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 (Savannah) and in the ocean.
Speaking during a Humpback Whale Migration watching expedition in Watamu, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala said that both migrations position the destination as the to 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. We are certain that this will continue to position Kenya as the home to natural and iconic experience as well as diversity of products offering,” said Balala.
Every year, Humpback whales migrate from Antarctica to warmer climates, congregating in Kenyan waters between July and September 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 everyone 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. 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” added CS Balala
According to the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) CEO Dr. 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 in such a way that people can go and visit the Wildebeest migration in safari then culminate that with the whale migration at the Kenyan coast,” said Dr. 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.
CS Balala at the same time used the opportunity to appreciate community efforts in the protection of marine life and 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 the banning of single-use plastics in all protected areas including game parks, forests, and beaches.