Please sign in to post.

Planning to visit Kenya, could be a problem

We have a safari booked for Kenya and Tanzania for July and it has been confirmed by our tour company. However, a new problem, President Kenyatta of Kenya has shut down Nairobi (no travel to or from the rest of Kenya).

Hope they make an exception for safaris that aren't spending time in Nairobi or this clears up.

Posted by
6516 posts

That's the way it goes during the pandemic. Everyone with plans is hoping their trip can happen in the immediate future.

Posted by
688 posts

Hope everything works out! We were scheduled to go to French Polynesia leaving April 27. A few months ago they closed to visitors but we held on - then about 5 weeks ago our airline canceled the flight. We were refunded the airfare and I had booked all our hotel reservations with free cancellation. No harm done except disappointment and we're looking forward to rebooking (probably next year)! BTW - we went on a 3 day safari in South Africa about 2 years ago and had a wonderful time. Good luck!!!

Posted by
3560 posts

I know this has been a yoyo trip, but why would they exempt people from transiting their airport and capital? You know it is too far ahead to stress, but fitting in 2 countries in , if I recall, 10 days, there is bound to be more considerations.

Posted by
9070 posts

It's about 3 1/2 to four months from now. A lot can happen between now and then. Just be patient and wait until an actual decision is made regarding your safari.

Remember, what is true today may not be true tomorrow. (At least in regards to travel.)

Posted by
4342 posts

They have shut down the airport because they don’t want tourists at present, like many places. There’s time for things to change before your trip.

You have to be realistic and accept that travelling anywhere this year is likely to be fraught and may get cancelled.

Posted by
649 posts

We had a safari booked in Botswana for later this year but largely (but not entirely) for COVID reasons we have shunted it back to 2022. As we connect through South Africa it seemed prudent to give time for them to get on top of their ‘South African variant’, or as I read this morning, for us to develop a booster jab for us old folk which will protect us against these variants.

Posted by
4135 posts

How is the safari planning on getting to/from the destination(s) in Kenya? A report on the NBC Today show a few days ago said that the best-case scenario plan for the entire continent of Africa was to have 3% of the population vaccinated by the end of 2021. That’s where many European countries are right now. I wonder whether safari providers will, somehow, have be a “bubble,” where staff and clients could be in a more protected environment?

Posted by
4601 posts

Our safari included the first night in Nairobi after we arrive and is in the bush for the entire time.

Yes, we will be staying in lodges with minimal exposure to the staff. We are not worried about the trip, since we have been vaccinated.

We are more concerned about just being able to do the safari that was postponed from last year without being held somewhere because of local policies.
Hopefully, the order will be lifted prior to late July.

Posted by
4342 posts

Just because you are vaccinated doesn’t give you 100% protection, especially against some of the variants and you can still pass Covid on, which is why many places are trying to restrict tourist numbers.

Posted by
1656 posts

So frustrating! I am really hoping your safari happens because I wanted to hear all about it!

We have a safari booked for Tanzania next July of 2022. Hopefully things are getting back to normal then.

Posted by
118 posts

For what it's worth, I am also planning to be in Kenya in August (7-22) and contacted my tour operator upon hearing the lockdown news. Here is what he said:

"The situation in Kenya is meant to be short term to help them with a recent wave (like we have has here in North America a number of times). Thankfully things haven’t been nearly as bad there, and its not at all expected to impact people travelling this summer. So you should be good!

We can of course postpone if needed, but again I fully expect by your trip date, things will be humming along, and that you will have an amazing trip!"

Of course as we all know this still just boils down to speculation and no one can say with certainty what will happen a few months ago. However, hearing this from someone in the industry is allowing me to hold onto some degree of hope at least.

Posted by
4601 posts

Rachael,
Thanks for your post on going to E. Africa for a safari this year. This is what my safari company has told me, that the President's order is expected to be temporary.

Also, that the safari industry will be lobbying the government to make the change or create an exception for them.

While Kenya is a safe destination compared to some surrounding African countries, there are issues with crime in major cities. Many government travel advisories warn travelers of the threat of terrorism. Check your Government's travel advice for the latest information https://www.natureswonderlandsafaris.com/safaris/kenya-safaris-holiday-tours/kenya-luxury-tented-camp-safari/luxury-flying-safaris/.
Travelers will always attract unwanted attention from beggars and potential pickpockets. From street scammers to more severe threats, a little common sense goes a long way in Keyna, and staying up to date on the local situation is essential no matter where you go. These are the things you need to know to stay safe in Kenya.

Posted by
24623 posts

get to where, vanessa?

lots of places have been mentioned

Posted by
4601 posts

Update is this:

We had four in our party and the two younger guys (one my Son) are in the middle of their careers (still working) and it would have been a huge problem if we couldn't fly out of Kilimanjaro on schedule. Also, with the President of Kenya shutting down Nairobi, there is always the issue of another governmental action, unexpected that could have affected us.

We decided to ask for another postponement until next year. I wanted to hang in there, but everyone convinced me to ask for the postponement. The safari company agreed and we looked for other options for the Summer. There were few: Visiting National Parks out west (all the tours that I could find were sold out), tour of Ecuador including the Andes, Amazon and Galapagos (sold out for the year) and Iceland. We found a highly rated tour company called Nordic Visitor and booked a week long tour, added another day to do the Blue Lagoon. Going in early August.

Posted by
1656 posts

Sorry you won’t make your safari for this year. Iceland will be happy to have your tourist dollars instead.

Posted by
4135 posts

Does the Iceland tour include a whale watching excursion? If not, perhaps you can squeeze one in on your extra day. Since there won’t be elephants, rhinos, etc. in Iceland, you could still have a big-animal safari by boat. We used Elding in Reykjavik.

Hope you spot puffins, too!

Posted by
3560 posts

Glad the company was able to accommodate another change. Particularly working with 2 country's rules, it was going to be stressful until the end.
Things should be more stable next year.
Enjoy Iceland.

Posted by
4601 posts

Iceland tour does not include whale watching. Tour goes around the entire island.
Wishing everyone safe and happy travels. Thanks for all the comments and advice.

Posted by
118 posts

For anyone else considering Kenya, my safari operator emailed to let me know all lockdowns have been lifted as of today (May 1).

Posted by
4601 posts

Rachael,
I did an internet search and noting showed up about Kenya removing the Nairobi shutdown. In any event, we postponed to next year.

Posted by
1919 posts

Micato and A&K also updated us that the restrictions were lifted...