The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife has now banned the use of commuter matatus in the country’s national parks and game reserves with immediate effect.
According to a statement shared on the ministry’s social media pages, it is illegal for the Passenger Service Vehicles (PSVs) to drive tourists into the parks run by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).
The ministry headed by Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala raised concern over an influx of matatus especially hired by Kenyan tourists to ferry them into the parks and reserves.
The ministry said is not only illegal, but also dangerous given both the matatu drivers are not specially trained for such trips and their vehicles are also not designed for the specific terrains.
Any vehicle ferrying tourists to the parks will be required to obtain a license from the Tourism Regulatory Authority to operate as a Tourist Service Vehicle (TSV) and display the said sticker.
The TSVs will also be required to driven by licensed professional tour drivers and tour guides, with KWS directed to strictly implement the directive and bar matatus and other unlicensed vehicles.
The move comes after photos were captured and widely circulated on social media showing local and foreign tourists driving in a local park in a commuter matatu.