Brisk Business As Tourists Flock to Lodges And Camps in Kenya

Tourist establishments in national parks and game reserves are packed with holidaymakers who have flocked to the country for wildlife safaris.

According to players in the tourism industry, investors in the sector are doing brisk business with lodges and camps in Maasai Mara, Amboseli, Samburu, Tsavo West and Tsavo East national parks bursting at the seams with guests.

A majority of the tourists are in the country to witness the spectacular migration of wildebeests from Serengeti plains in Tanzania to the Mara.

Ashnil Hotels marketing manager Paul Kurgat said their camps in Mara and Samburu are fully booked up to September. The camps have more than 100 beds.

Seven Wonders

Mr Kurgat said most of the tourists were from the US, the United Kingdom, Germany and France.

“Tourists from the US and Europe have flocked to the Mara attracted by the migration of wildebeests which is one of the new Seven Wonders of the world,” he said.

“Lodges and camps in Samburu and Tsavo are also packed as holidaymakers have visited to watch wildlife,” he added.

Mr Kurgat said there was a likelihood that the industry may perform better than last year if all goes well in the country.

Things were no different at the Sweet Waters Tented Camp, which was also packed to capacity.

“Since the beginning of this month, we have been busy as tourists are coming here for game drives. Bookings are trickling in for August to December,” manager James Odenyo said.

Sarova Hotels Coast regional general manager Mohamed Hersi said its establishments in Mara and Taita Hills are enjoying good business.

Mr Hersi said Sarova Mara camp, Sarova Salt Lick lodge and Sarova Taita Hills had registered impressive bookings.

“The high tourist season is here with us and the major focus for visitors is wild safaris. Our lodges and camps across the country are enjoying a boom in business,” he said.

“Most of the airlines from Europe have resumed their flights as passengers are coming on holiday in droves. This is a sign that the industry will do better this year,” he added.

Kenya Association of Tour Operators Coast branch chairperson Monika Solanki said tour companies have recorded brisk business in the wake of the high tourist season.

“I am glad that tour firms are now doing well as a result of the high tourist season. We expect good business up to December this year,” Ms Solanki said.