Responsible tourism in gazette forests in Kenya
One of the functions of Kenya Forest Service (KFS) is to develop programmes and facilities for tourism, recreational and ceremonial use of forests. The organization manages over 2.5 million hectares of gazetted forests that range from equatorial forests, tropical rainforest, dryland forests, coastal forests and urban forests. These forests are rich in plant and wildlife biodiversity, in addition to having numerous attractive features including panoramic views, lakes, craters, waterfalls, caves and hills.
KFS collaborates with different stakeholders to develop responsible tourism products and activities in forest reserves in Kenya. The products being developed in forest reserves include ecolodges, tree houses, campsites, nature trails and canopy walkways.
Ecotourism products, activities and services have very low negative impact on the environment. Indeed for KFS, ecotourism should meet the following tenets:
1.Minimize impacts on the environment
2.Protect and benefit forest biodiversity and forest conservation
3.Promote environmental awareness and cultural preservation
4.Meet and exceed tourist expectations
5.Benefit forest-adjacent communities
By promoting ecotourism, KFS aims to be the leading organization of excellence in development and operation of responsible tourism in forest reserves.