Tourism in East Africa

Tourism in East Africa

Tourism in East Africa. Tourism is an invisible trade which involves the movement of people away from home to places of interest within the country or outside their countries of residence.
Reasons for Tourism ; Holiday making, Leisure, Adventure, Education, Business

Tourism in East Africa

TYPES OF TOURISM

There are two types:
(i)Local/internal/domestic tourism: this is the type of tourism undertaken by the local people within the same country.

(ii)External/international tourism: this tourism involves people from other countries visit East African countries.

In E. Africa International tourism is the most important among the two because of its greatest contribution to economic development of East Africa. Kenya receives more tourists than Tanzania and Uganda.

TOURISM IN:
A) KENYA:

  • Ranks 1st in tourism development because it have the largest flora and fauna.
  • Transport network is highly developed making the country more accessible by the tourists.
  • Accommodation facilities are well developed to international standards. I.e. international hotels like Serena, Hilton, and Sheraton.
  • The tourism is well developed, organized and funded by K.T.B.
  • Most of the tourists come from mainly U.S.A., France, Britain, Spain and Belgium. Most of them visit Masai-Mara game reserve, Nairobi National Park.
  • The largest national park is Tsavo and Marsabit game reserve being the largest.

B) TANZANIA:

  • Ranks 2nd after Kenya in development of the industry and has a great potential for improving the sector.
  • The major tourist attractions in Tanzania are its abundance of wildlife, the coastal land forms and mountain scenery.
  • The most frequently visited areas are Serengeti national park, Arusha National Park (North Eastern Tanzania).Selous game reserve is the largest in Tanzania.
  • Most of the tourists come from Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, U.S.A. and Japan. Tanzania has a wide range of tourist attractions but it has lagged in tourism development because of;
  • Inadequate accommodation facilities,
  • Unevenly distribution of transport network.
  • Remoteness.

C) UGANDA:

In the 1960’s tourism was the 2nd foreign exchange after coffee and cotton.
From 1971-1986, the tourism industry declined and collapsed because of political instability and mismanagement of wild life resources.
In 1987, the tourism sector was rejuvenated. Since the time, the sector has been growing at a very fast rate. It is ranked 3rd after coffee and fishing.
Uganda is now ranked as the 10th most popular tourist destination in Africa. Most of the tourists come from U.S.A, Netherlands, Japan, China,Ireland, and Canada. However the industry is still under developed due to;

  • Insecurity in some parts of country.
  • Inadequate funding of the sector.
  • Encroachment on the gazette areas.

MAJOR TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN EAST AFRICA

WILD LIFE: it refers to animals (fauna) and plants (flora) which live and grow under natural conditions. Examples of fauna include; lions, elephants, buffaloes, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, giraffes, zebras, chimpanzee, baboons, hogs, Uganda Kobs, monkeys,mountain gorillas in Bwindi, crocodiles, snakes, monitor lizards etc. birds like African grey parrot, shoe bill , ostrich in Kidepo, flamingos in Nakuru and insects like butterflies.

Flora (different types of vegetation found in E.A.). The wildlife is the most important tourist attraction in E.A. Wildlife resources area found in the protected areas like:

A) NATIONAL PARKS:

They are gazetted by Parliament for the protection of national and scenic and international scientific educational, recreation and ethnical valves.All extractive land and resource exploitation are prohibited unless authorized by park management. Most of the national parks are found in marginal areas (areas which receive low rain fall amount below 1000 mm). The national parks include

Table 1: Shows the National Parks Found in Each E. African Country

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B) GAME RESERVES(WILD LIFE RESERVES):

These are large pieces of land set aside for future development and expansion of the existing national parks.

Table II: Shows the Game Reserves Found in E. African countries

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C) WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES:

A sanctuary is an area used to preserve, conserve, and protect wild life, mainly birds of rare and localized existence. They are also used as habitats where wild life is facing danger of extinction from the activities of man.
Table III Show the Wildlife Sanctuaries in E. Africa

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D) COMMUNITY WILD LIFE ARAES(CONTROLLED HUNTING AREAS):

These are pieces of land set aside for conservation of wild life; however, some activities are permitted like sport hunting, agricultural activities. Examples:-Amudat, Iriri, Karenga and Kaiso-Tonya.

  • NB: Areas of wildlife conservations in East Africa contributes greatly to over role economic development because they;-
  • Preserve the flora and fauna.
  • Attract tourists.
  • Bring improvement in transport and communication networks.
  • Avail employment opportunities to the people where they are found.
  • Make use of marginal areas (“waste lands”).

2) BEAUTIFUL SCENERY:

  • Mountains such as Kilimanjaro, Kenya, Ruwenzori, Muhavura, Meru, Usambara.
  • Rift Valleys like the western and eastern arms of E. African rift valley.
  • Lime stone landforms likestalagmite, stalactites, pillars, underground caves.
  • Semi ¡Vdesert landforms
  • Coastal landforms like caves, stumps, headlands, stacks, beaches.
  • Volcanic landforms like batholiths, sills and dykes.

3) DRAINAGE FEATURES:

  • Lakes like Victoria, Tanganyika, Turkana, Kyoga, Rukwa, Albert and Baringo.
  • Rivers like Nile, Katonga, Tana, Galana, Ruvuma, Ruaha, Rufiji and Kafu.
  • Hot springs /jet stream/geysers likeKitagata, Sempaya, and Lututuru in Uganda.
  • Waterfalls like Budhagali, Sipi, Karuma, Murchison, Sezibwa, and Itandain UGANDA.Lugard and Fourteen fall on Galana River in Kenya.
  • Extensive wetlands

4) HISTORICAL SITES/ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES:

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5)CULTURAL DIVERSITY:

Dressing, Dancing, Cultural ceremonies and rituals, Traditional dishes.

6) CLIMATE:

This attracts tourists who come and enjoy the abundant sunshine especially when their countries are experiencing winter.

7) Sports activities organized at local and international levels in E. Africa like motor rally, cricket, rugby, basketball, goat racing, white water rafting, indoor games, and football.

TOURISM /TOURIST ACTIVITIES IN EAST AFRICA

  • Sight seeing
  • Extensive semi-desert safaris
  • Sun bathing
  • Horse racing/ridding
  • Nature trailing/walk and guided forest walks
  • White water rafting and Kayaking
  • Fishing safaris/sport fishing/Angling
  • Canoeing/canoe regatta/Boating racing
  • Gorilla tracking in Bwindi impenetrable national park
  • Chimpanzee ,Monkey viewing
  • Fish watching at Marine parks in Mombasa
  • Game drives
  • Buggy jumping at Jinja
  • Mountain climbing –Rwenzori , Kilimanjaro
  • Holiday making
  • Educational activities
FACTORS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE TOURISM INDUSTRY IN E. AFRICA
  • East African countries experiences different types of climate like; Equatorial climate, Savanna (dry and wet) climate, semi desert climate, Montane climate which provide ideal conditions for different tourism activities like sun bathing, mountain climbing, bird watching and savanna safaris.
  • Presence of the varied beautiful scenery in different parts of East Africa.
  • Presence of Wildlife (flora and fauna) in different parts of East Africa.
  • Improved tourism infrastructuresfor example east African countries have a number of hotels, inns / lodges, casinos which are comfortable and are found in all the major towns of East African counties.
  • East African counties are relatively and politically stable hence promoting the tourism sector.
  • Improved transport and communication networks:East African countries have an improved transport network of: roads which connect to different parts of the East Africa, water transport on Lake Victoria, Air transport- Entebbe, Arusha, Kenyatta, Mombasa and several air strips found in different parts of the East Africa. Communication networks- telecommunications companies which provides fixed and mobile telecommunications services like MTN, Zain, Orange and Safari com.
  • There is high levels advertisement of the tourist sector.This is done through the use of the different electronic and print media like Televisions (Local and international Televisions like NTV, CNN, DSTV, BBC, KTV), magazines like Kenya Msafari and New York Times and Newspapers.
  • Presence of well-organized tour packages which are offered by different tour and travel agencies making it cheaper and efficient to travel to different parts of the East African region.
  • Better banking, insurance and health facilities
  • Presence of abundant skilled labour
  • Availability of adequate capital to invest in the tourism sector.
  • Favourable government policies like liberalization of economy.
  • Presence of different sources of power
  • Hospitality of the people of East Africa
IMPORTANCE/BENEFITS OF TOURISM TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF E. AFRICAN COUNTRIES
  • Provision of employment opportunities to the people like the drivers, hotel staff, guides, wardens.
  • Source of foreign exchange like bills for accommodation and photography.
  • Provides revenue to the government through the issuing of licenses to tour and travel agencies, hotels and hunters.
  • Provides ready market for local food stuff, art pieces, and crafts.
  • It has facilitated thegrowth and development of infrastructure like roads, hotels.
  • Makes good use of marginal areas which are not agriculturally viable.
  • It enhances international relationship between East African countries and other countries where tourists come from like U.S.A. Japan, Italy, Spain.
  • It has led to conservation, preservation and protection of the environment in its natural setting.
  • It has led to the diversification of the economy thereby releasing the over reliance on a few sectors like agriculture, fishing.
  • Promotes the preservation of the African cultures ,values ,customs and historical sites
  • Tourists help to advertise the African products outside East African region.
  • Development of rural areas of East Africa
  • Promotes the development of urban areas.
  • Educational and research purposes