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Governor wants to ban tented camps to control investments at Masai Mara Reserve

By Macharia Kamau | Published Mon, February 12th 2018 at 15:27, Updated February 12th 2018 at 15:40 GMT +3

NAROK, KENYA: Narok County will not licence hoteliers to set up temporary facilities at the Masai Mara National Reserve during the industry peak season this year as it moves to control investments and tourist flow to the facility.

The tourism high season for the Mara is usually around the months of July to October, with the great pull factor being the wildebeest migration. The animals cross from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the Masai Mara in Kenya in search of pastures and the crossing of the Mara River is a global spectacle.

The reserve sees an influx in the number of mostly international tourists, pushing up demand for accommodation and other hospitality services. Local and foreign investors usually cash in the surge in visitors and the Narok County has in the past had provisions for setting up temporary camps to cater for the high numbers.

Samuel Ole Tunai Governor Narok County said he would ban the issuance of licences to operate temporary camps. He said the process was riddled with corruption, which he blamed on investors as well as their reluctance to pull down the camps after the season and instead converting them to permanent camps.

Mr Tunai also said the County would in the coming years be reluctant to allow further investments in the Reserve. Controlling investments and the number of visitors to Mara to help increase the currency of the Mara as a premium attraction and in turn attract high net worth tourists.

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