The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has refuted claims that it has reviewed park fees for local tourists.
Earlier on Monday, there were reports that Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala reviewed the park fees upwards for all local tourists while binging the rates down further for international tourists.
Reports had it that he communicated the alleged new rates through a legal notice.
In a statement moments after the reports, KWS maintained that an earlier decision to impose a 50 percent discount in park fees for both local and international tourists still stands.
“In its effort to encourage visitations into National Parks, @kwskenya reduced its Park Entry fees down effective July 1, 2020, for one year to all its national parks, reserves, and sanctuaries. The rates applied to all categories of tourists (local, residents, and international), a part of the statement read.
It added: “In the new changes, residents of Kenya and citizens will now enjoy the same rates. The public is advised to ignore reports that the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has increased its rates and continue to #DiscoverKWSParks.”
The government came up with this initiative as a way to boost tourism which took a hit when coronavirus pandemic struck in March 2020.
It was a way to revive the sector and encouraging more Kenyan visit parks and game reserves at cheaper rates unlike before.
For premium parks such as Amboseli, Nakuru National Parks among others in this category, it will cost $8 (Sh800) while urban parks such as Nairobi National Park will cost $4 (Sh400).
Wilderness Parks in Category A – Tsavo East and Tsavo West – charges are $5 (Sh500) while Wilderness Parks in Category B – Meru/Kora/Aberdares – entry fee is $2.5 (Sh250). For Marine Parks and sanctuaries, the charges are $2 (Sh200).
In June, Balala also announced a moratorium for free rent for all lodges in Kenya Wildlife Parks. The ministry also announced a 50 percent reduction fee for all filmmakers who pay a certain amount of fee to KWS to be allowed to shoot their documentaries in Kenyan parks.