PARKS AND RESERVES
Parks and reserves managed by KWS
Select a park or reserve to view a list of hotels, lodges, guesthouses and camps managed by KWS
Welcome to Kenya Wildlife Service
KWS Community Wildlife Programmes
The Kenya Wildlife Service is a state cooperation established by the Act of parliament, CAP 376, with a mandate for wildlife conservation and management in Kenya. The Act spells out the functions of the organization both within and outside protected areas. A key function is to establish linkages and gain support form wildlife conservation with stakeholders and communities co existing with wildlife.
KWS community wildlife programmes are hinged on the organization’s mandate to conserve and manage wildlife outside protected areas. Emerging challenges in community wildlife conservation and management such as increasing human population, incompatible land use changes, abuse of user rights, lack of a land use policy, shrinking wildlife habitats, inadequate incentives for community participation and lack of involvement in decision making calls for a strengthened community conservation strategy.
Kenya does not have to choose between its people and its wildlife. Wildlife is an important aspect of our environment and has a special place in our development. Wildlife resources have several important uses that we need to examine in order to look at the challenges facing conservation and management in a different perspective. Wildlife is a national heritage and there is need to link it with socio economic development of the country with the aim of meeting the national development strategies.
Securing space for wildlife is critical and addressing human wildlife conflict remains a big challenge that KWS has began to address strategically.
Community Wildlife programmes are a strategy recognized by the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act CAP 376. (which is currently under review). The Act calls for active community participation in wildlife conservation outside protected areas with tangible benefits.
Wildlife which is viewed as a source of suffering for many Kenyans needs a rethinking. There is need to look at wildlife conservation and management from a different perspective in order to understand the value of this important tourism product. The role of wildlife in the economic development of the country needs to be communicated to the people that bear the brunt of hosting wildlife on their land.
Kenya conserves its biodiversity through protected area systems in form of National Parks, Reserve and sanctuaries. This covers 8% of the Kenyan landmass. This does not provide sufficient ecosystems for conservation - much of the wildlife from these protected areas moves forth and backwards to the surrounding community (private) areas in search of food, water, security or breeding grounds.