The National Environmental Management Authority has called a halt to all building projects in the Masai Mara pending agreement upon a new management plan for the game reserve. The moratorium, announced in July, comes in response to concerns about unregulated development in the 320 sqkm park and the impact that this is having on tourism in other parts of the country. The area currently supports around 60 small lodges and other luxury tourist facilities, most of which have been built without an environmental impact assessment (EIA) a practice that is mandatory in other East African parks. The construction ban aims to protect the fragile ecosystem in the park and encourage development in other less visited parts of the country.
Established in 1961 on the Serengeti plain on the southwestern border with Tanzania, the Masai Mara has a large concentration of wildlife and is the crossing point for zebra and wildebeest on their north-south migration in July through October. The park attracts thousands of visitors each year.