KWS introduces fresh charges for activities in reserves; see full list

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has employed new ways to generate more revenue by introducing charges for some of the activities it offers at game parks and reserves across the country.

Users will start paying for activities like the use of drones, shooting videos and lion tracking as KWS increases charges.

The use of drones and the shooting of videos for commercial reasons will now cost visitors, Ksh.5,000 each. Lion tracking and participating in KWS research activities and census will cost Ksh.10,000.

A parking fee of Ksh. 300 per day will also be charged to visitors not using cars for game drives at parks including Nairobi National Park, Malindi, Mombasa, Shimoni, Longonot, Hells gate and Lake Nakuru.

Activities such as guided nature walks, bird watching, entry to elephant Orphanages in KWS parks or reserves and sanctuaries were previously free, but will now be charged at Ksh. 300 per person.

Parks will also offer dinner or breakfast to all visitors, since before the meals were only offered to visitors who resided within the parks. “Sundowner, bush breakfast, bush dinner for park visitors not residing within the parks or reserve will be charged at Ksh 1,000 per person” it added.

However, the new prices will only be applied during the high season from July to February but during the low season the prices will have discounts.

KWS is hopeful that the new rates will reduce its reliance on the National Treasury.

State’s support for the agency accounts for about a third of its income.

Last year the wildlife conservation agency stated that it was shifting to online ticketing and digital payment across all conservation areas. A move aimed to reduce pilferage and delays at the gates.

“When a visitor comes here they don’t have to waste time spending 10 minutes or one hour to go through the gate. The shift will start here in Nairobi then Amboseli and Nakuru National Park. By July 1, 2022, all parks will be digital to reduce delays.” said Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala.

Kenya depended on International travelers for tourism revenues, but this was cut short with the hit of pandemic, which led to reliance on domestic tourists to stay afloat. With the covid 19 measures reduced the tourism sector is slowly rising up and is projected to increase to Ksh.172.89 billion from Ksh.146.51 recorded in 2021.

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