Better, Safe Safari
“The future of Kenyan tourism is green,” says Judy Gona, executive director of the Ecotourism Society of Kenya, which is working to create a low-impact, more environmentally friendly tourism industry in the second-most visited country in Africa. ESOK’s 80 members are mostly small, secluded camps and lodges that are built with local materials. They use alternative energy sources and serve locally produced food. Even some of the country’s larger, mass-market tourist lodges are adopting eco-friendly policies, such as heating water with solar power instead of firewood. Others, however, are trying to cash in on the ecotourism label without changing their ways. To sift good from bad, ESOK hopes to have in place by next year the continent’s first ecotourism certification system.