, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 13 – Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Thursday closed the Amboseli Airstrip following heavy rains that flooded key amenities at the facility.
Local airlines operating flights to the airstrip located within the Amboseli National Park among them Air Kenya suspended flights on Friday following the KWS advisory.
A passenger service centre was among the amenities affected by the floods.
“KWS has put a temporary closure of the airstrip effective 12th Dec 2019 following heavy rains that flooded the apron and the visitor service centre,” Air Kenya noted.
KWS also said one of the main entry points to the Amboseli National Park – Kimana Gate – had been flooded urging visitors to seek guidance from its management which the wildlife agency said will issue regular updates.
“The park’s Kimana Gate is periodically flooded and inaccessible as are some parts of the park. Therefore, all visitors to Amboseli National Park are advised to seek guidance about the status of the roads via the park’s hotline number 0716493335,” KWS advised.
Amboseli is the first national park to take a hit from the ongoing rains which have wreaked havoc in several parts of the country claiming over 130 lives and displacing hundreds.
The park is renowned for its large elephant herds and scenic views of Mount Kilimajaro in the neighbouring Tanzania due to its geographical location in southern Kenya.
Other wildlife in the park include includes giraffes, zebras, cheetahs and hundreds of bird species.
The Meteorological Department has forecast continued rainfall in December with some parts of the country projected to receive as much as 70mm.
Counties affected are Lamu, Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi TanaRiver, Taita Taveta, Mandera, Wajir, Turkana, Garissa, Samburu Isiolo, Marsabit, Makueni, Kitui, Machakos Embu Baringo, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori, Siaya, Kisii TransNzoia, Busia, Bungoma Meru and Tharaka Nithi.