HAS THERE EVER BEEN A BETTER TIME FOR A SAFARI IN KENYA? - This article has now moved to our News Page
Suggesting that Kenya once again has a bright future is at last looking realistic rather than optimistic. The country has now been stable since late February, but the damage to Kenya's tourism industry has been severe. The unwelcome irony for Kenya is that the hotels, parks, lodges and of course wildlife, have barely been affected by the troubles and the country is just as beautiful, welcoming and awe-inspiring as it was just four short months ago.
At Exodus, we believe that there is no better time to travel to Kenya. Taking a safari this summer will not only be a wonderful experience with fewer other tourists traveling, it will help rebuild one of Kenya's main exports and sources of employment.
Award-winning photographer and Exodus guide Paul Goldstein, who is based in the Masai Mara for much of the year, tells you why he thinks there has never been a better time to go:
1. During the troubles not a single tourist was hurt.
2. July to November is migration in the Masai Mara - the finest wildlife phenomenon in the world.
3. Many wildlife experts are saying that the wildlife in the reserves of Nakuru and the Mara have benefited from a break. They are also saying they were not affected by any of the problems.
4. The Masai Mara has twelve times as many animals as the Kruger - in open plains. It also can be overcrowded with tourists - NOT THIS YEAR - expect incredible game viewing without the crowds.
5. About 1 million Kenyans connected to tourism were made destitute by the political troubles and consequent FCO and State Department warnings. Kenya does not need to be abandoned right now. By travelling, customers are helping to resurrect an ailing industry and helping to put food on the table.
I spoke with the most venerable Africa journalist in the UK last week* , who was in Kenya in January during the unrest. In his words, 'I have done over 100 game drives in the Mara, but never enjoyed it so much as this time; I drove to areas that would normally have many vehicles but there were none. I urge anyone to go there this year'.
He’s right! Come and join Exodus in Kenya this year.
* Refers to week 10-14 March 2008.