Three tour companies have been banned for a period of 30 days from operating at the Maasai Mara Game Reserve after they failed to observe the laid down park regulations.
In a notice to the tour companies, the Maasai Mara Game Reserve Chief Administrator, Christine Koshal blamed the tour companies for allowing their guests to alight from the vehicles during the wildebeest migration on August 8 and 9.
“You violated the park rules and regulations by obstructing wildebeest crossing and also putting the visitor’s lives at risk by allowing them to alight at undesignated points in the game reserve,” read the notice.
Koshal said the management had no other choice but to suspend the tour companies for 30 days, effective from August 10 this year.
“Therefore, you will not be allowed inside the park for whatever reasons since you violated the park rules and regulations,” continued Ms. Koshal.
The three tour companies banned are Sun world Safaris, Mario tours and Twiga tours that have constantly violated the procedures put to protect the game reserve.
The Wildebeest migration from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the Kenyan side occurs between the months of July to September attracting many local and international tourists.
However, this year the number of international tourists has declined because of the Corona virus pandemic that limited international travels.
This comes at a time when the department of wildlife and tourism has called on Kenyans to visit the local game reserves in a bid to promote domestic tourism.
Speaking at the Maasai Mara Game reserve over the Weekend, the Tourism Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala said international tourism was slowly resuming after the government opened the airports for international travels.
“We are glad that Kenyans are flocking in large numbers to the Maasai Mara, currently most of the lodges are fully booked. The coronavirus pandemic really affected the tourism sector,” said the CS.
Balala reiterated that a serious audit would be carried out in all the camps at the Maasai Mara to wipe out those who did not meet the laid down regulations.
“We want Maasai Mara to be ranked the best game reserve in the world hence we cannot allow camps that do not meet the criteria to continue operating here,” said Balala.
By Ann Salaton