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Kenyan Elections - Travel Concerns Bustedby Dalene Ingham-Brown

Along with the Kenyan general elections held on March 4, 2013, came a string of concerns about whether or not the country would be safe to travel in around election time. After Kenya's last presidential elections ended in violence, the concerns weren't surprising. Thanks to good ol' communication and planning, none of our overland trip clients were affected by the elections. Kenya Election Above: Voter at the Kenyan polling booth. Photo by: DEMOSH The Kenyan 2007 elections were a disaster with over 1 000 people killed - two of which happened to be much-loved international athletes.

Finger on the pulse

With all of the worry that was flying around before the election, as a booking agent I contacted our overland trip suppliers who operate tours through Kenya and chatted to them about the situation. Proving trusty as ever, each supplier openly admitted there may be rioting and political chaos, but they were pretty confident that travellers who had booked trips with us on their overland trucks didn’t need to worry about safety. Why? Because our suppliers all have their finger on the pulse, that's why. Africa Travel Co.’s Managing Director, Graeme Thomson said, “We are operating all of our trips as per normal although we do have in place plans to run alternative routes should we experience any issues that we feel may cause us concern. Rest assured that the safety of our clients as well as of our crew always comes first.”

Communication is key

For safe overland travel communication is key, according to Natalie Peart from Oasis Overland. “I certainly think passengers should be reassured that we have their best safety interests at heart as our crew regularly feedback on how things are in the countries we are travelling through,” says Peart.

Expecting riots?

Kenya earned a shiny, new constitution in August, 2010, and the March 4th election was the first election since then. Did all our suppliers believe there would definitely be a riot? Nope, but even with such a peaceful view there's no harm in keeping a close eye on the situation... just in case. “It can be a crazy time around election day however we are not expecting riots. We are however monitoring what is happening,” Acacia Africa’s Marketing Manager, Michelle Lewis said. We're pleased to report that none of our passengers were affected by the Kenyan elections. However, seventeen people, including six police officers were killed during the elections. Our deepest condolences goes out to the families of those affected.

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