SHEER ADVENTURE

Government identifies adventure, hiking, mountaineering as the new frontier

The tourism sector was hard hit by the outbreak of Covid-19

In Summary

•Dubbed “Sheer Adventure” destination, Mt. Longonot, rises from the floor of the Great Rift Valley. 

•The Mountain is located within the mount Longonot National Park which is one of the many fascinating, yet least visited, attractions of Kenya.

Tourism CS Najib Balala and Kenya Wildlife Service Director General John Waweru scales up Mount Longonot May 7. Image: Robert Komu.
Tourism CS Najib Balala and Kenya Wildlife Service Director General John Waweru scales up Mount Longonot May 7. Image: Robert Komu.

Keen to recover the tourism sector following the adverse impacts of Covid-19, the government has identified adventure, hiking, mountaineering as the new frontier and as key catalysts in the efforts.

Kenya is well placed to tap into these niche segments thanks to the diverse opportunities and attractions found across the destination.

The foundation of Kenya being known as a leader in Safari also enhances the potential of the destination being regarded as top in adventure tourism.

Speaking after a hiking expedition at Mt. Longonot on Saturday, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala encouraged Kenyans to embrace and take up hiking, mountaineering and other adventure experiences for fitness and wellness.

He also noted that adventure tourism is one of the fastest growing experiences in the world today with travellers looking for life-changing experiences that suit them.

“Mountaineering and hiking have the potential to improve our tourism numbers because today’s traveler is looking for immersive and engaging opportunities. We must be ready to demonstrate to both domestic and international visitors that we have more than Beach and Safari experiences," Balala said.

"People are today also conscious about their health and hiking is a good fitness and outdoor activity. I encourage Kenyans to visit some of the mountaineering and hiking destinations in the country. They can be a pocket-friendly option for many people because they include day trips which are easily accessible,” added Balala.

Balala added that the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife would be working towards improving the visitor experience and putting a spotlight on attractions like MT Longonot to ensure that visitors earmark them on their bucket list.

Kenya Wildlife Service Director General John Waweru and Tourism CS Najib Balala after climbing mount Longonot May 7. Image: Robert Komu.
Kenya Wildlife Service Director General John Waweru and Tourism CS Najib Balala after climbing mount Longonot May 7. Image: Robert Komu.

“We have earmarked the development and showcase of these experiences to propel the recovery of the sector. We are working with the partners and experience owners in the industry to fully enhance and market these attractions in Kenya” he said.

Dubbed “Sheer Adventure” destination, Mt. Longonot, rises from the floor of the Great Rift Valley. 

The Mountain is located within the mount Longonot National Park which is one of the many fascinating, yet least visited, attractions of Kenya.

With its cool climate, lush greenery, and stunning views of the Rift Valley, Mt Longonot offers a variety of trails for hikers of all fitness levels.

It is also home wildlife like zebra’s giraffe grant gazelles and over 110 bird species making it a birding paradise.

Kenya Wildlife Service Director General John Waweru noted that MT longonot National Park is part of the rich ecosystem in Naivasha which includes Hells Gate, lake Naivasha and many facilities that are ready to host visitors in the area. He assured visitors of a safe and enjoyable experience at the park which is also home to several campsites.

The hike at Mt Longonot was also part of the CS Balala’s preparation for an expedition at Mt Kenya in mid- May 2022.

The expedition will aim at re-positioning Mt. Kenya as one of the key iconic adventure experience facilities in Africa as well as raise funds towards improving the visitor experience. 

Among who will be accompanying the CS are Magical Kenya Destination Ambassador Eliud Kipchoge and sponsors who include Safaricom/ Mpesa, Visa, Huawei, KCB and EABL among others.

Other hiking and adventure destinations that travellers can explore in Kenya include the trails at Karura Forest, Menengai crater, Mt Elgon, Mt Ololokwe and Ngong hills among others.

These destinations offer different experiences and therefore should be on the list of all visitors.