30-03-2022 by Freddie del Curatolo
The Kenyan tourism sector is looking at Easter 2022 like the guest at a not-at-all lavish dinner waiting for a dessert that will give him the feeling of fullness and the "dulcis in fundo" that will bring the evaluation of the dinner above the sufficiency level.
This is how one feels at the end of a season that has never really begun, broken up first by fears, then by national rules and finally by the removal of international bans.
What can be expected from a single week that falls in the middle of April?
For the most solid sector and the one with the most possibilities of "big spending" clients, that is, safaris, the unknown factor is certainly the weather. With the season of the great rains coming and, as always, in transit first from the Rift Valley and then from eastern Kenya and the coast, the parks and reserves of the north and west (Maasai Mara, Amboseli, Lakeland, Aberdare, Laikipia and Samburu) will be at risk, but this will not demote those who have long wanted to return (or make their debut) in the savannah and since the beginning of the year have been waiting for a few days off to migrate, before the wildebeest do.
Of course, the animals and the splendid African scenery await the majority of nature-loving tourists by the end of June, for the spectacle of the great migration between Kenya and Tanzania, but a little taste of Easter cannot be excluded.
The uncertainty of the war, in addition to canceling trips and reservations from Eastern Europe, has eaten a good slice of travelers who are waiting for developments and possible consequences of the international crisis created by Putin. In addition to canceling a weekly charter from Kiev and many solutions of Russian tour operators that until a month ago brought tourists mainly to Zanzibar, but also to the Kenyan coast.
As far as Italian tourism is concerned, the unknown factor is represented above all by the possible increase in prices and a lurking recession. In a nutshell, if you're thinking about vacations, the idea is to postpone them until summer. Summer, however, in Kenya will bring with it another unknown factor, that of the national elections. It is still not possible to hypothesize credible scenarios, even if all parties involved preach peace and relaxed climates. But in the end it is the people, the young and the increasingly harassed and suffering categories that make the difference.
However, these are still long range visions and Easter seems to be too close to insert it in any framework of attention or danger.
For this reason, those who know Kenya and don't want to miss happy days outside the country of collective neurosis will do everything possible to come in April, barring any last minute surprises.
The numbers are always small in order to give a breath of fresh air to the economy, but they are significant if combined with the probable exodus from Nairobi and its surroundings towards the coast, which for a week at least will guarantee work and income. Then, most likely, at least on the coast, it will be rest. Closures, restructuring, real preparation for the next season, in which there will be the return of charters and the increase of scheduled flights.
Waiting, after the certain date of the resurrection of the Lord, for the still unpredictable date of tourism in Kenya.
(photo by Paolo Torchio)
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by Freddie del Curatolo
The Easter holidays come quite early this year, in the first week of April.