The Great Wildebeest Migration, which occurs between July and October, is soon set to begin for this year.
With the Eid Al Fitr holidays expected to fall in August, the Kenya Tourist Board (KTB) is confident of a positive influx of visitors from the Middle East to witness this spectacular phenomenon.
Considered to be Africa’s greatest wildlife spectacle, the Great Wildebeest Migration is an annual occurrence where hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebras make their seasonal trek from the southern Serengeti to the north of the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.
This exceptional natural event attracts visitors from across the globe as they witness the wildebeest, zebras and thousands of other animals make the 500km round trip in search of water and greener pastures.
“In recent years, Kenya has grown in popularity as a destination for Middle East residents with positive prospects ahead owing to attractions such as the migration. Visitor figures for 2011 from the UAE show an increase of 40 per cent and with a 14.2 per cent increase on the first three months of 2012 compared to 2011 it’s a good indication the trend is set to continue,” commented regional marketing manager, KTB, John Chirchir.
“At this time of the year with maximum temperatures of 31 degrees, Kenya is much cooler than the Middle East and, with the spectacle of the Great Migration, is the perfect destination for an Eid holiday.
“In addition, with flying time on average only four and a half hours from most Middle East airports and great direct air connectivity from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Doha, Bahrain, Muscat and Jeddah, Kenya is an ideal short-haul choice for families, couples and friends to visit even for a long weekend. A further attraction is that access into Kenya is also easy, with most nationalities receiving visas on arrival and the Kenyan Government not requiring visitors to take any vaccinations prior to entering the country.”
Currently, there are six airlines across the Middle East offering direct flights into Nairobi. These include Emirates Airline, Gulf Air
, Air Arabia, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Qatar Airways as well as Kenya’s national carrier
. In April this year, Etihad Airways also started flying into Kenya with one flight a week from Abu Dhabi.