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Safari guide Henrik Hult.
  Safari Patrol
  About us & contact
  May 2010:
  Insects on board
  March 2010:
  Tour companies to trust?
  January 2010:
  Seeing the migration
  October 2009:
  Are safaris safe?
  July 2009:
  Dress for safari
  May 2009:
  The cradle of mankind
  Mar 2009:
  Future tourism in Kenya
  Jan 2009:
  Big Five or not?
  Nov 2008:
  Kenya after the unrest
  Sep 2008:
  Launch of Safari Patrol
  Jul 2008:
  Bargaining and gifts
  May 2008:
  The long rains
  Mar 2008:
  Professional guides
  Jan 2008:
  Unrest in Kenya
Safari Patrol:
Kenya after the unrest
November 2008
The unrest that hit Kenya early this year was triggered by a conflict between the ruling politicians and the opposition, following the elections. The violence cost many lives, but ceased when the politicians had settled their disagreements.

The violence was never aimed at tourists, but was rather factions and tribes fighting each other. The Kenyan safari industry was brought close to a halt, though, but began catching up again once the violence ceased. Now, more than six months later, the business is almost back to normal, and there are no signs of, or traces from, unrest in the safari regions.

When visiting Kenya in November, there was not much talk about those events in January and February. Instead, the Kenyans were first awaiting, then celebrating, the outcome of the presidential election in the United States. A national holiday was proclaimed after Barack Obama's victory.

'The short rains' in November
November is a month when some rain can be expected in the Kenyan safari regions – it's the season of 'the short rains'. This doesn't mean constant raining, as most rain comes during afternoons and at night, and as days of good weather can be expected, too.

However, the weather is unstable, and you can expect overcast days, spells of rain, and temperatures lower than otherwise. For safari holidays, these are not ideal conditions. Many of us prefer nice weather during a holiday.

Professional safari guide Henrik Hult in Serengeti, Tanzania.
Safari guide Henrik Hult
on Kenya in November 2008
Game viewing is harder, and less rewarding, if the windows and roof hatches of your vehicle have to be kept closed because of rain. And rain may make bush roads impassable, preventing game viewing or access to areas or lodges.

The latter is not a problem only when visiting remote or rarely visited parks. Masai Mara National Reserve, which is Kenya's number one prime park, is supported by surprisingly poor roads. Much of the main road to the Mara is really bad (if you for some reason want to avoid bumpy roads, I recommend you to visit by air instead), and so are some roads connecting the different parts and lodges within the park, making very long detours necessary during rains. For this reason, I suggest that you stay in lodges in the eastern or north-eastern parts of Masai Mara if you go there during the short rains, as these parts have the best roads.

The migration left early
This year the migration, i.e. the huge migrating herds of wildebeest and zebras, left Masai Mara for Serengeti in Tanzania a month earlier than usual, in the middle of October, cutting the peak season in the Mara short. The safari-goers visiting Serengeti got an unexpected bonus, though, as large herds were already moving through Seronera Valley in central Serengeti towards the end of October.

Apart from this, the safari business in Kenya is back to normal. A good thing is road construction work that has started to improve the A2 north from Isiolo. This means that the last bit of poor bush road on the route to Samburu, Shaba and Buffalo Springs national reserves will soon be replaced by good tarmac. Construction is also going on along the main road to Masai Mara, but so it has for years. Overall, that road is still really bad and ambitions don't seem to be very high, despite the amount of tourism and money the park generates.

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Page updated 18 February 2009