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KENYA: The Journey

Boasting an abundance of game-rich national parks, diverse tribal cultures and stunning coastline, Kenya certainly has the natural resources and high-end services to satisfy any traveller.

Despite a challenging 2015, Kenya’s luxury segment has seen remarkable growth this year, and as indicated by Mark Wheeler, regional managing director, East Africa, South Asia and South America, &Beyond, a 25 percent year-on-year increase was reported in bookings, forecasted to rise to 31 percent by the end of the company’s financial year in June, 2017.

While demand from traditional markets such as the UK and the US continues to thrive, Ross Evans, group operations director, Hemingways Collection, noted that its portfolio of three properties are welcoming more and more visitors from South America and Asia.

Meanwhile, Riccardo Orizio, CEO, Saruni Lodges, reported that affluent customers are increasingly arriving from the UAE and Eastern Europe.

Although safari based holidays are popular amongst all source markets, coastal attributes that makes Kenya stand out against other safari destinations.

Further differentiating the East African country from others in the continent with high-end offerings, Evans added, "The temperate weather in Kenya, particularly in the Masaai Mara, allows guests to go on game drives throughout the day."

There are many ways to experience Kenya, from breath-taking walks, camel-riding safaris to exhilirating hot air ballon rides across the Masaai Mara or helicopter rides over Mount Kenya, shared Wheeler.

More than ever, affluent safari-goers tend to be time restricted therefore efficient transport routes are also seen as important in facilitating bespoke itineraries.

"The new route for people to transfer from the Masai Mara to the Serengeti [...] is an example of where better transport links can add significant value to travellers," illustrated Evans.

With affluent globetrotters demanding more than high-end accommodation in beautiful surroundings, customised, experiential travel is at the forefront of offerings in Kenya.

trips tend to predominantly appeal to European visitors, revealed Evans, adding that the province is yet to be popular with American tourists, who represent a significant proportion of arrivals.