Kenya: Senior Citizens to Access Nairobi Park Free of Charge Ahead of 75th Anniversary

Nairobi — Kenyans aged 75 years and above will access the Nairobi National Park free of charge accompanied by a person of their choice, a driver, and their vehicles ahead of the park’s 75th anniversary set for December 16, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said Thursday.

As part of various activities lined up to mark the historic anniversary, Balala says that the park will also offer free entry to the first 75 visitors arriving at the park during the event which seeks to celebrate the milestones achieved in the last seven decades from 1946 when the park was gazette by the colonial British government.

“We will also set up a photo gallery of Nairobi National Park since gazettement with archived and recent photos to take our guests down memory lane,” the CS said during the launch of the anniversary

Balala described the park as one which had withstood many socio-economic and ecological pressures to preserve its biodiversity integrity.

“The park’s location next to a fast-growing capital city has brought unique challenges. The government is well aware of these challenges and is committed to tackling them as humanely as possible,” the CS added.

Kenya Wildlife Service Director General John Waweru, in his speech, noted that despite the various challenges faced by the park, it had witnessed a remarkable surge in local tourism even as other popular parks saw pandemic-related reduced revenue streams.

“We are continuously exploring new ways to attract tourists as well as partners, through innovative campaigns such the current Zuru and KWS,” Waweru said.

According to the National Wildlife census 2021 report, developments around Nairobi National Park have obstructed the critical roaming of more than 70 percent of wildlife outside their protected areas.

The Government-sponsored census conducted between April and July 2021 noted that the southern dispersal areas where animals used to roam have been blocked by ‘fences, land subdivision into commercial and residential plots, and expanding human populations.’

“From the bimonthly ground census, it is estimated that 70-80% of the park’s animals roam outside of the protected area boundaries to the southern dispersal areas which are still crucial to most of the migratory animals. Unfortunately, those corridors linking the park to the greater Athi-Kapiti plains have been obstructed by development,” the report indicated.


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