THE BUSHBUCK BLOG

Good news for Kenya

It's good news for Kenya, the spiritual home of safaris. Over 19 million voted in the August election and, although a re-vote will take place shortly, the mood is positive. The first vote showed that there has been a shift away from the politics of the opposition party.

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In spite of the imminent re-vote in Kenya, the mood is positive. Although the August election was widely praised by the international community, the opposition party has successfully made a case that the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) needs to be reformed before an election result can be accepted. The Supreme Court has therefore ruled that there will be a revote for the Presidential candidates within the next 60 days. Both parties are co-operating fully and there is every confidence that the forthcoming election will be as peaceful as the first.

The mood is still positive. Over 19 million people voted in the national election on 8th August and, despite of unrest in the preceding months, the international community praised the process for being well-managed. On 11th August the results from 40,833 polling stations were announced delivering a return of President Uhuru Kenyatta but with many new MPs marking a significant shift away from the politics of the opposition party. As the nation awaits the forthcoming re-election, the feeling within the country is, however, decidedly optimistic and, above all, peaceful.

Visitor numbers had suffered a slight drop during the months leading up to the election. Not so for the Mara – the camps and lodges have been almost full and those who came were rewarded with some exceptional game viewing. The migration months continue to be spectacular. It is still very dry in the Mara – this has benefited the predators as their prey is weaker than normal. Lion, cheetah and leopard cubs have been particularly well fed this year and will be in evidence to new visitors over the coming months.

In contrast, Laikipia has had tremendous rains and is looking lush. The region had experienced civil unrest earlier this year, encouraged by the incumbent MP, but there has now been a political change in the area with a new MP. Peace is returning and the area is green and grazing is plentiful with rhinos, elephants, buffalo and plains game in profusion.

The spiritual home of the safari, Kenya has a history of being at the forefront of wildlife conservation. Consequently it has long been considered one of the leading African safari destinations. Its camps and lodges are among the very best and game viewing has always been outstanding. Confidence is high and some international airlines are now increasing the number of flights to Nairobi. The Big Cat documentary team are filming again in the Mara and reports indicate that there has been some amazing footage. Thankfully, after a period of uncertainty, Kenya’s tourist industry is enjoying a return to ‘business as usual’.

Anyone interested in visiting Kenya will be rewarded with wonderful experiences. Having worked with the best operators in Kenya for over 30 years, Bushbuck can provide unbiased advice on tailoring a safari to match (and exceed) your expectations and dreams.

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