Kenya floods: Tourists and staff stranded at Maasai Mara game reserve

  • By Wycliffe Muya
  • BBC News, Nairobi

image source, Narok County Government

image caption, The Dalek River burst its banks, flooding the game reserve

Tourists and staff were evacuated after parts of Kenya's popular Maasai Mara game reserve were flooded.

More than 10 shelters and camps were inundated along the banks of the nearby Talek River on Tuesday.

There are also fears that some animals may have been swept away by the floods.

The area's police chief, Kipkoch Lothiatia, told the BBC the reserve was badly damaged.

“The water has receded, but some hostels and camps are still under water,” said Mr Lodiashia.

It is not clear how many people are trapped in the shelter, but so far 36 have been rescued by air and another 25 by boat rescue teams, according to the Kenya Red Cross.

“In some camps, tents have been swept away and the Mara Bridge that connects the Mara Triangle with the Greater Mara has been swept away,” the aid agency said. Added to a post on X.

Around 100 tourists were stranded, local official Stephen Nkola told AFP news agency.

A large number of foreign and local tourists visit here to see wildlife including lions, leopards and leopards.

Mr Lodiashia told reporters earlier that rescue teams were using two emergency helicopters to evacuate tourists and workers.

Maasai Mara management did not immediately respond to a BBC request for comment.

The situation has been worsened by water flowing from the Mara River near the Serengeti-Tanzania border following days of rain in the region.

“After several days of continuous rain, our rivers have swelled and affected many camps and areas in the Maasai Mara National Reserve,” the local Narok district government said in a statement.

Residents of the area have been affected by the inundation of roads and bridges.

The Dalek Gate, one of the main exits from the game reserve, is said to be heavily flooded.

President William Ruto has ordered Kenyans living in areas at risk of flooding or landslides to evacuate.

This year's monsoons have been devastating, with about 180 people killed and 90 missing in weeks of flooding.

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