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9/26/2020 11:43 pm  #1


'We pray the tourists come back soon'

'We pray the tourists come back soon'

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Communities in private wildlife conservancies in Kenya are finding it hard to feed their
families as the tourism industry continues to struggle from the impact of the coronavirus
pandemic.

In the Maasai Mara National Reserve, communities lease their land to investors in
exchange for an annual fee. But many will not receive payment this year because of the
absence of tourists, which has seen the income of luxury lodges cut dramatically.

The unique economic model has encouraged wildlife conservation and the preservation of
Maasai culture.

Jewellery maker Kijolo Kasale told the BBC she was missing the money she got from
European tourists.

“When the Europeans used to come, we would sell necklaces, bracelets, men’s
ornaments… we would use the money to educate our children… we pray they come back
soon.“

This was a sentiment repeated by a number of people working in the area.

But the luxury camps are also suffering, meaning they are not passing money on.

“For every guest that stays in this camp, there is a portion of money the tourist pays that
goes directly to the land owners,” Rimoine Ole Kararei, who runs the Entumoto Safari
Camp, said.

“Last year this camp alone contributed $35,000 (£28,000) towards the community. This
year it will be zero.”

Despite Kenya reopening its airspace for international flights, it will be some time before
visitor numbers return to what the area used to see.

Until then, communities will have to scrape by to survive.


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Last edited by lily (9/26/2020 11:46 pm)

 

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