Visitors flock to national park

Monday April 25 2011

Children gets a glimpse of the Lake Nakuru inside the park during the Easter holiday.

Children gets a glimpse of the Lake Nakuru inside the park during the Easter holiday. 

By ELIZABETH WANJIRU [email protected] AND JOHN NJAGI [email protected]

Lake Nakuru recorded an impressive number of local tourists during the Easter holiday.

In an effort to attract more visitors, the park’s management provided subsidised transport to and from Nakuru Town.

“We took advantage of the holiday mood to encourage domestic tourism,” a Kenya Wildlife Service senior park warden, Mrs Lydia Kisoyan, said.

Adults paid Sh550, while children paid Sh200 for a game drive.

However, some visitors were disappointed at the reduced number of flamingoes, the birds synonymous with Lake Nakuru.

“There are 10,000 of the birds in the park at present,” Mrs Kisoyan said. “The flamingos have migrated to other lakes in the Rift Valley due to a shortage of algae, the birds’ food.”

In Nyeri, businesses recorded low sales as a result of soaring prices.

Supermarkets and matatu operators bore the brunt of consumers’ attempts to save money during Easter.

Mr Anil Shah of Samrat Supermarkets in Nyeri Town said business was low as shoppers stuck only to essential commodities.

“Generally people have changed their shopping habits and are keener on buying essential goods” he said.

The chairman of the Nyeri PSV Owners Association, Mr Patrick Mugwara, said business was below expectation.

“On Good Friday, we sent a number of matatus to Nairobi to ferry passengers upcountry, but only a handful of people travelled,” he said.

He said operators had been affected by soaring fuel prices that had forced them to revise fares upwards.

Travellers used to paying Sh300 form Nyeri to Nairobi paid increased fares of Sh400 to Sh500.

In Taita-Taveta County, sellers of illicit brew devised ingenious ways to ply their trade during the Easter holiday.

The liquor was transported from rural areas to urban centres in plastic containers disguised as milk, according to Rev Raphael Mwakesi of the Wundanyi Anglican Church.

Once the alcohol reached its destination, consumers drunk behind closed doors during the day to avoid arrest for contravening the law that limits drinking hours.

Additional reporting by KNA