Glen Rawlings, Southern Cross Safaris General Manager examines the key to Kenya's success in handling the COVID-19 pandemic
Anyone who has ever experienced a safari in Africa has one country to thank for the incredible natural sights and sounds that they undoubtedly experienced. That country is Kenya. That's because the East African country, nestled neatly under the continent's Horn, is where safari first took shape. In fact, the word 'safari' directly translates to 'going on a journey' in Swahili, the nation's local tongue.
The impacts of COVID-19 hit Kenya hard in March 2020 and the months to follow, but Kenya and its beautiful people are an extremely resilient nation, all too familiar with economic and natural hardships. The government swiftly reacted when the pandemic struck and COVID protocols were stringently enforced, positioning Kenya as a world leader in managing the pandemic.
The entire Kenya tourism industry reacted with extraordinary speed and agility to implement the strict protocols set out by the World Health Organisation and The Ministry of Health. The Tourism Regulatory Authority made it mandatory for all tourism industry players to follow these protocols. No establishment was approved to open their doors until they were inspected and audited; only then were they issued a ‘COVID Ready’ operating licence. Moving forward, inspections and audits are carried out every quarter to renew these licences and ensure that these protocols are being adhered to.
When, on 01 August 2020, Kenya re-opened its borders and eased restrictions, domestic tourism absolutely boomed and has enjoyed a growing number of international visitors ever since.
International clients have come to realise that social distancing is effortless when travelling around Kenya, and the overwhelming feedback that we have received is that travellers feel incredibly safe while they are here.
Kenya still remains one of the most popular travel destinations in Africa. It is the fascinating people, the colourful cultures, fine cuisine, vast wild spaces, rivers, lakes, wildlife, mountains and last but not least, the picturesque white sandy beaches that makes it such a unique and diverse travel proposition.
We still have a long safari ahead of us, but be assured that Kenya is ready to welcome you back.
Karibuni sana (you are very welcome).
And when you do come to visit, safari njema (travel safe).
Southern Cross Safaris, Mombasa, Kenya