Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has announced free entry into the Nairobi National Park for all citizens aged 75 years and above for a period of one month.
Speaking at the Kenya Wildlife Service headquarters on Thursday, Balala said the move comes as the National park marks its 75th anniversary since its establishment on December 16, 1946.
For the seniors in the said age bracket, the package also caters to one other preferred person of their choice and a tour vehicle.
“To mark the historic event, we will facilitate free entry into Nairobi National Park to seniors aged 75yrs old and above; including one companion, and a vehicle for a period of one month effective 25th November 2021,” said the CS in a statement.
Similarly, the CS announced a free entry for the first 75 visitors to arrive at the event slated for 16th December to be held at Kisembe Glade within the park.
The celebration will be appreciating the preservation of the wildlife in the facility dubbed the “oldest national park in Kenya and the only capital city national park in the world.”
In his address, the CS acknowledged the government’s efforts in maintaining and sustaining the wildlife habitat regardless of the competition and pressures in Kenya’s capital.
“As a country, we are proud to have such an attractive wildlife habitat located a few kilometres from the capital city’s Central Business District, which is a vibrant capital city with so many competing land uses and economic interests,” said Balala.
To mark the event, Balala hinted at setting a photo gallery showcasing the park since its gazettement to preserve the natural heritage.
He also revealed that the country seeks to initiate a new revenue management system during the event that will see all parks having digital payment portals by July 2022.
CS Balala noted that the government is aware of the recent infrastructural developments such as the Standard Railway Gauge (SGR) which trespasses the Park at some points.
“Last year the park acquired more land after the national government surrendered 2,000 acres of what used to be the Sheep and Goats Research Facility. This means that Nairobi National Park has enlarged from its initial 29,000 acres to 31,000 acres under Kenya Wildlife Service protection,” said Balala.