The Eco Warrior Award is an annual event held by Ecotourism Kenya. The award recognizes efforts, innovations and exceptional achievements for promoting responsible tourism and enhancing tourism sustainability which directly conserves the natural environment linked to local communities through mutually beneficial and equitable partnerships. Nature conservation through community development by tourism is the essence of ecotourism.
The award aims to celebrate ecotourism best practices in different tourism sectors and tourism set ups in Kenya. The general criteria were given and shortlisted candidates for each category were to demonstrate clearly elements of responsible, respectful and sustainable tourism.
The following categories were awarded in 2015 Eco Warrior Award;
The 2015 Eco Warrior Award Winners
2015 Ecotourism Community Conservancy of the Year Winner: Naboisho Conservancy
Naboisho Conservancy is a private conservancy located adjacent to the Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. The Conservancy was formed by a number of investors in partnership with the local community. It is a model community conservancy project that has demonstrated how tourism can benefit conservation and the local community. Naboisho Conservancy was recognized for their innovative approach in conserving and protecting wildlife areas while making conservation economically beneficial to the community through sustainable tourism practices.
The category was sponsored by Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association (KWCA)
2015 Ecotourism Community Owned Enterprise of the Year Winner: Ngare Ndare Forest Trust
Ngare Ndare Forest is a lush indigenous forest at the foothills of Mt. Kenya. The Trust was formed to protect the forest against human encroachment and to reduce human wildlife conflict between the surrounding local community and the forest fauna. Ngare Ndare was recognized for their role in the establishment of a public/private partnership between the local community and the Kenya Forest Service. The initiative has made conservation economically viable to the local community.
The category was sponsored by African Wildlife Foundation (AWF).
2015 Ecotourism Tour Operator of the Year Winner: Game Watchers Safaris Limited
Gamewatchers Safaris is a tour operator in Kenya that has specialized in offering safari holidays for the last 25 years. Gamewatchers Safaris (GWS) has committed to helping preserve Africa’s unique wildlife, landscapes and local communities through sustainable ecotourism ventures that benefit the local communities and give their guests a rewarding experience. The 2015 Eco Warrior Award judges recognized them for their excellent approach to conserve and protect wildlife areas through partnership formed with the local communities.
The category was sponsored by Kenya Association of Tour Operators (KATO)
2015 Ecotourism Safari Airline of the Year Winner: Safarilink Aviation
Safarilink Aviation is a regional airline based at Wilson Airport in Nairobi. The Safarilink management have been operating air services and providing aircraft to the local Kenyan aviation industry for many years. Safarilink Aviation was recognized for their diverse conservation projects where they demonstrated a well-structured project funding policy. Some of the projects that they fund include Lewa, Colubus Trust and tree planting initiatives with Mt. Kenya Trust.
The category was sponsored by SATIB/Liason Insurance.
2015 Ecotourism Eco-rated Hotel of the Year winner: Baobab Beach Resort and Spa, Diani.
Baobab Beach Resort & Spa is a Silver Eco-rated facility by Ecotourism Kenya. The resort is situated above a coral headland overlooking the white sands of Diani beach. It’s designed on a traditional Arabic and Swahili architecture which provides an authentic taste of Africa. The award recognized Baobab Beach Resort and Spa for their outstanding documentation and implementation of suitability practices through a clear policy with targets on their sustainability investments.
The category was sponsored by Kwale County.
2015 Ecotourism Eco-rated Tented Camp of the Year Winner: Tortilis Camp
Tortilis Camp located in Amboseli ecosystem, Kitirua Conservancy is a Gold Eco-rated facility by Ecotourism Kenya. It enjoys the status of being the first eco-lodge in Kenya. Tortillis Camp was recognized for its commitment to sound environmental practices, conservation and creation of opportunities for improved livelihood of the local community.
The category was sponsored by Tourism Fund (TF).
2015 Ecotourism Eco-rated Lodge of the Year Winner: Sirikoi Lodge
Sirikoi Lodge is in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy on the Northern slopes of Mt Kenya and is a Gold Eco-rated facility by Ecotourism Kenya. Eco-friendly Sirikoi was recognized for among other sustainability practices, its innovative ways in community and staff empowerment, well documented impacts of conservation investments and a clear policy that guides their sustainability initiatives with a target.
The category was sponsored by the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA)
2015 Ecotourism Private Conservancy of the Year: Ol Pejeta Conservancy – Judge’s Award
The category sponsor was Laikipia County
2015 Tourism Training Institute of the Year: Amboseli Institute of Hospitality and Technology- Judge’s Award
The category sponsor was Kenya Wildlife Trust (KWT)
Congratulations to all the winners of the 2015 Eco Warrior Awards for their efforts in making tourism sustainable in Kenya and a big thank you to the sponsors and all tourism stakeholders who attended the Award ceremony and Gala Dinner for making the event such a success.
2015 Ecowarrior Winners