Home' Travel News : October-November 2018 Contents 36 travel news october/november 2018
october/november 2018 travel news 37
The Kenya safari circuit sold-out in
October, now there is a happy piece
of news, and long may it last. Kenya’s
safari product has long been considered
expensive when compared to its other
competitors on the continent. The
quality and diversity of a Kenyan safari
experience, however is far superior to
anything else anywhere in Africa. You
But, there comes a time when cost over
experience has to stand up to scrutiny.
The recent imposition of value added
tax on fuel, a ‘Robin Hood’ tax on bank
transactions, a levy to support low-cost
housing and the general tightening of
our tax regime here in Kenya is going
to have a massively negative impact
on our value proposition. Not just for
tourism but the entire economy.
I can hardly see tourism suppliers not
passing these costs of doing business
onto their clients. But is there a Plan-B?
Perhaps taking the Ryanair model
approach, I shudder to even suggest
this. Where you pay less for a seat
and then everything else you want is
added on, which equates to a ton of
incremental revenue – turn this model
on its head with a safari overlay and
what do you get. A from price that
blows everyone out of the water, and
you could then possibly tailor the add-
ons into must-haves.
Thinking out of the box, any box, rather
than increasing the price is an option
we should all consider. I’m just saying
– so please don’t shoot the messenger.
As most of you will know my favourite
coast destination is Watamu just south
of Malindi, a sleepy back-water with
to-die-for-beaches, a few small hotels,
rustic in a word. Progress has to come
that’s a given, but you’d never ever
expect plans for a 61-storey tower,
370-metre high, the tallest in Africa, to
suddenly and unexpectedly appear on
the road across from the beach.
I’m no engineer but to underpin a
building as high as this on coral rag and
sand is, well, not possible anywhere
in the world. There are so many other
issues surrounding this fantasy build,
not least the amount of empty beds and
the state of our coasts tourism industry.
Blinded by the ‘J’ word, jobs, the county
government is all of a twitter, they are
also blinded by the environmental
impact it will have on the region.
But let me share the blurb from the
developers just so you know from
whence I speak: a 270-room 5-star
hotel and spa, 180-luxury apartments,
a 24-hour casino, a convention centre,
an observatory, a shopping complex/
mall, and a private beach.
Now we all know that there is no such
thing as a private beach in Kenya, so
lets knock that one on the head.
The company touting this ludicrous
fantasy is Crystal Business SA of
Lugano in Switzerland – its Chairman
is Dr. Guiseppe Moscarino a vet with
few substantial credentials other
than his love for Africa, the Managing
Director is Oliver Nepomuceno his CV
on their website shows little capacity
for a project like this, as is the case of
the architect Lorenzo Pagnini.
Nicky Parazzi a long-time resident
of Watamu and a leading eco-warrior
penned these comments on social
Described as outrageous, and Dubaiesq:
and an April fools joke by many, but
apparently being touted in Italy and
elsewhere, including (according to the
developer himself) in high political circles
in Kenya. Of concern, at a stakeholder
meeting in April, the developer and his
team could not answer rudimentary,
questions about the build in an extremely
challenging, natural geographical area
and the project in general - including a
simple question about how many people
the building would cater for (both workers
and clients). And yet again the promise
of jobs over-rode all serious questions.
A sure sign there’s a need to scratch the
We can NOT afford to take this lightly!
Let’s stop spoiling Watamu! Keep it
natural for future generations. Click
HERE to sign our petition.
One interesting snippet gleaned from the
dailies last week, was that all imported
used vehicles HAVE to be shipped from
Mombasa by rail. So, it might stand to
reason that us folk from Nairobi and up-
country will be able to utilise the empty
wagons back down to Mombasa when on
holiday or on business, for our vehicles,
thus saving us all the drive.
The Palm Exotica - Watamu
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