Mara visitors fly as bad roads spoil the party
Posted Thursday, August 2 2012 at 21:00
- Major airstrips busy as tourists avoid bumpy stretch to the game reserve
Hundreds of tourists streaming into Kenya to see the wildebeest migration are travelling by air to the world famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve due to the bad roads.
The Narok-Sikinani-Talek road is bumpy and tourists take hours to reach the reserve.
Major airstrips, including Governors, Olkiombo, Siana, Keekorok, Nkerede and Kichwa Tembo, were busy on Thursday.
“I came by road and the van I was using broke down on the way due to the poor road. I wasted a whole day doing nothing, so I am using a plane to get back to Nairobi and ensure I do not miss my flight back home tonight,” Mr Tripp Amdur, a tourist from the US, said.
More than 4,000 tourists stream to the reserve every day.
Most hotels are fully booked, according to Matira Bush Camp Director Antony ole Tira.
Additional police have also been sent to all hotels and airstrips.
“There will be round-the-clock security surveillance to ensure that tourists are safe,” Narok police boss Peterson Maelo told the Nation.
He spoke as tour operators petitioned the government and Narok County Council to improve roads inside and outside the parks.
Meanwhile, vegetation in the Mara is overstretched following the migration of the wildebeest. This is posing a threat to the survival of small herbivores in the near future.
The wildebeest, also referred as gnus, are likened to land moors because they graze voraciously.
As a result, tall grass in the game reserve is slowly diminishing.