Kenya Cultural Tourism - By Kiera Hammond 14566653


Kenya is a fantastic destination for so many different people, for visiting a new place full of culture, adventure and new experiences. The Masai Mara is a world-renowned National Reserve bringing so much life to Kenya from its wide open savannahs to the millions of wild animals who live here (Lonely Planet, 2010). Nairobi became the capital city of Kenya in 1907 and is the 13th largest city in Africa. It is a city currently aiming to become the economic hub of not only Kenya but East Africa (Lonely Planet, 2010).


  • To inform on Kenya and what it offers as a tourist destination
  • To provide a cover on all aspects included on creating an event
  • To show how tourism is important to Kenya and how it helps to develop

Travel Flows

Kenya's tourism is of vital importance as a sector as it ‘’contributes about 11% of Kenya’s gross domestic product’ (Dieke, 2000, 129a). Overall in 2015 there was 1114000 international tourist arrivals to Kenya (UNWTO, 2016). During 2015, tourists were travelling for leisure purposes such as holidays and recreational trips mostly as this kind of trip accounted for just over half of all international tourist arrivals (UNWTO, 2016). This justifies the creation of a new cultural festival in Kenya as it would be another reason for people to visit specifically for that and also whilst they are on their holidays it could be another activity to do. Tourists travel to Kenya for their unspoiled white-sand beaches that are filled with palm trees and coconut trees. Whilst holidaymakers are spending time at the coast they can try new things or carry on a keen hobby such as snorkelling or water sports such as kite surfing, windsurfing, sailing and kayaking.

Domestic Travel Trends

Kenya does not have a large domestic tourism industry because the local people cannot afford to travel to the destinations that international tourists visit. The major destinations such as the Masai Mara and Mount Kenya are not easily accessible to local people as there is no public transport to these destinations, the only ways to reach them are by air or driving so they are unrealistic for local people (Njugunah, 2016).


Kenya is a well-connected region in Africa, there are many ways to enter Kenya for international tourists and there are also good connections inside the country including a domestic flight company. Travelling by air is the only realistic way t reach some parts of Kenya however, it is very expensive and can sometimes be risky. If you do not reconfirm your flights 72 hours before you are due to fly you will not know whether the flight you have booked is still going ahead or if you still have a seat on the aircraft, so it s vital to check. Within the cities of Kenya there are good transport links and public transport is easy to access. However the further out of the cities you get, the harder it is to get around unless you have enough money to spend on transports. In most destinations such as smaller cities and on the coast in Kenya the local people use Boda-Boda's (bicycle or motorcycle) to get around, this is because they are cheap to run and are easy to fix (Lonely Planet, 2016).

Resources, attractions and events

Kenya currently has few cultural festivals, ‘’The village experience in Kenya is a reflection of the purest forms of traditional culture of the 42 tribes of Kenya.’’ (Magical Kenya, 2014) This means there is a gap in the market for a new cultural festival, currently there are a couple of festivals in Kenya that attract tourists domestically and internationally. Rhino Charge is a major event in Kenya, which recently in the past few years has grown so big they have had to introduce a ticket system to put a limit on the number of people going ‘’2014 Rhino Charge was approximately 4000 people’’ (Rhino Charge, 2013). It is held every year and raises money for conservation projects for the Black Rhino and the water supplies to Kenyas main rivers. Lamu cultural Festival is another event held in Kenya on the island of Lamu. It is a cultural celebration of the beliefs and traditions that are at the heart and soul of the Lamu community. It attracts not only the local people of Lamu who come each year to celebrate the past and their futures and keep their traditional skills and arts alive but also tourists from far and wide come to see the beautiful island and try some of the local traditions during this vibrant and joyous celebration. The Maralal Camel Derby is Kenya's most well known camel race. It has a place for everyone including keen racers and amateur first time camel jockey's, international tourists come to watch this event as well as take part and it is an experience not to be missed when visiting during racing season (Magical Kenya, 2014)

Natural Resources in Kenya that are a large factor in attracting international tourists include the countries landscapes such as the deserts, swamps, mountains and forests. All of these are big draws for international tourists because they are so diverse and you can get to all of those within a couple of hours, theyre also something that interests alot oof people as they are not places that people visit daily so it is a treat for tourists. Their climate, mostly a pleasant tropical climate is also a large draw for tourists because they enjoy relaxing in the warm weather, it also means that throughout the whole year Kenya is an option for international tourists to visit if they want to go somewhere warmer at any point in the year. Kenya also has many cultural resources that attract many foreign visitors such as their Events and festivals. This is because people are starting to change why they are travelling and what they want to do whilst on holiday or visiting friends, they no longer just want to go on sun, sand and sea holidays, they want variety and traditions and new experiences. Ethnicity is a benefit Kenya has because quite a few countries have lost their ethnicity or are not very diverse, but Kenya is trying to hold onto its history and cultures and wants international tourists to see what they have to offer. Kenya has a lot of history running through it and it uses this well as a draw and attraction for tourists.

Kenya offers a lot to its international tourists and that is how they manage to keep bringing them back year after year. Some of its major attractions are so unique that no matter what happens, tourists will always flood to these places. For example, The National Museums of Kenya hold some of the best pre-historic fossil heritage, it has fantastic archaeological sites that draw many tourists not just the archaeologists (Magical Kenya, 2014).

Evaluation of Kenya's tourism and events

Kenya would benefit from a new cultural festival as there are not many around but they are trying to promote and preserve their traditions, Kenya would be an excellent destination for a festival as it is rich in ethnicity and diversity, also it has already developed a large tourist base so would only help to increase this. Kenya is very accessible by both air, road and boat, this means that it would be relatively simple to transport anything that would be needed to make the festival work and run.

However, Kenya also has weaknesses within its transport as it would mean a festival could be cut off if the destination wasn't right for tourists both domestic and international because they couldn't reach it, also Kenya has some political problems that could potentially halt any new festivals being created as it may not be safe for tourists to visit there.For a majority of international tourists they also have to have immunisations to visit Kenya and if an outbreak of disease were to happen when the festival was to be held it would have a devastating effect. Accommodation would also need to be in range or built purposefully for this event so that the visitors would have somewhere to stay when they arrived, if there was a lack of accommodation provided or nearby it would put customers off.

Key Recommendations

When planning on creating an event in Kenya, consider the destination of the event, it needs t be in a place that is easily accessible to all and preferably near to accommodation or have the facilities to build accommodation for the tourists who visit. Also make sure that the time of year for holding the festival is best, it must be at a time that would benefit the type of festival and the tourists going. When first starting the festival, consider making the cost quite low so that it attracts tourists to it, then once it is more established and has a good reputation, then think abut raising the prices. Make the festival something for everyone, this way not one single type of tourist will be attracted and it means a more diverse tourism base will start out.

Case Study - Safari tourism

Safari tourism is the main draw for tourists to come to Kenya as it a unique experience that is usually a once in a lifetime holiday or adventure. Safari tourism comes in many ways but are all tours due to the danger of wild animals, this is one of the draws of this type of tourism. Tourists have the choice of safari tourism in a traditional jeep tour or they could go further and have a hot air balloon ride over the savannahs filled with wild animals, giving a birds eye view of something usually watched on a screen. Tourism was the inspiration to set up conservation and national parks to protect our magnificent animals and has also created many jobs for the people of Kenya. The profits made from safari tourism in Kenya is put back into making their country better such as education. However, safari tourism has also had negative affects on Kenya. The environment has suffered with the development of safari tourism for example, the jeeps destroy plants and habitats, also the development of tourists hotels has negatively affected Kenya as they dump the waste from the hotel into rivers and leave rubbish where animals can get to it and end up being injured or killed. Safari tourism has developed the way tourists view Kenya, it has shown them that Kenya is a developing country that is dong its best to hold onto its roots, heritage and culture. It has shown that with enough effort and perseverance things can be saved and helped and we can live harmoniously with nature and all its beings.


Overall, Kenya would be an excellent destination to hold a cultural festival as they take pride in their history and culture and would support the development of a new festival whilst also promoting their country to tourism. Kenya has its problems still but is working to combat these to become a country in which they are developing with the rest of the world but also sticking with what they know and what they were born with. Kenya has a good range of facilities already in place to start a festival with such as its transport, they also have a wide range of activities, attractions and events to make tourists want to stay and see what is on offer in Kenya.


Dieke, P.U.C. (2000) The political economy of tourism development in Africa. New York: Cognizant Communication Corp.

Lonely Planet (2010) Migration and the Masai Mara. Mathew Firestone. Available from [accessed 19 December 2016]

Lonely Planet (2016) Local Transport - Kenya. Available from [accessed on 15 December 2016]

Lonely Planet (2010) Spotlight on Nairobi. Mathew Firestone. Available from [accessed on 19 December 2016]

Magical Kenya (2014) Archeological Tours – Pre Historic Sites. Available from [accessed on 19 December 2016]

Magical Kenya (2014) Maralal Camel Derby. Available from [accessed on 14 November 2016]

Magical Kenya (2014) Village Visits. Available from [accessed on 15 November 2016]

Njugunah, M (2016) Kenya: The State of Kenya's Domestic Tourism. Available from [accessed on 19 December 2016]

Rhino Charge (2013) Spectators. Available from [accessed on 15 November 2016]

UNWTO (2016) Tourism Highlights, 2016 Edition. Available from: [accessed on 17 December 2016]

Created By
Kiera Hammond


Created with images by The Wandering Angel - "Masks" • DFAT photo library - "Kenya dancing" • wwarby - "Thatched Huts" • - "Pinewood Beach Resort - Loungers" • holidaydan - "Msambweni Beach House Hotel" • rhodes8043 - "air kenya airplane safari" • - "_MG_8035" • - "Siana Springs - Game Vehicle" • Son of Groucho - "Mara Serena Lodge 4" • Son of Groucho - "Mara Balloon Flight 2" • Free Grunge Textures - - "Kenya Grunge Flag"

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.