You don’t need to panic to go on safari. When CNN described Kenya in 2015 as “a hotbed of terrorism” it called focus on some crazy myths that really must be prevailing to avoid travellers visiting Kenya. I want to address most of these myths to aid put your head at ease and feel confident to discover that bucket list safari you’ve always wanted. This won’t be considered a marketing spiel; I live in Kenya so I are aware of the good, unhealthy and the ugly and may share the whole thing with you.
Myth 1: Kenya is stuffed with terrorists
CNN’s description of Kenya was outlandish unsurprisingly. Kenya suffered several terrorism incidents throughout 2013 and 2014, the highest of which was the attack for the Westgate Shopping Centre. Most of the activities were much smaller scale however – grenades thrown into bus stations, churches and nightclubs. Two major attacks happened April 2015 at Garissa University and January 2019 in the DusitD2 complex. Al Shabaab, an Al Qaeda-affiliated group from Somalia, are stated to be the key offenders.
Unfortunately today, terrorism occurs everywhere and anywhere. In the last 5 years we have seen attacks in Paris, Sydney, Brussels and Istanbul. But travellers still flock about bat roosting places.
Fifty million people survive each day in Kenya, simply put chances are decent that you will end up alive. Kenyans want peace up to the next person. Moreover, the various components of Kenya you, to be a traveller, could be frequenting aren’t terrorist targets – there were no attacks on any national parks or game reserves up to now. There is a terrorist risk near to the Somali border plus in parts of Nairobi.
The current travel advisory from your Australian government is always that only some areas are dangerous, not the entire country. And the dangerous areas don’t hold much interest towards the average safari-goer.
Myth 2: Nairobi is “Nai-robbery”
A decade ago carjacking, armed robbery, and mugging were relatively common in Nairobi, earning the town the nickname “Nai-robbery”. But one mayor did many work with the trail boys and nowadays Nairobi is simply as safe (or risky) every other big city on the planet. Expatarrivals.com says that crime in Nairobi is “opportunistic, unsophisticated, just like other world capitals.” The crime rate has decreased every year since 2012 in line with Standard Digital.
I have lived in Nairobi for five-years now and I never been physically attacked. One evening, my phone was snatched – but I was walking in metropolis centre within the evening alone talking on my phone; that it was totally my fault. However, everyone who saw the thief chased him and I got my phone back! Nairobians can be tired of crime within their city, especially towards foreigners as they do not want travellers undertake a bad connection with Kenya
Myth 3: Corruption is rife and foreigners are targeted since they are thought to convey more money
I cannot declare that corruption isn’t rife. It is, but like a tourist you’re unlikely to find it. If you book the whole package safari, there’ll be little chance for police or some other official must you for just a bribe. Tourists hardly ever targeted. Foreigners usually are not an easy target because we tend to inquire about too many questions and always understand what’s really happening. It’s not in your habit to slip some money within the door handle for your traffic policeman one example is. Expatriates who engage in corruption means crime continues unpunished and Kenya’s development remains stymied. The phrase “When in Rome… ” should never apply to bribery and corruption.
President Kenyatta says the correct things about clearing up Kenya’s corruption, however it’s going to have a huge shift. However it’s not a reason to stop a Kenyan safari!
Myth 4: Tour operators are dishonest and you may lose your dollars if you pay in advance
Yes, there are several briefcase businesses, but also in this chronilogical age of the internet you are able to certainly do your personal due diligence and steer clear of being scammed. There are plenty of review sites internet and many permit you to contact reviewers directly to inquire about about their experience. Use Trip Advisor, research before you buy, look into the prices.
The tourism industry has suffered greatly yesteryear decade (due on the myths I’m currently talking about here!) and tour operators happen to be desperate to make a sale. But if park fees are as part of your package, be sure the total price can cover those fees. For example, it can be $80 to get a 24-hour ticket on the Maasai Mara. So if you might be booking a two-night safari to Maasai Mara for $200, you’ll be able to do some simple maths and calculate that $160 is made for park fees, leaving only $40 for transport, accommodation and food. Park fees are public information so you are able to do some rough calculations. If it seems too good to be real, this probably is! Either your operator is paying bribes in the park gate, or perhaps your vehicle were maintained, or maybe your food will probably be substandard. Or you could get seventy one! Please, no help Kenya’s deal with corruption to encourage your local travel agency to pay bribes for the gate so it is possible to get to the park cheaply.
The Kenyan Association of Tour Operators plus the Kenyan Ministry of Tourism are working hard flying insects measures to curb cheats.
Sensational media is destroying Kenya’s main industry plus the economy is suffering like a result. So if an African safari is with your bucket list, look at night headlines to see Kenya for that amazing country it is really.