Free entry for locals into Nairobi park

City residents will today (Sunday) be able to gain entry into the Nairobi National Park, take a safari walk and visit the orphanage free of charge, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has said.

He made the announcement during the Global March for Wildlife at the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) headquarters in Lang’ata Saturday.

The Global March for Wildlife is an annual event marked in different countries to create awareness on the illegal trade of ivory and animal trophy.

“CS @Min_TourismKE @tunajibu declares tomorrow 14th April 2019 FREE Park entry to #NairobiNationalPark/Safariwalk & orphanage for all CITIZENS. Karibuni,” tweeted the KWS.

Mr Balala said his ministry would work with the relevant authorities to curb the illegal trade in ivory.

Normally one has to pay an entry fee to gain access to the parks. For locals, adults are charged Sh430 and children Sh215.

For foreigners working in the country, adults pay Sh1,030 and children Sh515. Non-residents pay Sh4,300 for adults while kids pay Sh2,200.

“In appreciation, the CS decided that given the large number of youth who came out to support today’s march, they should have free entry and as a gesture of goodwill,” KWS spokesperson Paul Udoto told the Nation.

However, he said they are yet to reach the optimum number of Kenyans visiting wildlife attractions.

Mr Udoto said most locals are still not taking advantage of the reduced rates that were revised to encourage domestic tourism.

“We have many national parks with different activities, for instance, we have Longonot for people who want to climb mountains and breathe fresh air, we also have mountain climbing in Hells Gate, we have a facility like Kisumu Impala Sanctuary, Kakamega Forest and the marine parks but many Kenyans are not visiting,” he said.

On the war on poaching, a 2018 KWS report shows incidents had dropped to 40 from 80 a year earlier.

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