Cabinet approves new fee structure for national and game parks
Cabinet recently approved the tourism ministry’s request to introduce a conservation fee payable by visitors to National Parks and Game Parks.
The fee structure for the following parks, Etosha National Park, Namib Naukluft park (Sesriem entrance), Waterberg Plateau Park, Ai-Ais Game Park, Skeleton Coast Park will range as follow: children under 16 no charge, foreign adults N$ 80, SADC-based adults N$60 and Namibian adults N$30. Vehicle fees to the above categories are as follows; 10 seats or less at N$10, 11to 25 seats at N$40, 26to 50 seats at N$300 and 51 plus seats) at N$500, correspondingly.
In all other Parks children under 16 will enter freely, while foreign adults will be charged an entrance fee of N$40, SADC-based adults at N$30, and Namibian residents at N$10. The vehicle fees remain the same.
All fees will be valid for a 24-hour period beginning at the time of entry, per person, for one park. Much further, the park fees are payable for every day, for visitors and vehicles.
Spokesperson of the ministry, Romeo Muyunda said the fees are intended to supplement the current costly exercise for the maintenance and upgrading of infrastructure in the national parks catered for through the development budget of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism.
He added that the reduced development budget allocation of the ministry has created a huge challenge for the ministry that is manifested in declining infrastructure in national parks (especially in roads, facilities and fencing), increased vulnerability to poaching and increasing cases of human wildlife conflict adjacent to national parks.
“As a result, Namibia’s reputation and competitiveness as a tourism destination is compromised and will negatively impact the livelihoods of communities living adjacent to national parks,” Muyunda said.
During 2018/2019 financial year, over N$79 million revenue was generated from park entrance fees whereas in 2019/2020 financial year over N$80 million was made.