by AdminSoa
August 9, 2014

shutterstock_300585722While the national parks of Kenya may seem like wild places, that isn't to say there aren't rules and a code of conduct for visitors.

Designed to protect the wildlife and ensure their physical and mental health, the Kenyan government has put in place a number of requirements and restrictions for visitors to their national parks - be they Lake Nakuru, Samburu, or the legendary Masai Mara.

The below wildlife and maritime codes are also available on the Kenya Wildlife Service website.

Wildlife Code

  • Respect the privacy of the wildlife, this is their habitat.
  • Beware of the animals, they are wild and can be unpredictable.
  • Don't crowd the animals or make sudden noises or movements.
  • Don't feed the animals, it upsets their diet and leads to human dependence.
  • Keep quiet. Noise disturbs the wildlife and may antagonize your fellow visitors.
  • Stay in your vehicle at all times, except at designated picnic or walking areas.
  • Keep below the maximum speed limit (40 kph/25 mph).
  • Never drive off-road, this severely damages the habitat.
  • When viewing wildlife keep to a minimum distance of 20 meters and pull to the side of the road so as to allow others to pass.
  • Leave no litter and never leave fires unattended or discard burning objects.
  • Respect the cultural heritage of Kenya, never take pictures of the local people or their homes without asking their permission, respect the cultural traditions of Kenya and always dress with decorum.
  • Stay over or leave before dusk, visitors must vacate the Park between 6.00 p.m. - 6.00 a.m. unless they are camping overnight. Night game driving is not allowed.

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  • Marine Wildlife Code

  • Check local weather and sea conditions before entering the marine park.
  • Some marine life is dangerous; do not touch anything under water.
  • Do not damage or remove corals. It is a living organism which takes many years to formand is host to many rare and endangered species.
  • Do not remove shells, starfish or any other sea – flora or fauna. Removal is illegal,seriously disrupts the eco system and some marine life is dangerous. The areas outside the parks and reserves is threatened by excessive shell collection. Empty shells provide homes for hermit crabs and some fish.
  • Do not buy shells and other marine animal products as souvenirs as this encourages further plundering of the reefs and beaches.
  • Never dispose of litter on the beach or in the sea. It is illegal and environmentally unfriendly. Marine turtles can confuse clear plastic waste with jelly fish and will die if they eat it.
  • Hand – feeding of fish is discouraged. It disrupts normal feeding patterns.
  • Hook and line fishing is allowed in the Marine Reserves but prohibited in Marine Parks.Spear guns are not permitted for use in either.
  • Environmentally friendly activities such as snorkelling and diving are encouraged, underthe supervision of the Kenya Wildlife Service wardens, who work closely with touroperators and hoteliers to ensure strict adherence to this code of practice.
  • Avoid restaurants that serve undersized crabs and lobsters as this contributes to theirrapid demise.
  • Support traditional coastal livelihoods and do not give money to children on the beach, as this can encourage them to stay away from school.

All of the above rules are designed to preserve the animals and Kenya's cultural identity while also protecting you from injury or mishap.

Treat Kenya's parks as you would expect a visitor to your country to treat it.

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