By Charles Muasya | MediaMax Network
Kitui and Tana River county governments, in collaboration with George Adamson’s Wildlife Protection Trust and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), plan to fence part of the wider Meru Conservation Area to make it a more vibrant tourist attraction site.
The Meru Conservation area includes Mwingi Game Reserve and Meru and Kora sister parks. Among the activities earmarked by Kitui county’s ministry of Tourism and Natural resources is upgrading of access roads connecting key sites in the Mwingi game reserve and establishment of community outreach programmes to empower the residents residing nearby to benefit from the resource.
“The ministry, through the Miss Tourism Kitui project is giving water tanks to vulnerable community members neighbouring the reserve in a bid to engage them positively to change their attitudes so that they can participate in the conservation activities,” said the ministry’s Chief Officer, Ashur Khalid.
Priority will be given to Adamson’s picnic site located next to the Adamson’s- Kora bridge overlooking Tana river, which draws thousands of visitors annually.
“The site has been developed and currently is used by visitors, mainly schools, colleges and foreign tourists moved by the fame of the late lion lover, George Adamson, who resided in Kora Game Park,” said Khalid.
The visitors tour the site mostly from Meru National Game Park through Murera gate and the picnic site is generally visited throughout the year except during the heavy rains.
“Though little known, at least over 1,400 visitors — residents, non-residents and citizens use the site in a period of three months according to 2014 records,” says Khalid.
He says plans are underway to lease the site to a private developer to establish a modern game lodge. Ikime campsite located within the evergreen riverine forests of Tana River next to Kora National Game Park will also be given a facelift.