Miscellaneous Ramblings by Tony Clegg-Butt of Travel News

Posted on August 3rd, 2012
Categories: News

I’ve literally just come back from a four-day camping safari to the Masai Mara, with no migration in sight and lots of fires over the border in Tanzania. I see in the local press that it is all handbags with the Kenyan Government accusing its Tanzanian counterparts of purposefully setting the fires to stop the migration entering Kenya.

It’s very hard to believe; actually it’s impossible to be true. The gnus and zebra follow the food, and no random wildfire is going to stop this army of millions that marches with singularily stomach fulfillment in mind.

A by-product of these apparent random fires is that the northern Serengeti is wreathed in smoke while the Masai Mara has clear blue skies and crystal clear nights.

There is a lot of talk of gloom and doom in the country’s tourism industry, but I was more than pleasantly surprised on driving down the escarpment to see many tourist mini-buses stopped at the various viewpoints and curio shops along the way.

On arriving in Narok another surprise; it was like tourist rush hour with again many tourists, but the strange thing was that I didn’t see any of them in the Masai Mara.

Where did they all go?

I would have noticed them surely, given that with no migration, games drives were a bit tedious to say the least, and the odd tourist vehicle always offered a temporary diversion.

I swear we drove one day without seeing one tourist and very little game.

The roads from Narok into the Park are a national disgrace, this is nothing new, I know, but surely the country’s richest county, by way of Masai Mara admission fees, should at the very least have a grader or two in service. But lest I misinform you, these roads it turns out are not the remit of the wealthy Narok County Council but the cash-strapped Kenya Rural Roads Authority.

To make matters worse, there are cowboy road toll operators who randomly throw a log across the many alternative routes into the Park and demand, rather aggressively, payment for passage. Best advice is to put foot and get out of there pronto…

Columnist Steve Shelley on page 54 takes direct aim at the new police tactics of extorting money from road users – particularly in the Naivasha area.

He wondered if this little digital magazine had an appetite for something so revealing as to be controversial. It is and always will be – for the better good, of course.

As I write this, we are about 25,000 readers shy of a million on Facebook – which is totally mind-boggling. With Facebook’s strict privacy rules we don’t even know who they are – so if you are one of them, drop us a line and tell us why you read us and what you think.

The only comments we get after being LIKED is that our pix are awesome. Which they are.

Click HERE to tell all, in strict confidence, of course…

Did you know that Kenya has the second highest number of Facebook users on the African continent? At last count just over 1.2 million and growing exponentially. No surprise that South Africa tops the list.

To read the August issue of Travel News click here