Cultural Landscape: Opportunities and Strategies for Ecotourism in Siaya County, Kenya – OFZ Argwenge, PP Hayombe… – 2013
  • Sustainable tourism development in the Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, East Africa – J Onchwati, H Sommerville… – 2013
  • The Nexus between environmental knowledge and ecotourism attitude among the local youths in Co-educational Secondary Schools in Bondo Sub-County, Siaya County, Kenya – JO Wanga, PO Hayombe… – 2013

Kenya Data