The Great-Rift-Valley Of Kenya Remains Un-tapped Goldmine
Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) and the ministry of tourism are sleeping on job. They’re yet to fully exploit activities that can attract domestic and international tourists. Take the widely renowned Great Rift Valley escarpment. Although popular word over, The Great Rift Valley remains untapped goldmine. The view of the Great Rift Valley is stunning. It is a true gift of nature. In his inaugural speech, Deputy President William Ruto acknowledged The Great Rift Valley is a breath taking natural heritage. Unfortunately, Mr. Ruto, Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) and the ministry of tourism are yet to unleash its potential.
The Great Rift Valley is a sleeping giant. If awaken, it has the capacity to change Kenya’s economic landscape. Sadly, policy makers and those who are responsible for branding and selling Kenya nationally and internationally lack creativity to explore this touristic site. Instead, their mindset is still steeped in traditional ways of tourism, thus; sea, sand, and ocean tourism at Mombasa.
A shift in mindset is required if we are to transform Kenya into a vibrant tourist destination. Tanzania is moving forward. Her foreign exchange has grown exponentially, superseding Kenya, thanks to her tranquil political environment and aggressive sales skills. Kenyan’s tourism industry should harness tremendous potential in Great Rift Valley and other unexploited opportunities. Among other ways, the government or incentivized private investors could consider introducing the first ever zip-lining tours.
For the starters, zip-lining is a cabin transportation system or piece of recreation equipment comprising of a stretched cable between points of different elevations. The ride is mainly for tourism purposes. In some cases, cabin like cars are attached on double line so that it can move along the lines. Simply put, it is a car in air prompted to move slow and steadily from one end to another.
To understand zip-lining tours, let’s take an imaginary tour. Imagine boarding a transparent glass sealed “car” by the Rift-Valley view point along Nairobi-Nakuru-Kisumu road. A ride takes you in the air across the rift valley escarpment. On one side is a great view of Mt. Longnot, Lake Turkana, Lake Baringo and Lake Elmentaita. On the other side is a shield of volcano with widespread geothermal activity and Flamingoes by Lake Naivasha .
The scenery is hypnotizing to say the least. It is a breath taking view. As you ride across the Great Rift Valley about 3000 feet above the sea level you see people walking down. You see houses. You see plants. You see animals. You see the beauty of our country. This is unforgettable tourism experience.
Lovers may take a ride just to propose a marriage to each other as they cross the Great Rift Valley escarpment-love in the air, literally. It’s a great recreational activity-a dream of a life-time. Taking aerial pictures couldn’t be easier on zip-lining. It’s treasurable. Investors could build a hotel and/or a restaurant at the beginning and ending point, thus; creating employment opportunities.
Your bet is as good as mine. This activity could earn Kenya millions of shillings from local tourists and billions of dollars from international tourists. But more importantly this recreational activity could become a major tourist attraction for learning purposes.
Local and international institutions may be encouraged to bring students on a learning tour for subsidized fee to learn by experiencing the mystery of the Great Rift Valley escarpment. Couples, individuals and groups of curious and tourism minded Kenyans could explore their land and their heritage for subsidized fee. This is a great investment for Kenya. Which begs the question: Can Kenya Tourism Board and ministry under which tourism falls think outside of the box and explore such non-conventional ideas?
By Jacktone Ambuka, a Kenyan residing at State College Pennslyvania, USA. You can reach me by email [email protected], Twitter @JackAmbuka