CAMPAIGN

Tourists urged to sample Kenya’s twin migration

This is wildebeest whale migration

In Summary

•Tourists have the option of witnessing both migrations which happen on land (Savanna) and in the ocean.

•Tourism and wildlife CS Najib Balala says both migrations positions Kenya as the go-to destination for both safari and beach.

Tourism and wildlife CS Najib Balala during a whale watching expedition in Watamu/COURTESY
Tourism and wildlife CS Najib Balala during a whale watching expedition in Watamu/COURTESY

Kenya is positioning both the annual Wildebeest Migration in the Maasai Mara and the Whale Migration in the coastal region as unique natural tourism experience in the destination.

Now dubbed the “Twin migration” because of the simultaneous occurrence of the phenomenon, tourists have the option of witnessing both migrations which happen on land (Savanna) and in the ocean.

Speaking during a Humpback Whale migration watching expedition in Watamu,  Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said both migrations position Kenya as the go-to destination for both safari and beach.

“Both migrations peak between July and September, which means that Kenya can host a twin migration experience, a unique wildlife phenomenon, incorporating both the bush and the beach product," Balala said.

"We are certain that the twin migration will continue to position Kenya as the home to natural and iconic experience as well as diversity of products offering,”he added.

Every year, Humpback whales migrate from Antarctica to warmer climates, congregating in Kenyan waters between July and August to calve and mate.

After spending two months breeding and nursing their calves, the whales then make their journey back to Antarctica around September.

 In East Africa, the whales travel up to 4,000 kilometers to reach their chosen area to take care of their newborns.

“I urge all visitors both domestic and international, that next time you seek to have an exciting experience during this period, make a point to witness these two great spectacles,"Balala said.

"Starting with a game drive in the Maasai Mara to watch the wildebeest move across the river Mara then winding with whale viewing expedition in the Kenyan coast of Watamu, in Kilifi” the CS added.

 

According to the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) CEO Betty Radier, the board intends to market the two experiences together to ensure that visitors have the chance to enjoy the alternative natural experiences.

“The Wildebeest Migration and Whale migration are the two top destination experiences that our visitors need to explore more together. We are going to market them together," said Radier.

She also noted that beach product experiences have shown growth, with a renewed interest in water sports such as Kitesurfing, water rafting, and whale watching.

Meanwhile, CS Balala has commended community efforts in the protection of marine life and the promotion of sustainable tourism at the coast.

He also expressed the government’s commitment towards environmental and wildlife conservation adding that Kenya has made significant progress through banning of single-use plastics in all protected areas including game parks, forests, and beaches.