An Israeli firm has been contracted to draw a security plan for Maasai Mara National Reserve.
The new plan will address poaching and security of tourists, Narok Governor Samuel Tunai has said.
“We have set aside Sh300 million in financial year 2014/15, much of it will go to security. We are also working on a sophisticated security strategy with Israel security firm. We want the entire world know that the game reserve is secured,” he told the Star.
The governor said even though the new strategy will bring regulations that “may not be favourable to some of the players, the county government has to draw a red line” to manage the reserve effectively while at the same time attracting high-end tourists.
“We want to put the game reserve to be one of the best in the world and some of the actions we will take will be drastic but we will engage with players and their ideas will be embraced,” he said.
He said the county government has been studying how to effectively and efficiently manage the park since last year.
Maasai Mara already has a 2009-2020 management plan, which Tunai said would be improved.
The plan, mooted by the defunct Narok and Trans Mara county councils, sought to curb the ever-rising poaching incidents, mushrooming of lodges, mismanagement, poor infrastructure and tax evasion.
The new security plan is also expected to see the number of minibuses congesting the small park reduced. The reserve is only a fraction of the Greater Mara Ecosystem, which includes at least 10 conservancies.
Tunai said recent travel advisories and Ebola scare adversely affected tourism with Mara having three weeks of high season this year, compared to six weeks last year.
Mara is globally famed for for its exceptional population of lions, leopards and cheetahs, and the annual migration of zebra, Thomson’s gazelle, and wildebeest every year from July to October.
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