You do not must be scared to go on safari. When CNN described Kenya in 2015 as “a hotbed of terrorism” it known 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 comfortable and really feel assured to expertise that bucket record safari you have all the time needed. This may not be a advertising spiel; I dwell in Kenya so I do know the nice, the dangerous and the ugly and can share all of it with you.
Fable 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, probably the most notable of which was the assault on the Westgate Purchasing Centre. Many of the actions have 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 right this moment, terrorism happens in all places and anyplace. Within the final 5 years we’ve got seen assaults in Paris, Sydney, Brussels and Istanbul. However travellers nonetheless flock to those locations.
Fifty million individuals survive day by day in Kenya, so your likelihood is fairly good that you’ll come out alive. Kenyans need peace as a lot as the following particular person. Furthermore, the components of Kenya you, as a traveller, can be frequenting will not be terrorist targets – there have been no assaults on any nationwide parks or sport reserves thus far. 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 do not maintain a lot curiosity to the typical safari-goer.
Fable 2: Nairobi is “Nai-robbery”
A decade in the past carjacking, armed theft, and mugging have been comparatively frequent in Nairobi, incomes the town the nickname “Nai-robbery”. However one mayor did loads of work with the road boys and these days Nairobi is simply as protected (or dangerous) as some other large metropolis on the planet. Expatarrivals.com says that crime in Nairobi is “opportunistic, unsophisticated, similar to different world capitals.” The crime price has decreased annually since 2012 in keeping with Commonplace Digital.
I’ve lived in Nairobi for 5 years now and I’ve by no means been bodily attacked. One night, my cellphone was snatched – however I used to be strolling within the metropolis centre within the night alone speaking on my cellphone; it was completely my fault. Nevertheless, everybody who noticed the thief chased him and I obtained my cellphone again! Nairobians themselves are uninterested in crime of their metropolis, particularly in the direction of foreigners as a result of they do not need travellers to have a nasty expertise of Kenya
Fable 3: Corruption is rife and foreigners are focused as a result of they’re thought to have extra money
I can not say that corruption will not be rife. It’s, however as a vacationer you might be unlikely to come across it. In case you guide a full package deal safari, there might be little alternative for police or some other official to ask you for a bribe. Vacationers are not often focused. Foreigners will not be a simple goal as a result of we are likely to ask too many questions and do not all the time perceive what’s actually occurring. It isn’t 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 growth stays stymied. The phrase “When in Rome… ” shouldn’t apply to bribery and corruption.
President Kenyatta says the suitable issues about cleansing up Kenya’s corruption, however it should take an enormous shift. Nevertheless it is definitely not a motive to keep away from a Kenyan safari!
Fable 4: Tour operators are dishonest and you’ll lose your cash if you happen to pay prematurely
Sure, there are some briefcase companies, however on this age of the web you’ll be able to definitely do your personal due diligence and keep away from being scammed. There are many overview websites on-line and lots of can help you contact reviewers on to ask about their expertise. Use Journey Advisor, do your analysis, test the costs.
The tourism trade has suffered enormously the previous decade (as a result of myths I am writing about right here!) and tour operators have been determined simply to make a sale. But when park charges are included in your package deal, test that the overall worth can cowl these charges. For instance, it’s $80 for a 24-hour ticket to the Maasai Mara. So in case you are 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 most likely is! Both your operator is paying bribes on the park gate, or your car hasn’t been maintained, or your meals might be substandard. Or you might get all three! Please, it doesn’t assist Kenya’s battle in opposition to corruption to encourage your tour operator to pay bribes on the gate so you will get into the park cheaply.
The Kenyan Affiliation of Tour Operators and the Kenyan Ministry of Tourism are additionally working onerous to introduce measures to curb cheats.
Sensational media is destroying Kenya’s important trade and the economic system is struggling in consequence. So if an African safari is in your bucket record, look past the headlines and see Kenya for the wonderful nation it truly is.