For the last 20 years, Laikipia has used tourism to address the quadruple bottom-line of economic development, social inclusion, conservation and sustainability. Laikipia has risen to become a tourism destination of unrivaled offerings, style, innovative environmental management and strong social responsibility. Being home to the highest concentration of endangered species in the country, and with Mt. Kenya as the backdrop, Laikipia harbours some of the best experiences, wildlife and landscapes in Kenya.
Laikipia’s tourism sector employs approximately 1,300 people and generates about Kshs.196 million ($USD. 2.2 million) per year in wage earnings (2013).
Laikipia’s local economy also benefits tremendously from the supply of produce as well as other services such as security, water management, fencing, public road maintenance, health care, education and enterprise development.
Many tourism ventures within Laikipia can boast of projects that are at the forefront of conservation tourism. LWF has brokered groundbreaking partnerships between private investors and Maasai communities while sensitively balancing luxury travel and economic development. These partnerships have resulted in the development of world class community owned projects such as Il Ngwesi, Tassia, Koija Star beds, Ol Gaboli Community Bandas and The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille.
Through an increased understanding of the value of wildlife, communities in Laikipia have ensured that wildlife numbers have not only been sustained but in many cases increased. People from different backgrounds and cultures have come together to manage and sustainably use natural resources, and have actively engaged in their protection and restoration.
The primary objective for Laikipia Wildlife Forum’s (LWF) involvement in tourism is to encourage the industry to support wildlife and environmental conservation across Laikipia. In order to support Laikipia’s tourism industry, LWF focuses on 2 main areas of work.