Safe to go to Kenya right now?

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Mar 13th, 2004, 10:52 PM
  #1
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Safe to go to Kenya right now?

Is it considered safe to travel to Kenya right now? There is no U.S. travel advisory warning to Kenya currently but we need some reassurance that it's still safe to visit the country. Also, does anyone know if end of April/beginning of May is a good time of the year to visit Kenya? We are trying to choose between visiting Kenya or Botswana for our first (and probably only!) visit to Africa at this time of the year. Any thoughts???
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Mar 14th, 2004, 04:19 AM
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Jeorgiagirl: I chuckled over your comment about the prospect of a trip being your first and "probably only" visit to Africa. I think 90% of us on this board felt the same way about our first trip ... and look how many of us go back time and time and time again! April/May is a somewhat "iffy" time for Kenya as it is the green season. The rains could make road travel sloppy or downright difficult, and not only going to and from parks, but inside the parks/reserves themselves. The only parks in Kenya that would have "good" game viewing at this time are the Mara and perhaps Samburu/Buffalo Springs/Shaba areas. Of course, the rains are not always right on time, so there is a bit of a fudge factor. The advantage of traveling to Kenya at this time are the less expensive prices. I would be interested to know when you come back if your first trip really is the "only" one. Once bitten by the Africa bug, there is no cure!
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Mar 14th, 2004, 04:22 AM
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Also meant to add that, IMO, it is safe to travel to Kenya. Your time will not be spent in Nairobi or other cities. Many people have been and returned citing additional safety measures at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
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Mar 14th, 2004, 06:11 AM
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sandi
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As SusanLynne indicated, the first thing to catch my attention was your time of travel. SusanLynne refers to it as the Green Season, I know it as the Long Rains (opposed to the Short Rains in November, when we've traveled). That said, it might not rain at all, or maybe a day or two.

There are no more guarantees with the weather these days, anywhere, then a guarantee of which animals you will see and where.

However, we have had friends travel during this time, and had but one day of rain.

As to the safety, Nairobi and Kenya, in particular, are as safe as safe is these days anywhere. Only this past week there have been incidents in Turkey (again) and Madrid in Spain; but we can't hide in our homes, nor find ourselves saying "would have, should have, could have."

Though Nairobi isn't known as a safe city, neither in Johannesburg, but people travel here and your tour operator will meet you at the airport, and be with you constantly except when you are in your room at night, you are never alone, so it's unlikely anthing untoward will happen.

So, I say "Go for it" - it will be a wonderful experience with lots of tales to tell, photos to show, and I bet you'll be planning for another trip, even if two or three years forward.
 
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Mar 15th, 2004, 10:17 PM
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Thanks for the info and encouraging words, SusanLynne and sandi! We enjoy reading your thoughts throughout this forum. Now that we are comfortable with the idea of travelling to Kenya, we definitely need to weigh 6 days in Chobe versus 6 days in Kenya (1 day in Mount Kenya forest, 2 days Lake Nakuru, 3 days in Masai Mara). Yes, both are 2Afrika.com trips which limits our itineray flexibility but we can't beat the price which includes airfare.
The information about the Long Rains in Kenya makes Botswana sound appealing but the opportunity (and potential variety in animals?) of 3 different locations in Kenya makes us waver. If only we had twice as much time (and $$$!).
Thanks again for any other tips you might have for us.
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Mar 16th, 2004, 04:12 AM
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Darn, I just wrote a long reply and it got eaten.
Let's try again...

May is a great time for Botswana and Namibia. Although it's cold at night, being winter, it's warm and sunny during the day and game viewing is great.

And don't worry about the cold nights - all camps we stayed at had more than sufficiently warm bedding and also popped a hot water bottle into the bed while we were having after dinner drinks around the fire. And the cars all have huge, thick and very warm blanket-ponchos for each passenger for early morning or late afternoon drives.

Days are warm enough to use the outdoor pools that some camps have.

To give you suggested itineraries could you tell us more about what kind of trip you want, what you want to see etc and also an idea of your budget, excl airfare?

For both Kenya and Botswana there are many of us here who, whilst not experts, have invested so much time and research on our own trips that we have lots of info to ahare!

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