“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.
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.