Monday, 25 August 2014

IS KENYA SAFE AS A TOURIST DESTINATION?




Game Viewing in Masai Mara
Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety. The great wildebeest migration in Kenya is on, and thousands of wildebeests and herds of Zebras have already crossed the Grumeti River in Tanzania, as thousand others have succumbed to enemy talons. However, this has not stopped the great trek to the lush Mara Triangle in search of pasture. Tourists continue to pitch tents along the crocodile- infested Mara River to witness this phenomenon that defines one of the most famous predator-prey relationships. At the end of this migration circuit, almost 250,000 will have been predated on by crocodiles and other predators that lurk in their migration path. Safety is undoubtedly the basic wheel on which all evolutions thrive.
Kenya is the greatest tourist destination in the Great Lakes countries, with at least 1.2 million tourists drawn from all corners of the globe visiting every year and the numbers continue to surge, potentially because of the conducive environment and safety abounding from Coastal strip to Lake Turkana hinterland. The few security challenges that have rocked Kenya's rise to the zenith as an ultimate investment hub have been sufficiently contained. The September 2013 Westgate attack in an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi's Westland area remains the worst case of enemy invasion.
Terrorism is a global challenge that requires elaborate global support to stump out the vice. The enemies of peace are an impeding block to harmony and free movement of people and goods. It is a threat that we can collectively thwart but can never be won singly. The president of the United States Barack Obama promised to support Kenya in the war against terrorism in the recent African Leaders summit in Washington DC.

Kenya's confidence as a safe country was overwhelming during the recent floating of the Euro Bond which was oversubscribed by American and European investors stating that they believe in Kenya as the ultimate destination. Kenya's commitment as Africa's safest country is one that has borne fruits with major changes and improvements in the police service and the defense forces. Needless to say, the security stability in the country can largely be contributed to effective measures implemented by law and order enforcement agencies.

Major international organizations' headquarters are found in Kenya including United Nations Environment Program and United Nations Human Settlement Program in Nairobi. During the recent UNEP assembly held at the UN Gigiri complex in Nairobi, UN boss Ban Ki Moon met with President Uhuru Kenyatta to discuss the attacks on innocent Kenyans.“I have had a very fruitful discussion on major political and security issues concerning counter-terrorism in Somalia, South Sudan and the Great Lakes region,” the UN Secretary General said at State House, Nairobi.
He added: “We have exchanged views at length about how the UN and Kenya can work together in countering the heinous attacks against the people and the country.”

President Uhuru Kenyatta said the presence of the UN in Kenya continues to grow, adding the UNAids had just started its global IT hub in Nairobi and the World Health Organization located its global security unit in the country.
Travel warnings against visiting Kenya are of course meant to protect citizens from different countries, but should not be indicative of a gloomy cloud of insecurity in the country. Tourists continue to visit Kenya despite the advisories because they understand safety, as an individual undertaking.

Safety does not happen as an accident but is rather a culture of staying vigilant for our sake and that of others. These efforts can only make the security situation in Kenya better.
When all has been said and done, the gauntlet rests with God true to the words enshrined in Kenya's national anthem, "Oh God of all creation bless this our land and nation..."Just like the wildebeest scamper from predators, so do we humans look out for any danger that threatens our safety..because as Horace concludes, Who can hope to be safe? Who sufficiently cautious?
Guard himself as he may, every moment's an ambush.

Hello and welcome to Kenya, - Let our safari together continue!


Stephen Mwasio is a Tourism Consultant and CEO for Inclusive Holidays Africa – Twitter @inclusiveafrica

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