National Parks are Game Park set up and controlled by the central government. Its boundaries or existence can only be altered by an act of parliament.
They are managed and controlled by government agencies (the Kenya Wild Life Services, Uganda wildlife Authority and Mali Hai in Tanzania) that collect entry fees to the parks, take care of animals and assist in resolving people animal conflicts.
Here are some key characteristics of national parks:
- Conservation of biodiversity: National parks play a crucial role in preserving the diversity of plant and animal species. They provide a safe habitat for a wide range of flora and fauna, including endangered or rare species.
- Ecological integrity: National parks aim to maintain the ecological balance and integrity of the protected area. They strive to preserve natural processes, such as wildlife migration, nutrient cycling, and ecological interactions, within the park boundaries.
- Scenic beauty and landscapes: National parks often feature stunning landscapes, including mountains, forests, rivers, lakes, deserts, or coastlines. They offer opportunities for visitors to appreciate and enjoy the natural beauty of these areas.
- Recreation and tourism: National parks provide recreational opportunities for visitors to engage in activities such as hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, birdwatching, photography, and nature interpretation. These activities are often regulated to minimize negative impacts on the environment.
- Environmental education and research: National parks serve as outdoor classrooms for learning about nature, ecology, and conservation. They support research activities that contribute to scientific understanding and management of natural resources.
- Cultural and historical significance: Some national parks also protect and interpret cultural and historical sites of importance, such as archaeological ruins, indigenous cultural heritage, or historic landmarks.
It’s important to note that the specific regulations and management practices of national parks can vary between countries. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) provides guidelines for defining and categorizing protected areas, including national parks, on a global scale.