Kenyan Poverty Tourism
Poverty has apparently become a kind of spectacle: Places such as Brazil’s favela slums and India’s shantytowns have become part of a “poverty tour” industry. Now Kenya has jumped on the bandwagon, with several organizations selling guided trips through the wretched Kibera slum in Nairobi. — JCL
Wait, before you go…
The Dutch tourists came well prepared for the walking safari: strong shoes and sunscreen, backpacks and bottled water. Ahead lay an afternoon visiting one of Kenya’s most recognisable sights – but one that rarely features in tourist brochures.
“It might seem a bit strange to come here,” said Eric Schlangen, as the guide led him towards the sea of tin-roofed shacks that constitute Kibera, often described as one of the world’s largest slums. “But I wanted to see how people live in this country, not just the animals.”
Slum tourism is taking off in Kenya. Several local organisations have started selling guided trips through Kibera, a short drive from the luxury hotels that serve most foreign visitors in Nairobi.
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