Kenya safari company attributes increase to Obaboom


Kenya has recognized the impact of Obaboom, a travel trend coined at the recently concluded World Travel Market to describe roots tourism linked to US President-elect Brack Obama.

One month following the historic election of Barack Obama to the US presidency, luxury safari outfitter Micato Safaris, which operates tours to East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania) and Southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe) has claimed an uptick in interest in travel to Kenya, the homeland of President-elect Obama’s deceased father, who hailed from the western Kenya town of Kogelo.

“Our reservations staff has seen a 12 percent increase in calls in November over the same period last year, and our web traffic is up 17 percent,” states Dennis Pinto, managing director of Micato Safaris in New York, who is a native of Nairobi. “Given the prevailing economic conditions, we can only attribute this to the Obama factor.”

Cliffe Lumbasyo, of Micato Kenya who is currently on a sales-generating tour of the US, said: “It is clear that Africans take particular pride in the election of an American President with Kenyan roots. Our travelers who have been on safari with us since the election report that they have been greeted by a sea of huge smiles, back-slapping and arm-pumping congratulations. Africans assume, naturally, that everyone voted for President Obama, but that’s part of the charm! Although Africa is enchanting and thrilling at any time, these days travellers are being embraced with such exhilaration and enthusiasm that the spectacular wildlife they’ve come to see may actually pale in comparison!”

Founded in 1966, Micato Safaris in Kenya has been providing luxurious and personalized African safaris to sophisticated travelers ever since. The company has won the coveted Travel + Leisure “World’s Best Tour Operator & Safari Outfitter” award for an unprecedented six years (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008).