Stalemate brewing between the Kenyan and Tanzanian tour operators in Mara

Tourists at Maasai Mara National Game reserve. [Kipsang Joseph/Standard]
Discord is brewing between Kenyan and Tanzanian tour guides and drivers over access to the Mara and Serengeti game reserves.

Kenyan tour personnel are not pleased by their restricted access to the Serengeti Game Reserve using their safari vehicles, yet their Tanzanian counterparts can easily get into the Mara Game Reserve.

“It still beats logic why the county government can give our neighbours access while we have enough local guides and drivers,” said the Kenya Tour Driver Guides Association chairman, Nicholas Kirito.

Work permit

Local operators charge Sh25,000 daily for a Land Cruiser safari while the Tanzanians charge Sh15,000.

“Accessing Serengeti as a driver or tour guide is hard because the authorities are strict on us and we can hardly conduct any business there. One is required to acquire a work permit of $100 (Sh10,000) for three months,” Mr Kirito said.

Kirito claimed there was an influx of Chinese and Tanzanian tour guides who were grabbing opportunities from Kenyans.

However, the Narok tourism executive, Joseph Koila, said the tourism business was all about competition as long as the Tanzanian operators adhered to the regulations.

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