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Business looking up for hotels in Amboseli and Tsavo parks

Amboseli National Reserve

Lodges and camps in Tsavo East and West national parks and Amboseli are busy thanks to international wildlife enthusiasts, who are flocking in for game viewing.

According to Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers Tsavo and Amboseli branch chairman Willie Mwadilo, visitors into the three parks have been on the rise since December last year.

He said the lodges and camps were currently enjoying occupancy of between 70 and 90 percent compared to between 30 and 40 percent in the same period last year.


Mr Mwadilo attributed the increased number of tourists to peace enjoyed in the country unlike last year when tourism was affected by political uncertainty over the August 8 General Election.

He added that most tourists were from Poland, Italy, Germany and France.

The official said the facilities will continue to enjoy brisk business until after the Easter holiday when the low season will start.

Mr Mwadilo, who is also the general manager of Sarova Salt Lick and Sarova Taita Hills game lodges, said the hotels had occupancy of 90 per cent and 85 per cent respectively.

“At Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge, we have guests from Poland, Italy, France and Germany while at Sarova Taita Hills Game Lodge, we have locals attending conferences,” he said.

Apart from the large number of international visitors, he said, the lodges also received domestic tourists from Nairobi who went to the parks using Madaraka Express trains.

“The trains have been a game changer to tourism in Tsavo as the visitors disembark from Madaraka Express at Voi before heading to Tsavo East or West for game drives,” he said.

Ashnil Hotels managing director Rajan Bhandari said the Ashnil Aruba Lodge in Tsavo East National Park had been enjoying brisk business since December last year.

He said the lodge had guests from the European markets of Belgium, France and Italy, adding that the inbound tourist flow had boosted occupancy in properties in Tsavo.

“February is looking good as the international tourists, who come for beach holidays in Mombasa and other coastal resorts, come to Tsavo for game viewing,” he added.


Kenya Safari Lodges and Hotels chief executive Victor Shitakha, said Voi Safari Lodge had 90 percent occupancy this month compared to 30 per cent in the same period in 2017.

He added that the property had guests from Croatia, Poland and Italy, saying visitor numbers will continue to rise until after the Easter holiday.

Mr Shitakha, who is also the chairman of Kenya Coast Tourism Association, said chartered flights had also contributed to the high numbers.

“There are airlines from Italy, Poland and Germany which bring tourists from the cities of Milan, Warsaw, Frankfurt and Munich,” he said.



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