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First trip. Should we be concerned about recent unrest?

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Jan 27th, 2008, 06:56 PM
  #21
 
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Indeed Fabio. I really see how you are split over this, but as you said yourself it is the "unexpected" event that is the one that so often catches us out. I would think even now it is still reasonable to say there is no reason to believe tourists will be targeted/ caught up. But those who say they can "assure" you there will be no problems, are surely using the wrong verb and you should correct their language appropriately! I think the correct one would be "expect", and if it carries on much longer the verb for Nakuru/Naivasha might unfortunately have to change to "hope" (I expect not...?).

For me, an informed 'expect' is good enough to keep my bags packed, but this is looking like a bush fire now - rather difficult to predict and control. I think you're right to post - people need to think for themselves.
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Feb 6th, 2008, 08:41 PM
  #22
 
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My group travels all over the world for business. We routinely travel to Nairobi, as well as locations in Nigeria, Malawi, and many other locations in Africa. We were in Bangkok for the last coup, Phillipines after bombings, Aceh after the tsunami, etc. In general, we rarely cancel travel due to media reports, etc.

However, our office in Nairobi urged extreme caution and we recently canceled plans for a trip last week. I understand from my contacts there that the situation remains volatile.

I would think travel will be ok by September/October, but I wouldn't plan on going soon. We're planning on a trip to Malawi in mid-March, but we're routing through London/Jo-burg instead of Nairobi.

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Feb 7th, 2008, 04:20 AM
  #23
 
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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.

We just returned from Kenya a couple of days ago ... comments on the above quote:

our tour operator has assured us there will be no problem at that time

No one can be certain of this (especially not a travel agent), the problems appear to be deep-seated (the contested election is just the spark, the underlying problem is with uneven distribution of power and money as many tribes feel left out). Most locals feel this could simmer for a long time, with periodic outbursts triggered by any number of events.

calm is returning

This is exactly what we were told, yet while we were there 400 people were slaughtered and violence errupted in two tourist towns we visited that had not been affected before, as Kikuyus in Naivasha and Nakuru retaliated against local minorities for killings against Kikuyu in western towns. Calm is not returning. Tourists had to rely on armed police escorts to even get thru or around some towns as demonstrations flared up.

and tourist are still flocking in the country

This is absurd. At one camp we were the only guests, at a 40-tent CCA camp we were the first guests in 11 days, at another the lodge was less than 25% filled. Many lodges and tented camps in the Mara had between zero and 10% occupancy. Lodge owners are getting cancellations for as far out as August and September.

you should not even think of canceling your trip

If you can get out without a penalty then you should indeed consider postponing or cancelling, depending on your tolerance for risk. If you can't get out without a big financial hit then at least try to fly between the game parks and avoid driving.

Bill
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Feb 7th, 2008, 07:43 AM
  #24
 
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Thank you Bill. I tried to point out the nonsense being spouted by some tour operators, who are Pollyanish ostriches, a disastrous combination.
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Feb 7th, 2008, 10:14 AM
  #25
 
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In fairness it ight be justified to distinguish between "tour operators" and "travel agents". I would be hesitant to take the word of any tour agent but if you have a knowledgeable travel agent I think you will get some good insight. We have several friends who insist on booking with the very high end companies but they get really lousy advice. My view is that the "tour operator" is just too far removed from the actual on ground situation. I cnnot see how anyone can assure you the trouble will be over at any specific time in the future-THATS AFRICA. Just my two cents as they say.
Cheers-Chuck.
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Feb 7th, 2008, 06:00 PM
  #26
 
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Michael is right on all counts and there's no difference between a tour operators or an agent if any of them are suggesting things are just ducky, or will be. One commmon problems is that some people are lazy and refuse to do their own due diligence.
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Feb 8th, 2008, 08:23 AM
  #27
 
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I think a reminder that not a single tourist has been hurt in any way is necessary here. The problems in Kenya are serious. Donít make things worse by cancelling your trips!
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Feb 8th, 2008, 02:00 PM
  #28
 
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I have decided and arranged to go to Kenya in mid-March, 9 days just to the Mara. I hope nothing will stop me...
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Feb 8th, 2008, 02:26 PM
  #29
 
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9 days just to the Mara

Sounds like a good plan, especially if you are flying in/out ...
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Feb 9th, 2008, 02:39 PM
  #30
 
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Will fly in and out...March 14-22
Not decided yet to stay at 1 camp or 2 but not more than that. Very excited anyway..
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Feb 9th, 2008, 02:48 PM
  #31
 
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Alex -

Sounds great. What camps are you considering? Drop a note.
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Mar 8th, 2008, 11:24 AM
  #32
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Top. Thanks for the feedback. Any more recent stories or suggestions? We are still booked to go in October.
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Mar 8th, 2008, 11:45 AM
  #33
 
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traveldawg, we were just in Tanzania and apparently the tourist business in Kenya is still very slow due to the after-effects of the violence.

However since we were in Kenya in late January, when around 400 people were killed in the tourist towns of Naivasha and Nakuru, things have indeed calmed down quite a bit.

I personally would not hesitate to go in October if I had already booked, as you mention you had. But I would arrange to fly between the parks on transfer days instead of driving.

A reasonable guess is there will be maybe 50% the normal tourist numbers in Oct as it takes a while for people to forget these incidents, so it might be relatively uncrowded. But for sure keep an eye on things as your departure date approaches.

Bill
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Apr 14th, 2008, 05:57 AM
  #34
 
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I am just back home from 6 weeks travelling in Kenya and we had no problems at all.
People over there are vary happy to see the tourists coming to Kenya again.
Just go!!!! and have a wonderfull time over there.

www.africaaddicted.com
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Apr 14th, 2008, 04:22 PM
  #35
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Author: mar85
Date: 04/14/2008, 08:57 am
I am just back home from 6 weeks travelling in Kenya and we had no problems at all.

Mar85:
Thanks for the quick update. We are still on for October and going. Will be flying from spot to spot versus driving.

Anyone slse been in March or April 2008?


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Jun 8th, 2008, 11:40 AM
  #36
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Any additional updates on recent trips....concerns?
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Jun 8th, 2008, 12:51 PM
  #37
 
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We fly out on Friday (6/13) for Kenya and Tanzania. I will post when I get back at the end of June.
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Jun 9th, 2008, 11:04 AM
  #38
 
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I live in Kenya. I was here throughout the troubles, and I would like to reiterate what Nyamera said: not a single tourist was harmed during the problems (which, incidentally, were blown out of proportion by the press. Yes, there were some trouble spots, but the entire country was by no means "on fire").

To think that South Africa, with its crime rate, is any safer or more secure, would in my opinion be a misjudgment.

These days, nowhere on the planet is 100% secure and a travel agent cannot 100% guarantee your safety anywhere.

Tourism IS returning to Kenya (now happens to be the low season, so it would never be busy now, even in a normal year) - bookings are looking good for later in the year...so I would say, yes, come to Kenya and enjoy what this spectacular and diverse country has to offer!

Tanya
http://www.wildernessdiary.com
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Jun 9th, 2008, 01:32 PM
  #39
 
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for sure !!!

I was also very concerned 5 months ago when I also joined this post, but then last week I have finalized and booked my 10 days northern Tanzania tour ending with a 3 days in the Masai Mara from Nairobi before flying back home. I really can't wait.. !! Departure is aug 19th !!
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Jun 9th, 2008, 01:36 PM
  #40
 
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Traveldawg, this thread is getting old. Tourists were never in any danger during the troubles and I see no reason for flying instead of driving. Iíll go to Kenya next week. Iíll do a road safari to the Mara and then Iíll take the bus to Naivasha, and Iím a rather neurotic person.

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