Kirurumu & Community Based Tourism

Meeting the challenge

National parks are not viable without the migration corridors and dispersal areas outside them. If the land use of areas outside and bordering parks change from pastoralism to agriculture, then wildlife gets squeezed out and over time Parks can become isolated islands. Most Kenyan and Tanzanian Parks and protected areas were originally the home of the Maasai. Prolific wild life inside and outside parks and reserves can be attributed to the fact that historically and to this day, for cultural reasons most Maasai do not kill or consume wild animals.

However as human populations grow there is increasing pressure to grow crops or to keep more livestock than the land can reasonably hold, leading to environmental degradation . In national terms the Maasai are small in numbers and have less access to safe clean water, health care and good education than many of their countrymen

Tourism in areas outside the parks is a means by which pastoral communities like the Maasai can earn income from the wildlife that they have co-existed with for aeons, without changing land use or cultural norms. Tourism is increasingly providing much needed income for communal needs such as safe clean water, schools etc. and Hoopoe is one of the pioneers in Community based Tourism and also supports the efforts of other like minded companies in East Africa with a similar ethos to us  by using their camps in areas we are not operative.

There are many advantages in these arrangements as activities that are restricted in parks , like walking and night game drives are possible while serendipitous meetings with Maasai warriors out herding there much loved cattle and livestock are part of a day in the life of a safari. This is Africa much the way it was in the past, and where past meets present. Do not be surprised to see a herder with a mobile phone pressed to his ear!
putting something back... no handouts

The end game is that the local community benefits in return for continuing a traditional lifestyle, wildlife is protected and the visitor has the satisfaction of knowing that he has made a tangible contribution in paying conservation & development fees to the community and not by giving useless handouts.