Ecotourism Kenya just released the 2015 Eco Warrior Awards Nominees list. So the battle begins! Did you make it to that coveted list?

For the last ten years, Ecotourism Kenya has honoured and celebrated outstanding contributions to ecotourism practice in Kenya. The tenth edition this year will continue the heritage. The Eco Warrior Awards aim to motivate the tourism industry to embrace ecologically and ethically sustainable practices in order to compete with the best in the world.

How the Eco Warrior Awards Work

Participants compete in eight categories and the finalists are announced in a colourful dinner ceremony. This year’s event will take place at the Leisure Lodge Resort in Diani in Kwale County on Friday 16th October 2015.

The Gala Dinner will form part of the itinerary for the Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE2015) also happening around the same time.

In case you missed it, here is the complete list. Thirty Eco Warrior Awards nominees will fight it out in the eight categories:

  1. 2015 Ecotourism Community Conservancy of the Year Award
    1. Naboisho Conservancy
    2. Tawi Conservancy
    3. Il Ngwesi Group Ranch
    4. Westgate Conservancy
  2. 2015 Eco-rated Lodge of the Year Award
    1. Saruni Mara
    2. Saruni Samburu
    3. Saasab Lodge
    4. Tawi Lodge
  3. 2015 Eco-rated Tented Camp of the Year Award
    1. Karen Blixen Tented Camp
    2. Sanctuary Olonana
    3. Cottars 1920s Safari Camp
    4. Porini Mara Camp
    5. Joy’s Camp
    6. Tortilis Camp
  4. 2015 Community Owned Enterprise of the Year Award
    1. Ngare Ndare Forest Trust
    2. Watamu Marine Association
    3. Kaya Kinondo
    4. Kuruwitu Welfare Association/Community Marine Park
    5. Ol Kinyei Conservancy
  5. 2015 Eco-rated Hotel of the Year Award
    1. Medina Palms
    2. Turtle Bay Beach Club
    3. Baobab Sea Lodge
  6. 2015 Ecotourism Tour Operator of the Year
    1. Kobo Safaris
    2. Uniglobe Let’s Go Travel
    3. Selective Safaris/Albatros Travel
    4. Game watchers
  7. 2015 Ecotourism training program of the year
    1. Amboseli Institute
    2. Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute
  8. 2015 Ecotourism Airline of the Year
    1. Safarilink
    2. Air Kenya

You can attend the Gala Dinner as an individual by paying KES 5,500.00. However, if you prefer to come as a group of 10, you can get a table for KES 50,000.00. Individual Ecotourism members pay KES 4,500.00 or KES 40,000.00 for a table of 10.

These rates do not include travel and accommodation costs. By the way, if you attend the dinner, you could win some amazing awards. You simply have to purchase raffle tickets which will be available for KES 1,000.00 for a set of 5.

Some of the prizes up for grabs at the raffle include a fabulous two nights for two at the Baobab Beach Resort & Spa in Diani, South Coast, on full board accommodation. The prize includes return air tickets courtesy of Air Kenya.

Joy’s Camp in Samburu has also offered two nights for two on full board accommodation. This will equally come with a return ticket courtesy of Safari Link. Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp did not get left behind. They threw in two nights for two at the camp together with an airstrip transfer and medical evacuation offer that came with a return ticket, also courtesy of Air Kenya.

Other Prizes

These other equally awesome prizes were up for grabs in the raffle:

  1. Two nights for two at Karen Blixen Camp including game drives and a complimentary massage (conservancy fees and drinks are excluded).
  2. Two nights for two on Half Board at Severin Sea Lodge and Dinner (excluding drinks) at Imani Dhow restaurant.
  3. Two nights for two at Keekorok Lodge on full board courtesy of Sun Africa Hotels.
  4. Two nights for two at Medina Palms, Watamu on half board basis.
  5. One night for two at Lake Naivasha Country Club on full board courtesy of Sun Africa Hotels.
  6. One night for two at Sovereign Suites full board exclusive of any extra courtesy of Sun Africa Hotels.
  7. One night for two at Distant Relatives eco-lodge, Kilifi.

Unfortunately, since only physical facilities in the industry can participate, you will not see us in this year’s Eco Warrior Awards. Probably never unless Ecotourism Kenya decides to recognise the role digital brands play in promoting ecotourism.

Perhaps then, someday, we will get a ‘Best Digital Ecotourism Initiative’ Award. Hundred of bloggers talking loudly and building awareness about the need to travel responsibly will have a blast.

For now, congratulations to all the Eco Warrior Awards winners. In the meantime, someone needs to do something about that Leisure Lodge website! It is a terrible website to a beautiful lodge which totally does not become them in every sense of the word.