Mount Kenya National Park recently joined 22 other world-class National parks in Kenya. The move is part of an ongoing campaign by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to rebrand Kenya’s protected wildlife sanctuaries. The exercise started in 2005.
The rebranding exercise gives the participating park a new logo, flag and slogan. In the case of Mount Kenya National Park, the new slogan will now be, ‘Come Touch the Sky.’
The branding is geared towards increasing visitation (hence revenue), improving corporate image, improving staff welfare and enhancing good relations with communities adjacent to the park.
The exercise will cost an estimated KES 300-500 million and will take four years to complete. Upon completion, KWS expects park visitation numbers to skyrocket by a whopping 400% (120,000) from the current 30,000 per year.
The fencing of the first 50 KM of the planned 300 KM perimeter fence has started. In five years it will have stretched from Kerugoya to Chuka. There are plans to unveil more creative tourism products such as helicopter tourism and advanced mountaineering. This will involve increasing landing fees and other strategies.
This new recognition adds to the many accolades the park has received including Mount Kenya, within its precincts, being recognised by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve in 1978 and as a world heritage site in 1997.
Meanwhile, KWS recently acquired 17,000 acres of land in Laikipia from former president Daniel Moi for KES 400 million which it plans to use to set up a new national park. It has plans to purchase more land in Laikipia, Maasai Mara and Amboseli to establish new parks.