You don’t must be scared to go on safari. When CNN described Kenya in 2015 as “a hotbed of terrorism” it referred to as consideration to some loopy myths that have to be prevailing to forestall travellers coming to Kenya. I wish to tackle a few of these myths to assist put your thoughts relaxed and really feel assured to expertise that bucket checklist safari you’ve all the time needed. This gained’t be a advertising and marketing spiel; I dwell in Kenya so I do know the nice, the dangerous and the ugly and can share all of it with you.
Fantasy 1: Kenya is filled with terrorists
CNN’s description of Kenya was outlandish to say the least. Kenya suffered a number of terrorism incidents all through 2013 and 2014, essentially the most notable of which was the assault on the Westgate Procuring Centre. Many of the actions had been a lot smaller scale nevertheless – grenades thrown into bus stations, church buildings and nightclubs. Two main assaults occurred in April 2015 at Garissa College and January 2019 on the DusitD2 advanced. Al Shabaab, an Al Qaeda-affiliated group from Somalia, are reported to be the important thing offenders.
Sadly at this time, terrorism happens in all places and anyplace. Within the final 5 years we’ve seen assaults in Paris, Sydney, Brussels and Istanbul. However travellers nonetheless flock to those locations.
Fifty million individuals survive on daily basis in Kenya, so your chances are high fairly good that you’ll come out alive. Kenyans need peace as a lot as the subsequent individual. Furthermore, the components of Kenya you, as a traveller, can be frequenting are usually not terrorist targets – there have been no assaults on any nationwide parks or recreation reserves up to now. There’s a terrorist danger close to the Somali border and in components of Nairobi.
The present journey advisory from the Australian authorities is that just some areas are harmful, not the entire nation. And the damaging areas don’t maintain a lot curiosity to the typical safari-goer.
Fantasy 2: Nairobi is “Nai-robbery”
A decade in the past carjacking, armed theft, and mugging had been comparatively widespread in Nairobi, incomes the town the nickname “Nai-robbery”. However one mayor did lots of work with the road boys and these days Nairobi is simply as protected (or dangerous) as another large metropolis on the earth. Expatarrivals.com says that crime in Nairobi is “opportunistic, unsophisticated, corresponding to different world capitals.” The crime fee has decreased every year since 2012 in keeping with Customary Digital.
I’ve lived in Nairobi for 5 years now and I’ve by no means been bodily attacked. One night, my telephone was snatched – however I used to be strolling within the metropolis centre within the night alone speaking on my telephone; it was completely my fault. Nevertheless, everybody who noticed the thief chased him and I bought my telephone again! Nairobians themselves are uninterested in crime of their metropolis, particularly in direction of foreigners as a result of they don’t need travellers to have a foul expertise of Kenya
Fantasy 3: Corruption is rife and foreigners are focused as a result of they’re thought to have extra money
I can’t say that corruption shouldn’t be rife. It’s, however as a vacationer you might be unlikely to come across it. In case you ebook a full bundle safari, there will likely be little alternative for police or another official to ask you for a bribe. Vacationers are hardly ever focused. Foreigners are usually not a simple goal as a result of we are likely to ask too many questions and don’t all the time perceive what’s actually occurring. It’s not in our behavior to slide some cash within the door deal with for the visitors policeman for instance. Expatriates who take part in corruption means crime continues unpunished and Kenya’s improvement stays stymied. The phrase “When in Rome… ” shouldn’t apply to bribery and corruption.
President Kenyatta says the best issues about cleansing up Kenya’s corruption, but it surely’s going to take an enormous shift. Nevertheless it’s definitely not a motive to keep away from a Kenyan safari!
Fantasy 4: Tour operators are dishonest and you’ll lose your cash for those who pay upfront
Sure, there are some briefcase companies, however on this age of the web you possibly can definitely do your individual due diligence and keep away from being scammed. There are many assessment websites on-line and plenty of let you contact reviewers on to ask about their expertise. Use Journey Advisor, do your analysis, examine the costs.
The tourism business has suffered significantly the previous decade (because of the myths I’m writing about right here!) and tour operators have been determined simply to make a sale. But when park charges are included in your bundle, examine that the full worth can cowl these charges. For instance, it’s $80 for a 24-hour ticket to the Maasai Mara. So if you’re reserving a two-night safari to Maasai Mara for $200, you are able to do some easy maths and calculate that $160 is for park charges, leaving solely $40 for transport, lodging and meals. Park charges are public info so you are able to do some tough calculations. If it appears too good to be true, then it in all probability is! Both your operator is paying bribes on the park gate, or your automobile hasn’t been maintained, or your meals will likely be substandard. Or you can get all three! Please, it doesn’t assist Kenya’s struggle towards corruption to encourage your tour operator to pay bribes on the gate so you may get into the park cheaply.
The Kenyan Affiliation of Tour Operators and the Kenyan Ministry of Tourism are additionally working laborious to introduce measures to curb cheats.
Sensational media is destroying Kenya’s predominant business and the financial system is struggling because of this. So if an African safari is in your bucket checklist, look past the headlines and see Kenya for the superb nation it truly is.