Over 500 km of a sunny coastline, a home to over 60 national parks and reserves, prehistoric, cultural and historic attractions Kenya has seen its tourism sector bloom to become the second-largest source of foreign exchange revenue following agriculture.
However, following the controversial 2007 presidential election and the 2007–2008 post-election crisis that followed, tourism sector was hit badly, with tourism revenues falling by 54 percent from 2007 in the first quarter of 2008 resulting to a value estimated at 8.08 billion shillings (US$130.5 million) from 17.5 billion shillings in January–March 2007 and a total of 130,585 tourists arrived in Kenya compared to over 273,000 that year.
A decade later the Kenyan tourism sector is still faced with a myriad of challenges but has remained as a large contributor to the country’s GDP. Kenya’s tourism sector is largely propelled by safaris and tours of its national parks and game reserves
However, more organizations are coming up and taking their place to conserve the beauty of mother nature. Diversity being an integral part of Nairobi Garage operations, we are home to some of these organizations. We also pride in the organisations that are innovative and have redefined the way they do business.
Here are some organizations both in and outside Nairobi Garage that made it to our list of top innovative organizations in tourism. Let us know what you think
- Ol Pejeta Conservancy
The Ol Pejeta Conservancy works to conserve wildlife, provide a sanctuary for great apes and to generate income through wildlife tourism and complementary enterprises for re-investment in conservation and community development.
The conservancy is also one of the most tech savvy sanctuaries we have in the country. For instance, in 2014, Ol Pejeta announced that they had received legal approval to launch a Ksh3.2 million drone to fight poaching in the 90,000-acre facility.
The Sanctuary also partnered with Liquid Telecom, where the Telco Giant will be providing a tracking solution for their animals and prevent poaching. The company also won the Green Edge Award at the CIO 100 Annual Symposium and Awards 2018. They were recognized for their innovation journey of adopting solar while incorporating IoT technology.
Ol Pejeta is also famously known as home to Sudan, the last white male northern rhino in the world, who died aged 45 years in March 2018.
- Save the Elephants
Save the Elephants (STE) is a UK registered charity based in Kenya and founded in September 1993. Save the Elephants works to sustain elephant populations and preserve the habitats in which elephants are found, while at the same time fostering a heightened appreciation and visibility for elephants and their often-fragile existence.
STE makes it to our list as an innovative organization having partnered again with Ol Pejeta Conservancy, by developing an innovative solution that through elephant texting. The solution involves installing SIM cards on elephants’ collars to beam messages whenever they approach a “geo fence” global positioning location.
This serves to protect both a growing human population and the wild animals that now have less room to roam.
- Internet of elephants
An alumnus of Nairobi Garage, Internet of elephants uses a unique way to educate people on conservation. The company aims to crowdfund for conservation and bring the wild to users’ phones through augmented-reality games that let users interact with animals in your own environment. Through the company’s first app, Safari Central, users can see endangered species moving around their own homes and neighborhoods and educate themselves about conservation efforts along the way.
- Nashulai Maasai Conservancy
A member of Nairobi Garage, Nashulai Maasai Conservancy is a Maasai founded, directed and run conservancy in the Maasai Mara protecting a critical migratory corridor and wild elephant nursery. It is the last remaining Elephant corridor in the Maasai Mara.
The Conservancy made it to our list because, apart from the conservation aspect, the organisation also specifically seek ways to educate the Maasai community on matters human-wildlife conflict because they are concerned about the increasing threats to wildlife from habitat loss, fencing, human-animal conflict.
- Africa 360
Africa 360 prides itself as the first company to introduce 360 degree ‘virtual tour’ technology to Kenya back in 1998 and worked closely with the evolving Magical Kenya in 2000/2001 to produce their 1st virtual tours
The virtual tours are PC and Mobile device compatible. Through the Virtual Reality technology, the company enables you to tour different tourist destinations in Kenya virtually. Locally, the company works with private and corporate clients including International Tourist Boards, Film Commissions, Heritage Organizations, Hotel and Leisure Groups and Real Estate Agents to put together the virtual tours.
A member of Nairobi Garage, Cloud9Xp, serves as an online marketplace that gathers the best leisure activities to do across Africa, all in one place.
Cloud9Xp was part of the 11 startups that graduated from Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa program in November this year. The company was also awarded the Oracle Innovation Awards -Tourism Category winner at the 2018 Connected Summit by the Kenyan ICT Authority.
- Dei Places
Developed by International firm Dei Technologies Dei Places is a social networking software geared towards promoting Africa’s tourism potential. The product is the local answer to TripAdvisor, allowing people to discover, create and share places and memories with friends and families. During the launch thisThe platform is anticipated to boost local tourism by 20 per cent at the end of the year by promoting and marketing tour spots and activities across Africa.
- Maliasili Initiative
Maliasili Initiative is an organization that supports the growth, development and performance of leading civil society organizations and social entrepreneurs primarily working to advance community‐based natural resource management in Africa.
The does this by providing its partners with organizational development services combined with technical expertise in the natural resource field and in some instances occasioned with small amounts of core financial support.
Currently Maliasili Initiatives supports seven local organizations and social enterprises in East Africa, all of which are leading innovators in the natural resource field.
Since inception Maliasili has raised over 5 Million Dollars’ worth of funds and has strengthened over 14 strategies bringing a new direction, focus and clarity for its partners.
We regularly host thought-provoking and inspiring talks, skill-focused seminars and unique networking evenings designed to provide opportunities for professional development and creative growth.Get to know what events we having in the space here!