Photo taken on Aug. 15, 2015 shows two giraffes at the Masai Mara National Reserve of Kenya. (Xinhua/Sun Ruibo)
NAIROBI, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Masai Mara National Reserve located in western part of Kenya was recently declared Africa's leading wildlife sanctuary after beating five competitors in the continent, local media reported on Thursday.
According to the Daily Nation on Thursday, Masai Mara overcame fierce competition to be voted Africa's leading national park at the 2017 World Travel Awards ceremony held in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.
The Masai Mara which is home to iconic wildlife species beat Kruger National Park in South Africa, Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana, Kidepo Valley National Park in Uganda and Etosha National Park in Namibia.
At the same time, the pristine Diani Beach located in Kenya's South Coast was voted Africa's best beach tourist destination for the fourth year in a row after beating competition from beaches in South Africa, Mozambique, Zanzibar and Egypt.
The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) on its part beat ten other tourism marketing agencies in Africa to emerge the winner for the sixth year in a row.
It beat the Egyptian Tourist Authority, Moroccan National Tourism Organization and South African Tourism to be voted the best tourism marketing agency in the continent.
The National Carrier, Kenya Airways won two awards after it was voted Africa's leading airline and the continent's leading airline-business class.
A host of Kenyan game and beach resorts as well as tour operators were voted Africa's leading brands.
The President and Founder of World Travel Award (WTA), Graham Cooke hailed Kenya's hospitality industry for scooping continental awards which reaffirmed their prestige and popularity in Africa and beyond.
"We have recognized the leading lights of African tourism tonight and I wish to offer my heartfelt congratulations to all our winners," Cooke remarked at the awards ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda on Tuesday night.
The Masai Mara Game Reserve where investors have put up luxury resorts to attract high-end tourists from around the world is home to iconic wildlife species that include giant land mammals, carnivores, birds and reptiles.