NAIROBI, Aug 4 (Swara) – Kenya’s Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife has launched a month-long photo exhibition at the headquarters of the National Museums to raise awareness of Mt Kenya as a prime adventure tourism destination.
The exhibition dubbed “Mt Kenya Photography Exhibition” which opened on August 2 and will run until September 5 will allow the public to interact and purchase photographs of the Mount Kenya topography as well as showcase adventurers scaling the mountain’s rough terrain.
Safaricom PLC CEO Peter Ndegwa, who was the chief guest at the opening of the photo exhibition said the concept for an exhibition makes it possible for individuals and other organisations to participate in the conservation of the Mt Kenya ecosystem.
“Each piece purchased will enable you to enjoy one of the many scenic views of the mountain but more importantly it will touch the lives of dozen individuals in decades to come. I, therefore, encourage everyone to walk around the exhibition and equally bring a friend or business partner so we can all be part of this noble initiative and more importantly climb beautiful Mt Kenya,” said Ndegwa.
He noted that Kenya has some of the best hospitality infrastructures, adding that it is possible to make hiking at Mt Kenya “a 5-star experience”. “I have gone around the world through various destinations for holidays and there is a lot more we can do to be able to add value to the assets, in order to attract more tourist (…) there is so much to see in this country, we just have to add value,” he added.
In a speech read on his behalf by KWS Director for Partnership and Enterprise Edwin Wanyonyi, the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala said there is a big potential for more visitors to tour iconic Mt Kenya hence the need to continue harnessing resources to improve the visitor experience and to appeal to more adventure seekers and mountain climbers.
“The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife through the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the Kenya Tourism Board and other partners have put together this exhibition so that we can arouse the interest of Kenyans and other travellers to visit this iconic landmark. Through this exhibition we shall also be raising funds geared towards improving the visitor experience for adventure lovers at the Mountain,” said Balala.
Mt Kenya National Park and Reserve occupy an area of 2,839 square kilometres. The park covers 715 square kilometres while the size of the reserve is estimated at 212km2.
There are three main climbing routes to access the peak of Mt Kenya. These routes require KWS patrols aimed at litter management, responding to emergencies, including search and rescue, monitoring and facilitating visitors’ accommodation, protecting KWS equipment on the mountain high altitude zones, monitoring weather and climate change and collecting daily weather data for onward transmission to the park headquarters.
Mount Kenya is the second highest peak in Africa standing at 5,199m and is one of the key adventure tourism destinations on the continent. Some of the known attractions at the mountain include the three peaks namely Lenana, Nelion and Batian, lakes, including Alice, Michaelson, and Ellis and the diverse vegetation and wildlife
In addition to the mountain, there are many other hiking trails that form excellent practice for those who plan to summit. They include Elephant Hill, Rurumeria, Ole Satima, Mt Longonot, Table Mountain and seven ponds which provide an opportunity for acclimatization and building body strength.