A Visit to Meru the Haven of Tourists in Kenya

In efforts to boost the tourism industry in the county, H.E Governor Kawira Mwangaza aims to partner with both local and international potential partners in the tourism industry to curb the declining arrivals of international tourists. In line with this, the department of Tourism in conjunction with Kenya Wildlife Service held a three-day tour operators consultation familiarization trip in Meru National Park. This is to shun the misconception that the park does not have much to offer to the visitors, and hence have tour operators open up their market to visitors in order to increase visitation and revenues.

A flourishing tourism sector will see an increase in job creation, enhance conservation of the natural environment and cultural assets and traditions, therefore reducing poverty and inequality in our county and country at large. Tourism is also a major source of income and significantly contributes to the Kenyan GDP strengthening the local and national economy.

The park is not to be underestimated. It is well known as Kenya’s ‘complete wilderness’ and it’s endowed with rich diversity of wildlife, scenic and historic resource value.
It is home to 13 rivers, a heaven for bird watchers with more than 400 recorded species of birds. It is recognized as having more diversity of animal species than any other park in East Africa, with the big five and rare species such as the reticulated giraffes, the white and black Rhinos, Grevy’s zebras, caracals, both greater and lesser Kudu, the aardwolf, among others.

Lodges within and around the Park vicinity include: Elewana Elsa’s Kopje, iKWETA Safari Camp, Rhino River Camp, Leopard Rock Lodge, amongst others.

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Consultation Talks on Improving Tourism and Conservation In Meru County

They discussed on how the Government under the leadership of H.E Governor Bishop Kawira Mwangaza will improve tourism and conservation in the County. He thank Lewa wildlife Conservancy and all other partners who have joined them towards achievements of this objective.

Mountain Bongo and Rhino were historically found in Mt. Kenya but have since become extinct which has drastically affected tourism in Meru.

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The County Government of Meru is employing a Public Private People Partnership (PPPP) in supporting the implementation of the Kenya National Bongo Recovery and Action plan (2019 – 2023). The national action plan mainly seeks to increase the Mountain Bongo in the wild from the current 100 to 750.

Mountain Bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci) is listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red list of threatened species and whose habitat is mainly is domiciled in Aberdares , Mt. Kenya Forest and Mau Forest Ecosystems.

The County Government is partnering with Kenya Forest Service that is providing forest as habitat for Bongo and sanctuary that will act as a breeding ground for the Mountain Bongo on part of Mt. Kenya Forest Ecosystem (Mucheene and Marania Forest Reserves).

County Government of Meru wishes to register its gratitute to the Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Wildlife Service, Meru Bongo and Black Rhino Conservation Trust, NTIMAKA and KAMULU Community Forest Associations, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy & Rare Species Conservatory Foundation for the immense support to the process of realization of the establishment of the bongo breeding sanctuary as part of the implementation of the national plan of ensuring sustainable conservation of the critically endangered species which is the phase one of the program and the phase two will be to reintroduce black Rhino in forest.
The Meru Bongo and Rhino Conservation Trust, will be entrusted in the implementation of the project guided by all the partners. This week, MBRCT made a presentation of the upcoming Mountain Bongo conservation project to an international audience in the just concluded Africa Protected Areas Congres (APAC2022) that was held in Kigali Rwanda from 18th to 23rd July 2022.

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