The impact of tourism on the Maasai attitudes towards wildlife: A case study of Kajiado District, Kenya.

Mageer, L (2007) The impact of tourism on the Maasai attitudes towards wildlife: A case study of Kajiado District, Kenya. [Dissertation]

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This piece of research looks at the Maasai attitudes towards wildlife and how they have
been influenced by tourism. Kenya is a popular wildlife tourism destination and many visit
to see the wildlife in its natural habitat. The Maasai have co-existed with wildlife for
centuries, yet with the growth of tourism, certain areas of Maasailand have been set aside
for the creation of national parks, resulting in increased human-wildlife conflicts. A
university field trip gave the author an opportunity to stay in Kenya for an extra fives days
commencing 04/06/06 to 08/06/06 to carry out research. The research was based in the
Kajiado District, mainly in Kuku and Kimana Group Ranches and around Amboseli (refer
to appendix 8.1 for map). The author found Collet (1987) useful with providing
information on the history of Maasailand, whilst Campbell et al (2000) provided important
information on current issues.
The author wanted an in-depth understanding of the Maasai changing attitudes towards
wildlife and tourism so qualitative research was used. In total, twenty-five Maasai were
interviewed, including one focus group. Group discussions were held with the chief
warden of Kimana Wildlife Sanctuary and Amboseli Community warden. Overall, the
research found that the Maasai supported tourism and understood the importance of wildlife
conservation when they received the direct and indirect benefits such as money earned from
selling jewellery or the funding for school bursaries. The piece of research concludes with
ways in which the Maasai may move forward, i.e. through education and understand the
importance of the wealth created through tourism and wildlife preservation.

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