KWSTI was established following provisions of the wildlife policy contained in the sessional paper No 3 of 1975, ‘Statement of the Future of Wildlife Management Policy in Kenya’ (Republic of Kenya 1975). The sessional paper spelt out a need to build capacity in view of an important shift in wildlife conservation policy that was intended to harmonise conservation with economic and social development.
The institute was opened in 1985 as Naivasha Wildlife and Fisheries Training Institute to offer in-service training institute for the then departments of wildlife and fisheries under the Ministry of tourism and wildlife. The first group of students in 1985 comprised newly appointed university graduate Assistant Wardens and Fisheries Officers on an induction course.
The land on which KWSTI is located was declared the Naivasha Wildlife Training Institute Local Sanctuary through gazette notice No. 84 dated 6th June 2000. The institute was given a provisional registration as a Technical, Industrial, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TIVET) Institution on 1st July 2009 and was subsequently given authority to examine and award Diplomas and Certificates under the Education Act (Cap 211) through gazette notice No. 1615 dated 17th February 2012. KWSTI was the 3rd TVET institution in Kenya to be awarded authority to examine and award its own certificates through the Education Act (CAP 211)
Location and environment
The institute is located 90 km southwest of the city of Nairobi. It is situated in a serene, pristine and scenic site that is ideal for training in wildlife management, tourism and hospitality management, and fisheries. An abundance of wildlife roams the institute grounds that include giraffe, impala, waterbuck, wildebeest, waterbuck, zebra, eland, buffalo, warthog and hippopotamus. The institute land has a lake Naivasha frontage where a fisheries teaching annex is located.
There are three teaching campsites, a restaurant, guest rooms, guest houses, museum, an aquarium and nature trails.
KWSTI offers diplomas in:
- Wildlife Management
- Fisheries and aquatic Sciences
- Environment Management
- Tourism and Hospitality Management
and craft certificates in:
- Community Wildlife Management
- Nature Interpretation and Tour Administration
The training programs at KWSTI are guided by approved competency based curricula that were developed through a consultative and participatory process. The curricula are heavy on hands-on training geared towards producing skilled manpower in the fields of wildlife, fisheries and tourism management.
Student enrollment at KWSTI has been growing over the years from the initial 72 students admitted when specialized courses were started in 2002 to a student population of 832 by December 2017.
There are two intakes in a year: April and September
The institute has limited student accommodation and prospective students are advised to apply separately for accommodation as this is very competitive
Student clubs and societies
Students are encouraged to join and participate in club activities. The following clubs/societies exist:
- Environment club
- Wildlife club
- Red cross club
- Karate club
- Christian Union
- Praise and worship
- Muslim society
The institute has excellent sports facilities. There exists a world class swimming pool, a football pitch, netball pitch, basketball pitch, two lawn tennis pitches, table tennis, badminton, billiards, etc. Students are encouraged to engage in sports. There also is a track for track events such as running. The institute holds an annual sports day where student cohorts compete with each other and winning teams are awarded.
Annual prayer day
An annual interdenominational prayer is held every year where students and staff humbly come before God and seek His guidance in prayer.
The KWSTI alumni association was launched in 2012. The association involves itself in activities that support the training programs of the institute. An alumni campsite is fully supported by the association. The association carries out mentoring and career development engagements with the students. The association has recently taken up the responsibility of spearheading the initiation of a KWSTI newsletter and open day.
Students are issued with a code of conduct and dress code that are strictly enforced by all staff. Discipline is of utmost importance to the training and students are urged to comply with all the rules and regulations.
Awards and recognition
The institute won the best ecotourism training eco-warrior award during 2016. This meant that of all the institutions of higher learning in Kenya (universities, colleges, etc) that offer courses in ecotourism, KWSTI offers the best form of training in this field. There cannot be a greater achievement yet for KWSTI than this. The award recognized our efforts in transforming and reforming the Institute to make it a Center of Excellence in ecotourism training.
The institute hosted the 4th annual devolution conference during March 2017 and was given a recognition award by the Council of Governors for being the best host yet of the conference.
A graduation ceremony is held every academic year in either May or June.
Diploma and Certificate Courses
Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute (KWSTI) is a middle level college located in Naivasha about 90km from Nairobi. It is registered with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology as a TVET institution. KWSTI provides specialized training in Natural Resource Management and Tourism Development in an effort to enhance Conservation, Management and Sustainability of Wildlife Bio-diversity in Kenya and globally. Courses are offered at Certificate and Diploma levels with curricula designed on Competency-based basis with Modules of Employable Skills (MES), when desired.
DIPLOMA (Each packed into variable modules). Duration - 18 Months (4 Semesters)
Diploma in Environmental Management (Environmental Education Assistant, Environmental Health & Safety Assistant)
Diploma in Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences (Fisheries Extension Officer, Fish Gear Technician)
Diploma in Tourism & Hospitality Management (Tours & Travel Administration, Hospitality Supervision, Tourism Enterprise Development Marketing)
Diploma in Wildlife Management (Wildlife Research Assistant, Community Wildlife Assistant, Wildlife Management Assistant)