Monday, July 19, 2010

Masai Mara News Round-up

Maasai Mara has lost half its animals

The Maasai Mara has lost almost 60 per cent of its large animals, including lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards and rhinos, according to the United Nations Environmental Programme.

Proposed park fee increases threaten tourism recovery in Kenya

In a proposed staggered increase over the next two years, KWS announced they were seeking a low- and high-season entrance fee, ranging for category one parks between US$60 and US$90 a day, while some of the lesser-visited parks would continue to attract lower fees of US$50. However, under plans to rebrand some of the parks, these categories may also be revised in order to generate more income for those protected areas.

Stakeholders have also expressed concern over what such KWS increases may mean for parks managed by county councils, with an eye on the Masai Mara, which already charges at present US$80 per person, per day. One usually reliable source mentioned to this correspondent that the Narok county council has, behind closed doors, been toying with a US$100 charge, which if found correct – is expected to be tagged onto the KWS move very soon – may sharply increase the cost of safaris to Kenya. Charges in neighboring countries are still comparably lower, but other competitive disadvantages keep the cost of photographic safaris there high, too.
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