by Mia Breytenbach
Google has launched Street View for 20 of Kenya’s national parks and one conservancy. Users can view the parks and conservancy using special 360-degree imagery.
Google, the Ministry of Tourism, Kenya Wildlife Service, the county governments of Narok and Samburu and the management of Ol Pejeta Conservancy collaborated on the initiative.
“Google Street View will bring Kenya to the world, by providing a global audience with tools to virtually explore Kenya’s cities, other urban centres, attractions and places of interest; and also bring the world to Kenya, by growing a user’s interest to physically visit a place of interest that they have experienced virtually,” Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife said.
Charles Murito, Google Kenya Country Director, noted that 82% of travellers were undecided on a destination and 74% of them started their research or inspiration online. “It is critical for us to put Kenya on the map literally and figuratively, and the ability for more people to come here is going to help our tourism numbers and overall our GDP to grow through economic empowerment.”
Kenya Wildlife Service added that the street maps would enable Kenya to differentiate its products, as well as push the conservation message to the world.
The parks on Street View are the Maasai Mara; Mount Kenya, Amboseli; Nairobi National Park; Hell’s Gate; Samburu National Reserve, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Chyulu Hills National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park, Meru National Park, and Mount Longonot.
The other viewable parks include OlDonyoSabuk, Sibiloi, Tsavo West/East, Bisanadi National Reserve, Aberdare National Park, Saiwa Swamp National Park, Mount Elgon, Kakamega Forest National Reserve, Ruma National Park, and the Shimba Hills National Reserve, according to Kenya media.