The Kenya Wildlife Service increased park entry fees for all game parks with effect from March 1, 1996. The fees will now vary from park to park as they have been grouped into four pricing categories based on environmental considerations, business volumes and potential development.
Environmentally fragile parks with an overload of visitors will now charge more while those with low volumes will charge less. Currently visitors to the parks pay a uniform fee of Ksh50. Nonresidents pay US$20 per adult and US$2 for children.
Announcing the new park fee structure, the KWS Director, Dr. David Western, said that the park fees had not been reviewed for the last two years. Despite the modest increase, KWS had deliberately made sure that Kenyans and residents continued to pay affordable fees to all categories of parks.
“It is the intention of KWS to attract more Kenyans to visit the parks and enjoy the unique beauty this country is blessed with”, Dr. Western said.
At the same time, the wildlife chief emphasized that his organization was committed to improving the parks’ facilities and infrastructure to enhance tourist care and value.
Dr. Western explained that, the categorisation of parks was not necessarily significant to the quality of the parks and should not be viewed as rating of the overall importance of the respective parks.
“Rather, the categorization is intended to rationalise visitor traffic to the parks by reducing crowding in some and encouraging better patronage in others, he explained.
Dr. Western disclosed that gate collection was the main source of revenue for KWS, and that even this covered only half of the conservation costs the organization incurs.
“In order to continue to fulfil its mandate and mission of conservation of wildlife and biodiversity in the country, it has become necessary for KWS to adjust the entry fees into the park”, he stated.
Under the new pricing structure, vehicle entry fees have also gone up depending on seating capacities as have the aircraft landing fees and boat entry fees to marine parks.
KWS is also introducing annual passes of exceptional value that will allow multiple entry into all parks.
Media Relations Manager,
Kenya Wildlife Service