Regulations Applicable to Kenya’s National Parks & Reserves
Kenya is proud of its heritage. Thousands of visitors enjoy the unspoilt beauty of the land, scenery and the fascination of wildlife living in its natural habitat. Kenya’s parks and reserves were created to conserve the often delicate and endangered eco-systems.
Tourism plays a vital role in maintaining and sustaining indigenous cultures, landscapes and wildlife. It is vital to protect and enhance genuine tourism in order to prolong Kenya’s reputation as a “holiday of a lifetime” destination.
To ensure everyone’s enjoyment, and safety and to protect this heritage, agents tour operators and visitors are requested to observe the following:
Please do not disturb any animal. Making noises or sudden movements, or flashing lights frighten animals. If continually harassed, the animals will avoid human contact or could become aggressive. Never chase animals and keep noise to a minimum. Too much noise disturbs the wildlife and could endanger the lives of other visitors.
Where there is a road system, do not drive off the road. Vehicles leaving the road damage the habitat: Oil and fumes pollution and plant disruption can seriously affect the eco-system by altering drainage patterns, soil erosion and pollution.
Do not discard food or other litter: It is dangerous for the animals, as it disrupts traditional feeding patterns. It creates fire hazards and has the potential to maime or kill wildlife. Do not light a fire and never discard a burning object. Bush and forest fires cause enormous damage to vegetation and wildlife.
Do not stop your vehicle in a position or behave in any way likely to inconvenience or annoy a fellow visitor. Consideration must be given at all times to wildlife and other enthusiasts keen to enjoy the same experience.
In the interest of the wildlife and of other visitors there is a speed limit of 40 kph. for all vehicles. Drive carefully at all times, speeding results in accident to wildlife as well as degradation of the road surface.
For your own safety stay in your vehicle at all times – except where a signboard indicates you can do otherwise. Many of the Parks and Reserves have designated picnic sites & nature trails.
Animals are wild and can be dangerous. Do not stand up in your vehicles unless you have adequate protection and supervision from a professional driver/guide.
Visitors should only enter or leave the park at an authorised park entrance or exit.
Do not collect any form of fauna or flora from any parks or reserves.
At the Coast
Do not damage or remove coral. It is a living organism which takes many years to form and is host to rare and endangered species.
Do not remove shells, starfish or any other sea flora and fauna. Removal seriously disrupts the eco-system and is illegal. The areas outside the parks and reefs are threatened by excessive shell collection. Empty shells provide homes for hermit crabs & some fishes.
Do not buy shells or other marine products as souvenirs as this encourages further plunder of the reefs and beaches.
Do not discard litter into the water. It is environmentally unfriendly and illegal. Marine turtles can confuse clear plastic waste with jelly fish and will die if they eat it.
Hand feeding of fish is discouraged. Certain species are dangerous. This could also disrupt traditional feeding patterns.
Hook and line fishing is allowed in the marine reserves, never in marine parks. Spearguns are not permitted.
Respect the cultures and traditions of local people. Insensitive behaviour, such as taking photographs of people without their consent or failure to observe local customs, can cause irritation.
Nudity or semi-nudity is unacceptable in public and illegal in Kenya, especially in villages or towns. There is also possible conflict with the Muslim culture prevalent in the coastal region.
No person may remain in the parks or reserves between 7 p.m. & 7 a.m. unless accommodation is provided. Visitors must remain inside their accommodation overnight. Night gamedriving is generally not allowed inside the parks and reserves.
Do not damage vegetation or any fencepost, gate or sign post in the park. Plant damage can be irreparable resulting in loss of feeding and breeding grounds.
Do not travel on a road that has been closed to the public as indicated either by a notice or barrier. There may be unusual obstacles or dangers, such as rock falls, subsidence, or flooding.
Do not attempt to enter any area of the park which has been closed. Closure will be indicated by a barrier, a notice or even a line of stones across the road.
Pets (dogs & cats) are prohibited inside all parks and reserves. They attract predators and may transmit diseases or pests which could prove fatal to certain wildlife.
Local conditions may vary. The KWS wardens and rangers are there to assist and advise you. You should comply with any order or direction given by the warden or any other officer in the park.
Agents and operators not familiar with Kenya are advised to contact the KWS for advice or the following professional associations for local travel and accommodation guidance.
Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers & Caterers
Mr. Njeru Kirira
P.O. Box 46406
Next to Heron Court Hotel
Fax: (254-2) 714401
Kenya Association of Tour Operators
Col. (Rtd) J.N. Nguru
P.O. Box 48461
Jubilee Insurance Exchange Building
Mama Ngina Street
Tel: (254-2) 225570
Fax: (254-2) 218402
Mombasa Coastal Tourist Association
Mr. Najib Balala
P.O. Box 99596
Tel: (254-2) 24428/311231
MAJOR K.W.S. PARKS
Aberdare Ranges National Park
P.O. Box 22
Tel: (254-170) 55024 Amboseli National Park
P.O. Box 18
Tel: (254-900) 2
Hell’s Gate National Park
P.O. Box 234
Tel: (254-311) 20510,
Fax: (254-311) 20577 Lake Nakuru National Park
P.O. Box 439
Tel: (254-37) 41605
Meru National Park
P.O. Box 11
Tel: (254-164) 20613
Mombasa Marine National Park
P.O. Box 753
Tel: (254-325) 20329
Mount Kenya National Park
P.O. Box 69
Tel: (254-171) 2383
Nairobi National Park
P.O. Box 42076
Tel: (254-2) 50108/2
Fax: (254-2) 505866
Ruma National Park
P.O. Box 420
Tel: (254-385) 22007
Shimba Hills National Reserve
P.O. Box 30
Tel: (254-127) 4159/4166
Tsavo West National Park
P.O. Box 71
Dial Operator 900, ask 39 Mtito Andei
Tsavo East National Park
P.O. Box 14
Tel: (254-147) 2211/2105
Future Plans of the Kenya Wildlife Service
This guide is a first step in our travel trade support and awareness programme. We hope you have found it useful and informative.
Wildlife is a precious national heritage and Kenya’s leading tourist attraction. As custodians of that wildlife, KWS is dedicated to its conservation and the sensitive development of wildlife tourism to bring pleasure to the thousands of international and domestic tourists who visit our park and reserves yearly.
The KWS, in partnership with the Kenyas travel industry, the central and local governments, is keen to play an active and useful role in the development of sustainable nature tourism in Kenya. Not just within the national parks and reserves but also by assisting local communities, with wildlife on their land, to develop its tourism potential.
There’s more to Kenya than the “Big Five” and sunny beaches. This guide aims to give you a flavour of all our parks and reserves and the activities and attractions available.
We plan to develop and highlight more activities and features. Plans include more walking safaris, nature trails, shaded viewing areas, visitor centres, traditional boat trips, game-flights and so on.
We are producing new information material to support the travel trade’s own marketing initiatives. Information leaflets will be available with guides to the parks and reserves, and maps for sale.
Information boards, extra signage and special information panels to explain special sites of historic or environmental interest are being developed to add value to the visitors spend in these areas.
Kenya attracts a wealth of Press and international public interest. We shall support the travel trade by providing up-to-date and useful information to ensure that the coverage of wildlife and tourism issues in Kenya is informed and fair.
We offer support for Press and trade familiarisation trips to the parks and reserves. Our wardens and rangers, with their expert local knowledge and experience of visitor interest, will escort parties to the key features and areas within each park or reserve.
Location Filming & Wildlife Photography
We welcome requests from operators and agents, as well as TV and film companies, for assistance with location filming and photography.
We can give advice on locations, seasons, migratory patterns and general wildlife movements, to assist with planning and carrying out filming and photographic assignments. We are also developing our own high quality slide and film library.
To find out more about our trade awareness and support programme, please contact the Media Relations Manager (Tourism) within our Commercial Department at:
Kenya Wildlife Service,
P.O. Box 40241, Nairobi, Kenya.
Tel: (254-2) 602345 or 606068
Fax: (254-2) 505866 or 505752