The Masai Mara C12 Highway: Chinese-built road network helps boost tourism in Kenya
Now to Africa where Chinese companies are helping to build vital new infrastructure in the east of the continent, giving a boost to local economies and creating more jobs. Kenya is just one East African country that's benefiting from China's Belt and Road Initiative. The C12 Highway, built by a Chinese company, is helping to boost tourism in the Masai Mara game reserve. The Highway that connects Narok town to Sekenani Gate brings convenience for international tourists visiting the park. CGTN's Daniel Arapmoi has more from Kenya.
The C12 Highway in Kenya is the main route that tourists take when they visit the Masai Mara National Reserve. The 85-kilometer highway connects Narok town to Sekenani, the main road to Masai Mara. Before the road was constructed, tour operators say transporting tourists to the park was unbearable.
DIXON OLECHO TOUR DRIVER "Actually it has helped us because before the road was made, Safari to Narok to Mara was actually difficult because not every car can reach Mara, so there has been a lot of breakdown on the way, but actually, currently, people can go faster, quickly without any problem."
But conditions have since changed after China's Wuyi construction company won the tender to upgrade the road. Transport links between the Mara and other towns in the country have now improved leading to a marked increase in the number of domestic and international tourists visiting Masai Mara.
JONATHAN KECHE NAROK RESIDENT "Nowadays men who ride motorcycles are very entrepreneurial because of the construction of the road, like those people who go to sell their goods in places like Loloyimutya and Narosura and other places like Naikara. These people take their goods there because the means of transport is now good."
DANIEL ARAPMOIKENYA "The construction of the C12 highway is also expected to provide access to much-needed services like education and healthcare."
Tour operators say the construction of the C12 Highway has significantly improved business.
EDISON SENETA TOUR DRIVER "Now the tourists are happy because some of them came and went and now have come back again and found the road constructed, so they are happy to see that the road is constructed."
Seventy percent of the construction of Narok- Sekenani C12 highway has now been completed. Kenya is home to the largest economy in East Africa. It's also a major tourist destination on the continent, and most of the tourists who come to this East African country want to visit Masai Mara.
DANIEL ARAPMOI KENYA "The Narok-Sekenani C12 road has been constructed to internationally acceptable standards and now stand to boost the image of the Mara, which is globally recognized for its epic wildebeest migration from Serengeti to Kenya, Daniel Arapmoi, CGTN, Narok Kenya."