NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK ENTRANCE FEE FOR KENYANS SHOOTS UP BY 300 PERCENT
(Posted 07th April 2020)
The sudden announcement that KWS has raised entrance fees for several national parks between 50 and 300 percent for local Kenyans has prompted the proverbial ‘S***storm‘ on social media with few if any favourable comments seen on the Twitter timelines of #KOT or individual Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Park entrance, come July, for Nakuru and Amboseli will rise from 1.000 Kenya Shillings to 1.500 Kenya Shillings while entrance into the Nairobi National Park was hiked from 500 Kenya Shillings to 1.500 Kenya Shillings.
Parks like Tsavo, the Aberdares, Mt. Kenya and Meru saw fees raised from 350 Kenya Shillings to 1.000 Kenya Shillings, also a nearly 3fold rise.
Local tourism stakeholders, whose businesses are presently taking an unprecedented beating for lack of foreign tourists, have reacted with acid cynicism when they learned that Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala had signed the new fee structure into effect even though it is claimed the gazette notice dates back to December.
Said one to ATCNews: ‘If KWS thinks we have forgotten how they ill treated Dr. Paula Kahumbu a few weeks ago, they are sadly mistaken. The organisation stinks of rogue practices which went unchecked and the CS is complicit in this whole saga. His own role when a dozen rhinos died in 2018 during the worst mistakes ever seen in a game transfer is also not forgotten so maybe it is time for creating a clean sheet and to send the entire leadership of wildlife management and political oversight packing.
The rise of fees for wananchi [local Kiswahili word for people] right now, when so many lost their jobs and have no income, is an affront and a slap in their faces and is a political miscalculation of the highest order‘.
Another regular source accused the Ministry and KWS to try and smuggle through the increase at a time when Kenyan’s attention is focused on surviving COVID19 and the current movement restrictions and the sentiments expressed in the strongest possible terms are not fit to be repeated here.