Number of Visitors to National Parks and Game Reserves, 2011-2015


Post Date: 18 May 2016   |   Category: General   |   Hits: 2917


According to the Economic Survey 2016 by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, KNBS, performance of the tourism sector is observed to be reducing. The  earnings went down to KSh 84.6 billion in 2015 compared to KSh 97.89 billion in 2011, representing a drop of 16%. Furthermore, statistics on the international visitor arrivals reveal that they declined by 54% from 1.82 million in 2014 to 1.18 million in 2015. Though the number of visitors to museums, snake parks and other historical sites increased by 15.4%, from 690,900 in 2014 to 797, 500 in 2015, the period 2011 to 2015 saw a general decline by 5.4%. The Bed-nights occupancy decreased by 16.2% from 7 million in 2011 to 5.9 million in 2015. The decline in visitor arrivals and tourism earnings have been mainly attributed to security concerns associated with terrorism activities. This paper examines the changes of the visitors to major national parks and game reserves from 2011 to 2015 to reveal a national outlook, this is represented in the chart below

Change in the Number of Visitors (in 000) to National Parks and Game Reserves, 2011-2015 

Source: KNBS| Economic Survey 2015 

Number of the Week: 53 per cent

  • The coastal marine and parks are observed to have been hit the hardest by the decline in the number of visitors, for instance, visitors in Haller Park declined from by 23%, Mombasa marine 32%, Watamu marine, 35%, The Shimba Hills National Reserve, 41%, Malindi marine, 42%, Kisite / Mpunguti Marine Park & Reserve, 58%, Tsavo West National Park, 67% and Tsavo East National Park, 72%.

  • The number of visitors to national parks and game reserves declined from 730,700 visitors in 2011 to 345,000 in 2015 representing a drop of 53%.

  • Within the Nairobi City, the Nairobi National park, Nairobi Mini Orphanage and Nairobi Safari Walk recorded 714,400 visitors in 2011 and 600,600 visitors in 2015 which represents a decline of -16%.

  • Mt Longonot, Maasai Mara and Impala Sanctuary (Kisumu) are among the few parks and sanctuaries that recorded an increase in the number of visitors at 19%, 6% and 5% respectively.