Winners of the 2013 Eco-Warrior Awards were announced during a colourful dinner held at the Safari Park and Casino, on Tuesday. Launched by Ecotourism Kenya in 2005, the Eco Warrior Awards honour creativity within the tourism industry in Kenya and is meant to inspire innovative actions to protect the environment and integrate local people into the business of tourism.
Hosted by Ecotourism Kenya, since its inception in 1996, the association has been involved in a wide range of activities to promote and broaden the industry understanding of sustainable tourism, and attract membership beyond the mainstream tourism industry.
With more than 550 members, and reaching out to hundreds more in Kenya and East Africa, Eco-Warrior Awards provides Ecotourism Kenya with an opportunity to recognize and reward innovations in sustainable tourism while supplying information on best practices.
Among the values emphasized by the award are innovations that respect the environment, respect local people and cultures, impacts on local economies and empower local communities, practice of ecotourism, provide opportunities for linkages with local communities and promote good environmental governance.
Here are the winners of the 2013 Eco-Warrior Awards:
- Conservancy of the Year 2013: Private Conservancy (for privately owned conservancies) – BORANA CONSERVANCY (Supported by Uhunzi Limited).
- Conservancy of the Year 2013: Community Conservancy (community-owned conservancies) – ILNGWESI GROUP RANCH(Supported by Laikipia Wildlife Forum).
- Ecotourism Enterprise of the Year 2013: Lodge – SEVERIN SEA LODGE (Supported by African Solar Design).
- Ecotourism Enterprise of the Year 2013: Tented Camp – ELEPHANT PEPPER CAMP (Supported by Laki Laki Limited).
- Ecotourism Enterprise of the Year 2013: Villas/ Holiday homes – MEDINA PALMS (Supported by Tourism Fund).
- Ecotourism Enterprise of the Year 2013: Community based – KAKAMEGA ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAM (Supported by Laikipia Wildlife Forum).
- Ecotourism Enterprise of the Year 2013: Tour and Travel Operator – GAMEWATCHERS SAFARIS LTD (Supported by Kenya Association of Tour Operators).
- Ecotourism Enterprise of the Year 2013: Airline – AIR KENYA (Supported by Sun Africa Hotels).
- Eco-Rated Facility of the Year 2013: SANCTUARY OLONANA.
- Ecotourism Partnership of the Year 2013: SASAAB SAMBURU & WESTGATE CONSERVANCY
(Supported by Ministry of East African Affairs Commerce & Tourism).
- Ecotourism Journalist of the Year 2013: RUPI MANGAT (Supported by Ministry of East African Affairs Commerce & Tourism).
- Ecotourism Student Innovation Award 2013: DAVID MWABILI & BILLY OYARO.
- Ecotourism Training Program of the Year 2013: STRATHMORE UNIVERSITY (Supported by AFEW– Giraffe Centre).
- Ecotourism Guide of the Year 2013: DERRICK NABAALA (Supported by Kenya Wildlife Trust).
- Ecotourism Student Host Organization 2013: STATUNGA ECOTOURS (Supported by Ecotourism Kenya).