Kenya | African Wildlife Foundation

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Kenya

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Gallery
  • Grevy Zebra Ron Geatz
  • Grevy Zebra Paul Thomson
  • Grevy Zebra Craig R. Sholley
  • Ewaso Lions Ewaso Lions
  • Ewaso Lions Ewaso Lions
  • Ewaso Lions Ewaso Lions
  • Ewaso Lions Ewaso Lions
  • Starbucks Conservation Coffee John Butler
  • Starbucks Conservation Coffee Paul Thomson
Overview

In Kenya, conservation is a cornerstone of the economy.

Kenya is a country of diverse, rich habitat. A fifth of our priority landscapes are found within its borders, in fact. The humid broadleaf forests along the coast of the Indian Ocean give way to lush grasslands and savannas. The Kenya Lake System of the geologically dramatic Great Rift Valley is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. And, Mt. Kenya—the nation’s namesake—is the second-tallest elevation on the continent.

A burgeoning service industry continues to grow in Kenya, and ecotourism plays a big part in East Africa’s strongest economy. Visitors flock to the country to see Africa’s “Big Five.” But, lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards, and buffalo are just a handful of the treasured species in this nation. Baboons, zebras, giraffes, flamingoes, and more are enjoyed by tourists, thanks to a strong national park system and a network of wildlife reserves.

Beyond the service sector, agriculture accounts for almost a quarter of Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP). Raising livestock is popular in the savannas, and the country’s primary crop exports are produce, coffee, and tea. But, even with such fertile lands, overpopulation and a lack of infrastructure contribute to frequent food insecurity in Kenya. 

Challenges

A booming population and wildlife compete for resources to survive.

Kenya’s population has grown exponentially over the last century, and efforts to slow its rate are only just beginning to get a toehold. Since 1928, a citizenry of 2.9 million has ballooned to more than 42 million today, with the population projected to hit 77 million by 2030.

Poverty is widespread with many relying on subsistence agriculture to survive. Farming often pushes into critical habitat, harming the land and putting humans and wildlife at odds. In remote regions, oversight of pristine natural resources can be lax. The lucrative ivory trade encourages poachers to go to extraordinary measures to avoid detection in their slaughter of rhinos and elephants. Habitat fragmentation continues to be a threat to many species in Kenya, including the endangered Grevy’s zebra, whose numbers are only a twelfth of what they were a few short decades ago. And, as the country tries to build an infrastructure to support its population, it often comes at the expense of areas rich in biodiversity.

Projects

Will you show Kenya your support?

From “conservation” coffee growers on Mt. Kenya to the Satao Elerai Lodge in the Kilimanjaro Heartland, your help will allow us to continue critical projects in Kenya that are designed to protect wildlife, preserve habitat, and improve livelihoods. Donate for a cause that will help the people of Kenya, their land, and wildlife conservation. 

  • Amboseli-Chyulu Wildlife Corridor
    Connecting two invaluable ecosystems

    Amboseli­-Chyulu Corridor is threatened by agricultural expansion.

    The historic wildlife dispersal area and corridor that extends from Amboseli National Park to...

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  • Ewaso Lions
    Monitoring lions while raising community awareness

    Kenya’s lions could be extinct in the next two decades.

    Habitat loss and conflict with humans are the prime culprits of the drastic reduction in lion populations...

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  • African Wild Dog Scouts
    Monitoring vulnerable wild dog populations in Kenya

    Wild dogs in danger.

    The African wild dog is seriously endangered due to human-carnivore conflict. Hunting and habitat loss has left fewer than 5,000 wild dogs in all...

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  • Starbucks Conservation Coffee
    Combatting deforestation and improving livelihoods

    Kenyan farmers needed a more profitable and sustainable crop.

    Arguably, the best-quality Arabica coffee on earth grows in East Africa’s volcanic soils—coffee so good...

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  • Maasai Steppe Predator-Proof Bomas
    Ending human-carnivore conflict in Tanzania

    Lions face violence from local pastoralists. 

    Lion populations across Africa face many threats to their continued existence. Habitat loss, disease, and violence all...

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