Visitors to Tsavo East and West National Parks on the rise thanks to TUI Poland

Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge has seen a rise in visitor numbers since TUI Poland introduced charter flights between Warsaw and Mombasa last week.

Lodges and Camps in Tsavo East and West National Parks are enjoying brisk business following the introduction of charter flights between Warsaw and Mombasa by TUI Poland last week.

According to Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) Tsavo East and West and Amboseli circuit chairman, Willie Mwadilo, the inauguration of direct charter flights by TUI Poland had boosted visitor numbers in the three national parks.

Mr Mwadilo, who is also the general manager of Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge, said guest numbers at the facility in Taita Taveta County had increased to 75 per cent up from 35 per cent last month.

“Lodges and Camps in the Tsavo parks and Amboseli are busy following a surge in tourists from Poland,” he said, adding that business had improved since TUI Poland introduced flights between Warsaw and Mombasa.

Apart from the Polish tourists boost, the KAHC official added that the Lodges and Camps in the three national parks had been receiving domestic tourists thanks to the Madaraka Express trains.

“On November 25, Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge will be packed to capacity due to the upcoming East African Safari Classic Rally 2017,” he said.

Mr Mwadilo explained that the Lodges and Camps are expected to receive more guests when the festive season begins in December.

Kenya Safari Lodges and Hotels (KSLH) chief executive officer Victor Shitakha, said Voi Safari Lodge in Tsavo East National Park had 70 per cent occupancy in the wake of charter flights from Italy and Poland.

Mr Shitakha said guest numbers at Ngulia Safari Lodge in Tsavo West National Park had increased from 55 per cent last month to the current 70 per cent owing to a rise in safari enthusiasts.

“Since last week, our lodges in Tsavo East and West, have been busy as Italian and Polish tourists have been flocking to the parks for game viewing,” he said.

Mr Shitakha, who is also the Kenya Coast Tourism Association (KCTA) chairman said hotels in Mombasa were enjoying a 60 per cent occupancy due to conferences and international visitors from markets including Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom.

He attributed the surge in visitor numbers to German holiday airline Condor which flies tourists from Munich and Frankfurt to Mombasa while TUI Poland brings tourists from Poland.

From the Italian market, chartered airlines, Neos Air, Meridiana Fly and Blue Panorama fly tourists to the Coast from cities Italian cities.

“We have also Turkish Airlines which operates scheduled flights between Istanbul and Mombasa as well as regional airlines Ethiopian Airlines and RwandAir,” he explained.

On November 8, TUI Poland introduced direct charter flights between Warsaw and Mombasa.

It was for the first time that TUI Poland operated direct charter flights between Warsaw and the coastal resort city.

TUI Poland captain Walter Wesseling, attributed the inauguration of the flights to a rise in passenger numbers as Polish tourists are pouring into Kenya for beach and safari.

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