Kenyan Tourism CS Joins #7SummitsAfrica To Promote Conservation Through Tourism

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On 4 November 2017, nine environmentalists, journalists and mountaineers began their journey to summit seven mountains in Africa, back-to-back, in seven weeks to raise awareness of crucial causes that affect the mountains and their surrounding natural environment, people and animals as well as to showcase the diverse adventure- and eco-tourism opportunities East Africa has to offer. Kenyan Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has joined the Mt. Kenya leg of the 7 Summits Africa Challenge, presented by Great Migration Camps, setting off from the Serena Mountain Lodge for a gruelling six-day climb up Africa’s second highest mountain (5,199 m).

“I’m excited,” said the smiling cabinet secretary shortly before beginning his mammoth trek. “Today we are introducing a new tourism asset to the world. It is, of course, an asset that is already there, but Mt. Kenya has long been underutilised and under-promoted.” It is his hope that the 7 Summits Africa Challenge will change this by showing the world magical Kenya’s adventure tourism opportunities.

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Promoting conservation through tourism

CS Balala was drawn to the 7 Summits Africa Challenge by its driving ethos of promoting conservation through sustainable tourism in East Africa. “The hard truth is that conservation requires money – lots of it – and the best way to get this much-needed revenue for conservation is through responsible tourism,” explains Carel Verhoef, one of the expedition leaders and a director of Great Migration Camps.

While promoting conservation through tourism is the overriding purpose of the 7 Summits Africa Challenge, the team has also dedicated each climb to a cause that affects the mountain and the people, animals and natural environment around it.

For Mt. Kenya, the team chose to put an end to elephant poaching as the cause to support. One in every three elephants that walked Africa just a decade ago has since been illegally killed. At its worst, that was a rate of slaughter of one elephant every 25 minutes, every day, for seven years. Kenya is at the forefront of the battle to protect African elephants through deliberate interventions. Leading that fight is Space for Giants, the non-profit organisation the 7 Summits Africa team is calling on the public to support.

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