Biodiversity Conservation Factors Influencing Wildlife Tourism at Oljogi Conservancy in Laikipia County, Kenya
Munyao, Nzomo Cosmas
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Wildlife-based tourism generates significant cash that can be utilized to fund ecological efforts. The focus of this research was to look at the biodiversity conservation factors that influence wildlife tourism at Oljogi Conservancy in Laikipia County, Kenya. Specifically, it sought to profile visitors in relation to preference of wildlife tourism, determine visitors’ preference to wildlife tourism, and examine satisfaction levels in addition to whether animal conservation influenced wildlife tourism at Oljogi conservancy. This research would be of value to various stakeholders. Policy makers for example, the government, Kenya Wildlife Services and Kenya Forest Service, among others, may find it important as it forms the basis for policy formulation to improve wildlife tourism. This research could potentially be beneficial to management of the Oljogi Conservancy as it could drive the formulation of strategies that could improve wildlife tourism in that institution. The information would also serve as a crucial tool to tourism marketing organs like the Magical Kenya brand. Findings from the proposed study would be useful to private sector players like KATO and KATA to achieve their animal conservation strategies. NGOs in conservation, would also find the study equally important as well as other researchers and scholars. The study was based on a descriptive3research design. The target population was 13,728 tourists who visit Oljogi conservancy annually. The visitors as well as tour guides were key informants. The survey's 384 tourists were chosen using random selection, whereas the tour guides were chosen using convenience sampling. To get information from the visitors, a structured3questionnaire was used while an interview schedule guided collection of3data from the tour guides. Results revealed that observing wildlife3in its natural environment, behaving3naturally and viewing unique3wildlife were3the three most important3features in tourism3experience. For the most part, the visitors we engaged for research were witnessing their favored wild creature for the very first moment. Nonetheless, the majority of tourists interacted with, handled, or fed wild animals that were friendly in nature as well as uncommon and distinctive. The research further discovered that the black rhino remained the more preferred species, followed by leopard as well as the lion in this sequence. The conservation status of the Oljogi too was considered to be satisfactory. This research found that the tourist profiles for wildlife preferences, as well as habitat conditions, had a substantial impact upon wildlife tourism in Oljogi Conservancy. Furthermore, the significant number of individuals who stopped at Oljogi Conservancy were really pleased with their wildlife encounter. At Oljogi Conservancy in Laikipia County, Kenya, the investigation demonstrated that biodiversity conservation factors influence wildlife tourism. The research proposes appropriate strategies to guarantee endangered animals’ preservation, an expansion in the percentage of chosen wild creatures, and a high degree of visitor satisfaction. A comparable study should be conducted in national parks and reserves so that the results may be compared.