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First trip. Should we be concerned about recent unrest?

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Jan 18th, 2008, 05:30 PM
  #1
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First trip. Should we be concerned about recent unrest?

We have our Kenya trip planned for October 2008. Should we be concerned about the recent political unrest and killings? Any feedback appreciated. Anyone concel their trip for this year?
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Jan 18th, 2008, 05:34 PM
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I'm scheduled for Kenya in September and have no qualms about going. Hang in there! There are several Fodorites who are currently in Kenya and others who have just returned. All have reported no problems with their trips. Check out the other threads about the recent unrest.
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Jan 23rd, 2008, 04:37 AM
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We will be in Kenya in August, our tour operator has assured us there will be no problem at that time, calm is returning and tourist are still flocking in the country, you should not even think of canceling your trip.
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Jan 23rd, 2008, 06:17 AM
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<<our tour operator has assured us there will be no problem at that time>>

Other than mere words, what kind of assurance did they give you? Did they, for example, offer to refund your costs if you encounter problems. If I was a tour operator, I'd make the same assurance -- it costs them nothing and encourages you to post their worthless assurance on this forum.

Michael
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Jan 23rd, 2008, 03:34 PM
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good point Michael !!!

I have the same concerns by crossing the Tanz/Kenya border this august/september. If it was just me I would have no doubt but having my 13 years old son with me I am not yet in the position to take this responsibility at this time !!

fabio
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Jan 24th, 2008, 04:28 PM
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I will be there in a week. I have received all manner of assurances. I especially like the ones I got from an agent in South Africa with a large company. Her initial response was - Is there a problem? I don't have a television. I will post my observations as soon as I am back on-line.
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Jan 24th, 2008, 04:42 PM
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Kibaki and Odinga have met face-to-face, so that's a good start to calming things down. There have been no reports of problems for tourists or in the game areas, either from travelers or the outfitters.
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Jan 25th, 2008, 12:18 PM
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OK is correct for game areas and parks but what about hotels in Nairobi and all related road transfers ? It might be ok as well but how can someone assure this ?
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Jan 25th, 2008, 02:17 PM
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No problem in Nairobi for tourists at hotels, or the roads to/from airports and sightseeing. A few recent posts from those just back even mention shopping at the malls - uneventful, but for the KSh that jumped out of their hands into those of shopkeepers.

Enter in search box name of poster "going_2_africa" (w/o the quotes) and you'll find Shane's post from last week. He was traveling in Kenya with him mom, both flights and road travel and all was fine.

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Jan 25th, 2008, 02:24 PM
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thanks sandi for encouraging !

we have 14 days in September as you have seen on my other post and really would like to split between northern Tanzania circuit and Masai Mara rather than all days in Tz.
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Jan 25th, 2008, 02:52 PM
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Hey, Fabio, maybe we'll see you there! We have two weeks in Kenya Sept. 7 - 20.
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Jan 25th, 2008, 03:25 PM
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Hi ShayTay

we have 27 aug to 10th sep, starting in Tz ending in Kenya, probably 6 to 10 in Masai Mara.
I will be travelling with my 12 years old son.
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Jan 25th, 2008, 04:12 PM
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My husband and I visited Kenya several years ago during the last election when there was also civil unrest (though not to the scale now occuring); go with your gut feelings and the advice of your operator; actually I seem to always end up going to places during unrest (Egypt after the bombings in 2005, Thailand during the coup 2006) and *knock on wood** it seemed to me that a normal, cautious tourist with common sense can generally avoid trouble spots. Good luck! PS I was really really glad that I visited all of those locations and did not cancel any of my planned trips.
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Jan 25th, 2008, 04:32 PM
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Me, too, Thyra! I was in Kenya a week after the US Embassy was bombed, in Zimbabwe a month after the 2000 elections, and in Los Angeles during the Rodney King riots (these things don't just happen in Africa, you know.) In none of these cases did I feel threatened or unsafe. If you are with guides who know what they are doing, you should be fine, even at the present time. I once knew an African travel planner who took a group to Ethiopia while they were at war with Eritrea. They were nowhere near the fighting and had a great time!
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Jan 26th, 2008, 01:09 PM
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I just heard 45 people were killed yesterday in Kenya and from the elections until now 700 have been killed!!!

This is not a punctual bombing attempt, it's political unrest!!!! It goes on...!

And I wonder how the travel agent can assure it will be over by that time!!!

I was thinking of going to Kenya in October and changed my plans. Will go to South Africa instead.
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Jan 26th, 2008, 02:35 PM
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My first trip is planned for August. The situation is troubling, but for now we are just reading the reports. We'll wait until later to decide what, if anything to do.
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Jan 26th, 2008, 02:58 PM
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Tere

""And I wonder how the travel agent can assure it will be over by that time!!!""

you got the point !!

my TA wrote me like this:

""Given the ongoing problem in Kenya at the moment and the strong possibleity that it will continue, we are not making plans to send clients to Kenya at this time."

and again..

"" .....as i understand there is no problem inside the park but en-route to them is still uncertain.""

that's why we are still comcerned.
Well, our Kenya part would be only the last 3 nights in Masai Mara and then to Nairobi for the home flight.
I am now considering to change travel dates earlier than end of august so that I do not need Masai Mara to see part of the migration, being still in Serengeti, and we would then spend all 14 nights in Tanzania !!

We have opted for a camping safari so we can be flexible as we do not have to fix lodges in advance !
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Jan 26th, 2008, 06:05 PM
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For what it is worth, here is what another famous travel advice giver has to say in his weekly online column.

It is the Jan 3 entry. In sum he is not too bullish on traveling to Kenya right now.

http://www.frommers.com/blog/labels/kenya.html

But by Oct, none of this will be relevant as events are unfolding daily.
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Jan 26th, 2008, 07:05 PM
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Hopefully Lynn is right and by then Kenya will be back to normal.

I got an email today from a Kikuyu friend who is in Nairobi right now taking care of his sick mother (he lives in California):

"Been very crazy here, but am very ok and hope that soon there will be sanity in this lovely country of ours.
Will keep in touch and you take care. They have been killing Kikuyus and burning their properties at large, but God is great, This nothing less of Genocide.

Take care.

Kamau"

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Jan 27th, 2008, 07:47 AM
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whenever business and money (a lot of money) are involved there is no statement or comments by TAs that are not influenced by that !

I would say that there is no risk somewhere until something happens there, but this is valid at any time at any place, of course. Because of that, nobody can assure that nothing will happen in tourists areas, as usually something happens when and where unexpected (the bombs at the australian bar in Bali some years ago, as example).

True is that our love for Africa sometimes pushes us to hear only what we want to hear because we can't wait to leave !
Let's see in the next weeks......

fabio
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