British HC in Mara over weekend with family and declares it safe

British High Commissioner Christian Turner and his family spent the weekend in the Maasai Mara National Game Reserve in Narok County to create confidence among foreign tourists ahead of the August wildebeest migration. Dr Turner, who was received by Governor Samuel Tunai, said the travel advisories his country issued sometime back were only targeted for isolated places, not the entire country. "Mara is a jewel on the ground and is the home of over 40 per cent of the world's largest mammals. There have been claims that my country issued travel bans to Kenya but that is not true. There is no blanket ban on Kenya," said Turner. He said the specific areas that Britain warned her citizens about included parts of South Coast, Mombasa and northern Kenya where there have been incidents of terrorism. He said the Maasai Mara was safe to visit. "Maasai Mara is safe and to encourage UK citizens to visit, I am spending my weekend here and I will be joined by my family," Turner said at Mara Serena Safari Lodge on Friday.

The high commissioner also pledged to support the Narok County government in its bid to implement the Maasai Mara conservation plan and said the commission had anti-poaching programmes aimed at protecting elephants against poachers. Mr Tunai, who is also the newly elected tourism chairman in the Council of Governors, sought to assure tourists that his government had put in place adequate security measures and that all was set for the high season. "We as the Council of Governors tourism department are planning to meet all diplomats from the West to chart a way forward for the tourism sector," said Tunai.

The governor said the Maasai Mara Management Plan would be ready in three months' time after the local county assembly approved it. Receive tourists "Maasai Mara is our treasure and we thank God that it is in our county. We will protect it jealously. We are ready to receive tourists from around the globe. We are set to recruit 120 rangers to boost security," he said. Tunai said in a bid to curb poaching, the county government would acquire drones to watch the park's borders and that they were keen on the security of both tourists and wildlife.