Narok- Sekenani Road to Increase Tourist in Maasai Mara
Three days after the launch of upgrading of Narok – Sekenani gate road to bitumen standards by President Uhuru Kenyatta, tour drivers and residents of Mara area have lauded the move saying it would help in generating more revenue for the county government.
Speaking to Kenya News Agency, a tour driver and guide Mr. Jacob Sairowua said the initiative was timely as thousands of tourists are expected to flock the famous Maasai Mara Game reserve from the month of June to witness wildebeest crossing.
“The road is very busy between June and September as both local and foreign tourists travel to witness the scintillating annual wildebeest crossing,” Sairowua said.
He said they expect an increased number of tourists who will enjoy smooth ride to the game reserve unlike before.
Sairowua reiterated that the poor state of the road has forced some tour operators to withdraw from taking tourists to the famous reserve hence denying the area the much needed revenue.
“I feel this is one of the major projects the government has undertaken in Narok. A lot of revenue was getting lost as many tour companies had opted to withdraw from the road due to its poor state,” he said.
He recalled several instances where vehicles carrying tourists had broken down on the rough road causing the visitors to delay their schedules as they waited for alternative vehicles.
Dan Kimaywa, a teacher at Sekenani Primary praised Jubilee government for initiating the construction of the road that he said was impassable during rainy seasons. “I expect the bus fare to drop from the current Sh. 500 to Sh. 200 after the completion of the road,” he said.
Kimaywa predicted an upsurge of domestic tourists to the Maasai Mara game reserve.
“Not all tourists can fly to the Maasai Mara, the construction of the road will enable many tourists to have a chance of witnessing the wildebeest migration,” he said.
Olare Mara Kempinski Camp Manager Mr. Fairman Muhingi applauded the president move to commission the road saying it will go a long way in boosting the economy of the area.
The construction of the 82 km stretch, Narok- Sekenani road was initiated by the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) in December last year, and commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday April 7, 2017.
In July last year, Hundreds of tourists were stranded for hours after tour drivers and guides barricaded the road protesting its poor condition.
The demonstration was staged by Kenya Tour Drivers association where they used their vehicles to block the road protesting its pathetic state.
Every year, thousands of both domestic and foreign tourists flock the Game reserve to witness the ‘Eighth World Wonder’ spectacle Wildebeest Migration across river Mara that takes place between June and September where over 1.6Million snorting beasts cross.
The thrilling part of the exodus from the Maasai Mara Park to neighbouring Serengeti National park in Tanzania is the huge numbers of wildebeests, the dashing, jumping and the fighting for survival. It is also the season for predators like the crocodiles to feast.
The wildebeests usually migrate between June and July from Serengeti, which is their ‘maternity’, and migrate back from Maasai Mara to Serengeti on August to September.
They migrate in September every year to avoid the tall and dry grass in the Maasai Mara Park which exposes them to predation and drought, then move to Serengeti which is their ‘maternity’.
Mid February is calving season when approximately 8,000 wildebeest are born every day for a period of approximately three weeks in areas around Lake Ndutu in Serengeti,Tanzania.
By Ann Salaton