Attack in Maasai Mara

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Aug 23rd, 2005, 10:23 AM
  #1
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Attack in Maasai Mara

Just saw news on Yahoo that 5 gunman with Machetes & guns robbed tourists in Maasai Mara coming bcak from a game drive.
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 11:10 AM
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Not that it makes any difference to the Japanese man who was cut on his thumb, but a ďsimiĒ is a sword and not a machete (panga).

There are armed robberies all over the world. Why is this world news?
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 11:48 AM
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Obviously it's news because it's an attack on tourists in a thinly populated area where tourism is of the utmost importance.
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 11:53 AM
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My brother just sent me this info/link.

While it's unfortunate and no one wants to encounter such while on vacation away from home, I have to agree with Nyamera - why is this world news. There were probably more armed robberies on unsuspecting residents and visitors in NYC, London, LAX, Paris or Rome, in one day, then what happens on safari routes in five years.

Crime happens everywhere, yet very very rare at the safari destinations.
 
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 12:12 PM
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sandi - You've just answered why it's news. It's very rare and unexpected. People want to know what happened and why. Is there a political dimension? Is it likely to happen again? Was this camp targeted because of a labor or land dispute?

Surely you can't mean we should just take this as a non-event. It will be a sad day for Africa when we're as habituated and unperplexed by crime on safari as we are to crime in big cities and countries in conflict (e.g. Columbia).
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 12:31 PM
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Its news for the same reason why a migrating herd of wildebeast and zebra up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan would be news -- its a rare occurrence.

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Aug 23rd, 2005, 12:48 PM
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sandi
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Of course it's not a "non-event." But interesting that it hasn't appeared in the Kenyan papers. At least I haven't been able to locate any reporting of this.

I did send off to a friend in Kenya asking about this. Will let you know of (if) any response.
 
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 01:09 PM
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Itís strange it doesnít happen more often. Just the photographic equipment of one tourist is worth more than what all the passengers in a bus might be carrying Ė and robberies on public transport are quite common. From what Iíve read in some camera posts itís probably more than all the passengers would earn in a year Ö

Itís not as uncommon as wildebeests in Manhattan though Ė a couple of years ago there where quite a number of armed hold-ups of tourist vehicles in Samburu and there were some attacks in the Mara as well, but nothing worse than in many other parts of the world.
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 02:10 PM
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hi, it's much much worse than that here in providence. hey, i'll be in the mara from- oct17th to oct24th. this oct.
a little surprised at this. but hey, gotta go anyways
d

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Aug 23rd, 2005, 08:02 PM
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I came on because I heard the news. I have not been to Kenya but I am always telling people about how great and safe and clean the African bush was in South Africa and Botswana. If they didn't publish this news then tourists would ask why they were hiding it. Whenever tourists are attacked, it is news because it is unusual and because this was a trip that was elective (thinking of articles about German tourists in the states, etc.) I have not heard of specific attacks and robberies of tourists in their game vehicles on a game drive in those countries (S.A. and Botswana) but you all are more in touch - have there been?
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Aug 23rd, 2005, 08:33 PM
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tuskerdave,

Using the same logic...for those worried about getting snuffed by a lion, leopard or hippo while in camp or on game activities, the chances of getting mauled by a dog in the USA is far greater.

And that is what I will keep reminding myself while I am in hysterics while canoeing in the Zambezi, navigating through pods of hippos!
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Aug 25th, 2005, 06:33 AM
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Two people have been arrested by Kenyan police. http://tinyurl.com/82h2d
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Aug 25th, 2005, 06:40 AM
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FYI -

KTB STATEMENT FOR TOUR OPERATORS & TRAVEL AGENTS

25 AUGUST 2005, NAIROBI

ARMED ROBBERIES OF TOURIST VEHICLES, MARA on 22 AUGUST 2005

I have just returned from visiting the Mara and would like to clarify the situation regarding the recent robbery incident that took place there, as follows:

1. On the evening of 22nd August at about 6.30 pm, a tourist minibus with 4 Japanese tourists was accosted by a gang (armed with a shotgun and crude weapons) outside the Masai Mara National Reserve and robbed of cameras, watches and other valuables. One male member of the tourist party resisted and was cut on the hand. A few minutes later, another tourist minibus came on the scene with two couples (2 Americans and 2 South Africans) who were also robbed of money and other valuables. However they were not harmed.
2. The drivers reported the incident without delay and the Police and Kenya Wildlife Service were immediately mobilized to track down the robbers. The Tourist Police Unit Commandant based in Nairobi kept in close contact with the security forces to co-ordinate the operation and 3 arrests were quickly made and stolen items were recovered. The 3 arrested suspects are expected to appear in court today.
3. The Flying Doctor service provided rapid assistance and air-lifted the injured tourist to Nairobi for hospital treatment. KTB visited The injured tourist was visited by KTB and had been given immediate medical attention. The other members of the party have continued with their safari.

The Kenya Tourist Board together with all our tourism industry stakeholders is most concerned about this incident and we offer our sincere best wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured visitor.

The safety and welfare of our visitors is a matter of great importance to us all. I would like to give our assurance that much has been done recently (such as the establishment of the Tourist Police Unit) to ensure that serious attention is given to the security of all tourists visiting this country. On this occasion the prompt response of the police has resulted in the rapid arrest of members of the gang.

In spite of the greatly increased tourist arrivals into Kenya of nearly 60% in the first seven months of 2005, the recorded number of robberies involving tourists actually has fallen significantly compared with previous years and such incidents, although greatly regretted, are now extremely rare and unusual.

In recent months thousands of tourists have visited the Mara area without any problem whatsoever and we can assure our visitors that there are no unusual security concerns which might deter them from going to the Mara.


Jake Grieves-Cook
CHAIRMAN,
KENYA TOURIST BOARD
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Aug 26th, 2005, 01:51 PM
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If a bunch of guys with guns and knives robbed a van full of international tourists in Yellowstone---it would make world news.
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Aug 26th, 2005, 02:02 PM
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bwanamitch
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... unless there is something more 'important'.

I remember fall 1998: we had the Russian financial collaps, robberies in Samburu (fortunately not my vehicle), and when I was back in Nairobi, all they broadcasted at CNN Intl. was about the Monica Levinsky scandal (hours of life broadcasts where you saw some cars and men carrying files...)

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Aug 26th, 2005, 03:20 PM
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Agreed. The following tragic event was not reported when I was in Kenya on the day it occurred but I did see some news in Nairobi on Brad and Angelina and the missing blonde American in Aruba.

On 12 July 2005, a group of up to 500 armed bandits surrounded a school in Turbi, on the A2 Moyale-Marsabit Road, and massacred some 50 people, including over 20 children. Assault rifles and hand-grenades were used in the attack, for which no motive has yet been established. The Kenyan authorities have blamed Ethiopian cross-border raiders.
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Aug 26th, 2005, 04:09 PM
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I do not know if there is such a thing as a statistical "crime rate" in Kenya. But I have to believe it is much lower than in, say, Phoenix or San Diego or New York or Detroit or Chicago.

My belief is based on my experience in travels in Kenya and Tanzania. We were treated with utmost courtesy, care, and friendliness by all we met -- either in cities, towns, or out in the boondocks.
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Aug 26th, 2005, 05:02 PM
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I felt relatively safe in the game parks. Only Nairobi scared the living daylights out of me. I also found Kenyans to be overwhelmingly warm and trustworthy. For example, the maintenance man who chased me down to bring me an expensive watch I accidentally left at the lodge pool in the Mara. But please---if there is anyone out there traveling to Nairobi for the first time, don't think for one second it is safer than San Diego. Take heed from the Kenyans who advise you not to wear jewelry and travel about only as necessary, particluarly if you are a westerner in this extremely impoverished city in this third world country.
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Aug 26th, 2005, 10:16 PM
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Kenya has always had a problem with Crime in the bush. Had a 1st hand experience on my trip in '87 outside Amboselli. And had another in the Western part in '98. Often hearing of other instances of crime from other travellers. The Kenya gov't does its best to cover any news of 'accidents' to tourists. The revenue to Kenya is just too important. Fortunately, if you don't resist they normally just rob you. At least the gov't is proactive and will do everything possible to catch the perpetrators. In the past they used to go back across the Tanzania border, but the 2 governments I am told are cooperating in this department.
These are poor countries where the locals see tourists cruising by with expensive clothes and accessories paying outrageous prices. Too much of a temptation for a few people. Won't stop me from going back, it just makes me a little more cautious.

Robbie
at Bwindi-just days before the attack on the tourists.
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Aug 27th, 2005, 08:00 AM
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Yeah, Bwindi canceled all my plans for that year...
 
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