Richard Moor - Apr 22, 2008

Kenya is world wide known for its game reserves. Because of that, tourism is the most important earner for the economy. Nevertheless, recent riots have scared off numerous foreign visitors. The instability in the country continues and it has a devastating impact on the Kenyan tourism industry. The earnings from the tourism have dropped significantly. Gate receipts have dropped by 80 per cent. Massai who live in the Mara Conservancy face big problems. They have benefited from the tourism and the money was used to build schools and pay tuition fees.


There are other troubles arising from the financial crisis. The authorities will not have money to refund the Massai whose cattle were killed by the big cats. Now, the Massai want to start to hunt lions and other animals to protect their cattle. In the end everybody could be harmed. The tourists will not come because there will be no animals to watch and the Massai will than have no benefit from the tourism.


The authorities also lack money to pay rangers and to make some developments in the parks. Poachers nowadays enjoy heyday because anti poaching patrols were limited. Rangers who still work for the parks just trust that they are going to be paid. Not only regular poachers are nowadays invading the conservancies. Because of the riots, thousands of people are homeless and this fact has increased demand for cheap meat of Maasai Mara’s hippos and buffalos. The most dangerous enemies of the park rangers are gangs of cattle rustlers armed with assault rifles. They come from Tanzania to steal local cattle.


Kenyan authorities try to convince tourists that it is safe to come to local reserves but with images of violence happening in the country it is a hard thing to do. Nevertheless, some people consider this time as the best for such a visit because before the crisis the Mara Conservancy was quite crowded place.


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