Thursday, December 9, 2010


Part k: Conclusion

Tourism is very important to Africa for its growth and economy. Although tourism has been a culprit in changing the culture of Masai, it can also bring in benefits. For example, Masai boost their economy and income by selling beads, marks and carvings to tourists. In this way, tourism helps the Masai to retain and develop their culture by transforming their beliefs into a business. Tourism can have both positive and negative impacts depending on how you see it.

Part j: Tourism, a culprit in commodifiying cultures and traditions

I agree to a large extend that tourism is a culprit in commodifying culture in Africa.

Nowadays, more and more tourists visit Masai as cultural tourism. Thus the Kenyan government decided to create a wildlife parks in Masai to attract even more tourists in order to boost their economy. Hence, the government took away the Masai tribe lands to develop the wildlife park. As a result, the loss of land has forced the Masai to change their way of life as they no longer have huge tracts of lands to herd their cattle.

Masai culture has further been threatened and commercialized due to negative western values affecting the Masai youths. The youths are now more exposed to the outside world and get influenced. These lead to a loss of traditional culture, prostitution and spreading of AIDS and other diseases. Thus, tourism can have negative impact on Africa.

Part i: Changes brought about by growth of tourism

For positive impacts, tourism can increase employment rate in Africa as more African can go to the outside world to work. Also, new business will be created such as selling of merchandises and country tour. This would help to improve the living standards of the Masai as they have more incomes. Additional, accessibility will be improved as a result of transport infrastructure by upgrading of roads which will benefits both locals and residents.
Also, when more tourists come in to Masai, they will interract with each other and this would promote cultural exchange and improve understanding of different communities.

There are many problems arising due to the influx of tourists.
Firstly, the ecological system has been destructed. Due to the rise in tourists arrivals, there will be increased in deforestation, pollution and disruption of the environment. For example, trees have to cut down because of demand of firewood.
Secondly, tourists with their vehicles may destroy the grasslands and affecting the animals and plants.
Thirdly, destruction on landscapes may occur in order to make way to build hotels for the tourists. Then, hotels built for the tourists may cause pollution such as sewage and pollution in the area. There may be destruction of properties by wildlife.
Lastly, there may be competition of resources such as water, land and energy.

Part h: Spotting the “Disney”

Due to rapid globalisation, Africa can spot some traces of "Disney" characteristics. Using the abstract of the book: The Disneyization of Society by Alan Bryman, I will elaborate about the Disneyization.

1. Theming
By creating a theme for a certain environment, it tends to attract more people to the area than other usual places. In Masai, there is Masai Mara National Reserve, which is the most popular of Kenyan parks and reserves. It themed itself as the only wildlife park that gives better options to see all the Big Five (elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos and buffaloes) in one place. In addition, the world-famous wildebeest migration can be watched there every year.
Also when people view the African arts and craft, there tend to be a few themes coming up over and over. These themes include couple, a woman and a child, a male with a weapon or animal, or an outsider. These themes are representations of different things that are significant to the African culture.

2. Dedifferentiation of consumption.
This simply means that there is a general trend whereby the forms of consumption associated with different institutional spheres become interlocked with each other and increasingly difficult to distinguish. For example, there is hardly any distinction between shopping and theme parks and visitors now are forced to go through shops selling merchandise in order to exit. When visiting Masai, the Masai people will tend to treat tourists as cash cows. They will often pressure tourists to buy all kinds of things. Also merchandises made by them are placed at the entrance of hotels.

3. Merchandising.
This means that promotion of goods in the form of or bearing copyright images and logos. Masai people will have merchandising like woodcarvings displayed at the entrances of some hotels as special attraction. Merchandises must have a glossy finish to make it more appealing.

4. Emotional labour
Postcards and photographs deliberately portrayed the Masai tribe in their traditional costumes abound in the area. This may be because it is the interest of the visitors as they want to see the exotic tribes with exotic practices. Thus, i feel that the indigenous people do not have the freedom to voice out their unhappiness.

Part g: What is the country known for?

To me, Africa is well-known for its natural sceneries and wildlife. There are many famous landmarks worth visiting in Africa. These landmarks are the hot spots for tourists and are visited by many people across the globe. One of these landmarks is the Mosi-oa-Tunya meaning “The smoke That Thunders” and often known as Victoria Falls. This natural wonder is made by thousands of years of erosion. One can have activities such as the Victoria Falls bungee jump which is regards as the highest commercial jump in the world. Next in the north-eastern part of Africa, you can find Egypt and the famous ancient pyramids. There are also many more beautiful landmarks available which are the “must-visit” in Africa. (Drifting on Foot)

(Pictures taken from:

There are many wildlife parks in Africa. In Tanzania, there are about 14 wildlife parks in the area. One of the most famous and largest is the Serengeti, with a massive concentration of migratory animals. Serengeti means “endless plain” in Masai language. One can try the Hot Air Ballooning where you can have a bird’s eye view of the whole place on a hot air balloon. (Game Reserve)

Part f: Types of leisure programmes

1. Nairobi Marathon (Standard Charted Nairobi Marathon 2010)
This is a sport event held in Nairobi, Kenya during October. The Nairobi Marathon has become the signature annual sport event that brings runners and supporters from all over the world to Nairobi, the beautiful capital of Kenya. This event is a charity fundraising event directed at Seeing is Believing and the main sponsor is Standard Chartered Bank. I think that this event is a wonderful platform to showcase the country Nairobi and will definitely attract more visitors than usual. There is an article about the marathon titled Nairobi Marathon moves a notch higher in this link:

2. The Masai tribe love to dance and sing during any events. The Masai has a traditional dance called the Jumping Dance. Each young man will jump as high as he can while the others standing in a circle and sing. This is to show their strength and stamina. They will sing as they dance and their voices get higher as the jumping increases. In the Masai language, they called it the “adumu”. Though the jumping dance is the most unusual and best known, there are also other traditional dances that the Masai perform. There are different dances for different celebrations such as when the lion is killed by the warriors, a dance for the blessing of cattle and a dance performed during a wedding. The Masai people also love to sing. They never use musical instruments when dancing, all their music is vocal. As they dance, there are also jingling sounds created from the beads that they wore. (Kenya-Advisors) Videos on the Jumping Dance can be watched through this website. (World News: Kenya Masai Tribe Singing and dancing. )

3. Now I will zoom in to the tribe, Masai. According to (McQuail, 2002)The Masai of Africa, it states that the Emoratra ceremony is one of the most important Masai festivals. It marks the coming of age of Masai boys. Planning for this festival takes two months. First the boys give away everything they own. This is because they cannot take any old belongings into their new lives as men. Villages collect honey to make honey beer for the elderly who will attend the ceremony. They gather ostrich feathers to make special headdresses for the boys. On the day of the ceremony, the boys will shave off their hairs and paint their heads with white chalks. Then the village elderly will perform the initiation rights on each boy inside a small tent.

4. Wildebeest Migration Seasons. This event is also known as “The Great Migration” takes place between Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and Kenya’s Masai Mara and is one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on the planet. There are thousands of zebra’s migrate between Serengeti and the Masai Mara to search for fresh grazing. It is a very unpredictable and spontaneous natural event, with calving season taking place between January and mid-March. The best time to watch is between June and August when the wildebeest congregate and prepare to cross the famous Grumeti River. If you are interested in visiting the country Tanzania, you can view the itinerary from this website: ( Africa Guide 2010)

You can also watch a video regarding the Wildebeest Migration Season in this link: