Kenya’s Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has raised KES10m (€81 490) during his four-day Mt Kenya climbing expedition.
The funds will be used to improve facilities for visitors at the destination, which is one of Kenya’s greatest landmarks.
Work is expected to commence immediately to improve and develop sanitation facilities, hiking trails and other amenities that have been a pain point for climbers who visit the mountain.
Speaking after successfully completing the climb – which he made with fellow hikers who included M-Pesa Managing Director, Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Visa Kenya Country Manager, Eva Sarwari, and Vipingo Ridge Chairman, Alastair Cavenagh – Balala thanked the sponsors, noting that the initiative would improve the hiking experience at Mt Kenya and position it as the preferred climbing destination in Africa.
“I am delighted that this time around we were able to bring partners on board to climb the mountain with the purpose of raising funds to improve amenities around the mountain. We have so far been able to mobilise around 10 million shillings that will be utilised under the Kenya Wildlife Service and we expect this to commence soon,” Balala said.
He said the experience at Mt Kenya was unique and should be a bucket-list activity for all adventure lovers from across the world.
“I have spent the last four days exploring Mt Kenya, which has been a wonderful experience. It has not been easy, but it has made me appreciate nature and our other God-given resources. We want to leverage this hike to profile Mt Kenya as the ideal climbing destination and also grow the adventure market both locally and internationally,” he said.
“The government has ensured that conservation is a key agenda in the tourism industry through putting in place policies that ensure the protection of resources such as Mt Kenya. This is my second time to climb the mountain and I urge everyone who has an eye for adventure to come here and experience Mt Kenya for themselves,” Balala added.
Standing at 5 199m, Mount Kenya is the second-highest peak in Africa and is one of the key adventure tourism destinations on the continent.
Earlier in the month, Balala visited Mt Longonot as part of the preparations for the expedition.