International Forest, & Environmental Development

Forêt Internationale, et Développement Environnemental

MFE 401: Ecotourism and local development

Course Details

Country: Kenya
Eco geographic and tourist presentation

Kenya is a country located on the Equator which consists of high mountain ranges, mainly to the
west, and to the southeast of coastal plain which faces the Indian Ocean. The highlands (Nairobi)
are mainly a region of forests while the lowlands (Mombasa) present a savannah landscape.
Several ethnic groups including the Kikuyu (1/5 of the population) and the Maasai coexist with
Indian, Arab and European minorities. The population is 75% rural and exhibits one of the highest
growth rates in the world. The country lives mainly from its agriculture (coffee, tea, fruit, etc.),
livestock and tourism offered by beaches of the coast and the numerous natural parks in the
country harboring various species of wildlife

The two official languages of Kenya are English and Swahili, English being considered the official
language and Swahili as the national language. However, since these two languages are not
the mother tongue of most Kenyans, you will also hear many tribal languages- such as Kikuyu,
Luo, Masai, Samburu, etc.

Kenya is a traditionally tourist country which receives around 1 million visitors per year,
especially in summer, coming mainly from England and Germany. Tourism remains very
concentrated in the parks and on the coast and is organized mainly from Nairobi from where
there are safaris departures to nature reserves (more than fifty), including that of Masai Mara.
The national museum, the African rift valley, its escarpments and views are a possible stage
before the Masai Mara via Narok. In the town of Mombasa, of Swahili origin, is Fort Jesus,
dating from the Portuguese period (late 16th century). The old town is charming there. From
there, going to Malindi, you will discover the ruins of Gedi, from the 13th century, remains of a
Swahili city.

Educational objectives and articulations

The objective of this module is to allow nature lovers to discover the eco-geographic and tourist
wonders of Kenya. Throughout the module, participants will familiarize themselves with the
challenges of ecotourism and its relationships with sustainable local development, the fragility of
natural spaces and the need to protect them. The articulations of this module include:

✓ Eco-geographic and tourist presentation of the country;
✓ Fundamental notions of ecotourism and sustainable development;
✓ Fragility of natural landscapes and the need to protect them;
✓ Ecotourism issues and its relationships with local development;
✓ Discovery of ecotourism sites in the country (protected areas, cultural heritage, etc.);
✓ Discovery and brief stay in eco-lodges;
✓ Meetings and exchanges with managers, local guides, visitors and local communities;
✓ Ecotourism circuit;
✓ Safari photo, fishing and partaking in cultural events.

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