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Kenya Wildlife Service National Parks Entry Fees Reviewed

Date Published: 24 Dec, 2010
Kenya Wildlife Service National Parks Entry Fees Reviewed

Tourists watch a white rhino in Lake Nakuru

Entry fees for various national parks and reserves across the country are set to go up with effect from January 1, 2011.  This follows  gazettement of the new rates by the Minister for Forestry and Wildlife Hon Dr Noah Wekesa in a Special Issue of the Gazette Notice No. 207 dated December 24, 2010.  The name of the charges has been changed from “park entry fees” to “conservation fees” to reflect the fact that whenever visitors enter national parks, they are making a contribution to conservation and continued survival of wildlife and their habitats for generations to come. Conservation is an expensive exercise that constantly demands more resources to maintain infrastructure and the ecological integrity of the wildlife habitats. The new rates will largely affect foreigners visiting five popular but ecologically fragile national parks of Lake Nakuru, Tsavo East, Tsavo West, Amboseli and Meru. The new fees will be applicable during the high seasons   months of January, February, March, July, August, September and October. 

The review aims at encouraging visitation during low season in highly visited parks and reducing congestion during peak seasons to maintain ecological integrity of such wildlife areas. The rest of the national parks will retain old rates for the foreigners. Aberdare National Park has retained the old rates of US$50 for foreigners. In the recent past, Kenyans have shown strong interest in visiting their own national parks with 60 per cent of all visitors to these recreational facilities being Kenyan citizens. 

The biannual review is necessary to meet the rising cost of improving infrastructure within national parks to meet visitor demands as well as enhance conservation activities.  The fees for premium national parks of Lake Nakuru and Amboseli for foreigners moves from US$60 to US$75, while wilderness parks of Tsavo East, Tsavo West, and Meru rises from US$ 50 to US$60. Adult citizens of the five East Africa Community member states of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi will pay citizen rates of Ksh500 up from Ksh300 to enter Lake Nakuru and Amboseli while children and students will pay Ksh200 up from Ksh100 in line with the provisions of the EAC Treaty. 

For the popular walk-in Nairobi Safari Walk, adult East Africans will pay Ksh150 down from Ksh100 while children aged below 18 years will pay the old rate of Ksh50. Some of the highlights of the review include merging of student and children fees, consolidation of camping fees, and reduction of fees for 45 and above seater buses from Ksh8, 000 to Ksh5, 000. Review of park entry fees is carried out every two years with the last review having been carried out in 2009. The review for January to December 2011 was as a result of a consultative process with tourism industry stakeholders.  The next review will be conducted in 2012.

Areas agreed on as priority for improvement of infrastructure in 2011 include: 

  • Force modernisation for enhancement of visitor and wildlife security
  • New investments in internal park roads, signage’s, park interpretation, bridges and airstrips
  • Visitor facilities modernisation – Shimba Hills, Mt. Kenya, marine parks, Tsavo East, Tsavo West, Chyullu, Lake Nakuru and Amboseli
  • Improvement of park fees payment systems to enhance visitor handling.
  • Funding of community wildlife projects to help in mitigating human wildlife conflict areas plus assist communities in tourism investment e.g. Rimoi (Keiyo), Olerai (Kajiado) and Mwaluganje (Kwale). A new department of Community Enterprise has been set up to reach out to communities by developing their capacity to establish and manage economically viable nature-based businesses. 
  • Securing of wildlife migration corridors and dispersal areas
  • Translocation and restocking of wildlife populations
  • Management of specific wildlife populations
  • Maintenance  and installation of critical wildlife fences e.g. Aberdare, Meru, Lake Nakuru, Shimba Hills
  • Leveraging of science in wildlife health management
  • Opening up of tourism investment and new product development in underutilised parks and reserves.
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