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KWS introduces free park access for chosen few

Embarking on an extraordinary initiative, KWS opens the doors to unforgettable wilderness experiences with the introduction of complimentary park entry for a select few

Tourists at Nairobi National Park

In response to public outcry over the impending fee hikes starting January 2024, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has taken a notable step by waiving park fees for specific groups of Kenyan citizens.

Scheduled to be implemented in January 2024, the revised fee structure is poised to result in increased charges for both domestic and international visitors to national parks.

Amidst public discussions, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) issued a statement on Wednesday, August 9, unveiling a noteworthy policy change.

In an effort to accommodate diverse needs and encourage conservation engagement, certain groups will now be exempt from paying park entry fees nationwide.

The adjusted policy dictates that children under the age of 5, senior citizens, and individuals with disabilities will be granted free access to national parks.

Furthermore, as part of KWS's commitment to fostering conservation awareness, the age bracket for fee exemptions for children will be extended from 3-17 years to 5-17 years.

Furthermore, KWS has presented a novel proposal for the introduction of a rebate system aimed at the rest of the African continent.

In essence, individuals living within Africa, but not within the boundaries of the EAC, could receive reimbursements in instances where they have inadvertently overpaid taxes, rent, or utility charges.

Additionally, KWS disclosed that individuals who are residents of the East African Community (EAC) will avail of reduced rates, in accordance with the EAC agreement.

Meanwhile, individuals from other countries within Africa but outside the EAC will be classified as non-residents.

The tourism frameworks established by the EAC mandate member countries to offer reduced fee structures to their residents, ensuring that they experience more favorable rates in comparison to other segments of tourists.

In the press release from KWS, there will also be an introduction of different rates when visiting game parks and reserves in relation to the seasons.

The high season will span from July to March, with the low season running from April to June.

According to KWS, this approach aims to attract more visitors during the less busy months.

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