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Naishi airstrip undergoes rehabilitation

04 May 2015, 09:55 Magdalyn Mwaniki

Nakuru - Naishi airstrip which is located at the southern end of Lake Nakuru national park is undergoing re-carpeting and expansion that will see it accommodate more aircraft.

The park’s senior warden, Dickson Ritan said this is the first time the 1.2 Kilometer airstrip is being rehabilitated since its construction.

The airstrip constructed in 2007 has since been used by the visitors to the park and also as a landing point for those touring Mau.

He said the airstrip is used when responding to emergencies within the park, with an average of 15 aircraft using the facility monthly.

“It is used by visitors to the Mau conservancy and Air Kenya crew who use it as a landing point on their way to the Maasai Mara. Between 10 and 20 aircraft use the airstrip in a month,” said Ritan.

He said the airstrip has also been useful to the members of the public especially during emergencies.

“It is also strategic for the community. In case there is an emergency, the Air wings and KWS can authorise. It’s also used for daily routine surveillance and when there is need to bring more rangers to the park,” he said.

He added that this is the rehabilitation since its construction.

Most of the visitors who land at the Naishi airstrip usually access it via the Air Kenya airlines, with KWS charging a landing fee of between KES 300 and KES 3 000 depending on the capacity of the aircraft.

“Aircraft with less than 3 seats usually pay a landing fee of KES 300, 3-6 seats KES 500, 7-14 seats KES 1 000, 15-20 seats KES 2 000 while those with 21 seats and above pay KES 3 000,” the Senior Warden explained.

“After landing, visitors coming for game drives are usually picked from the airstrip by our vans that take them around the park,” said Ritan.

Ritan said that they were working on a plan to put up a lodge that will also have a hangout next to the airstrip which will be the first destination for the visitors using the facility.

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