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Nature based tourism covers all experiences centered on wildlife and natural environments. A survey by UNWTO confirmed that wildlife watching is a very important segment of tourism for most African countries, representing 80% of the total annual trip sales to Africa for the participating tour operators, with that share only increasing. Climate change threatens to erode these gains on the African continent by altering natural ecosystem and loss of biodiversity with projections estimating that climate change will lead to an equivalent of 2 percent to 4 percent annual loss in GDP in the region by 2040.

The ongoing drought in Kenya has forced elephants out of Amboseli National park in search of pasture in private farms in Kajiado County. This escalated the on-going human-wildlife conflict that resulted to death of two Elephants. Thirty Hippos were killed by sunburn in Mkunumbi and Lake Kenyatta in Lamu County. In Volcano National Park, Rwanda, drought affected the germination of bamboo shoots which form a major diet of Mountain-gorillas. It reduced water supply down the valley forcing the host community to invade the Mountain gorilla’s habitat in search of water and food. Ten zebras and two warthogs died due to thirst in Lake Mburo National Park in Uganda and in Ruaha National Park Tanzania’s largest National Park 3000 fish were found suffocated after River Ruaha dried up.

Martin Heigan

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