Kenya ranked 3rd preferred African destination by super-rich tourists

Kenya has been ranked third most popular African destination for the super-rich tourists during the 12-month period to September 2015, hosting about 3,000 multi-millionaires.


Tourists sit in their vehicles as they watch the wildebeests at a river crossing in Masai Mara, on September 3, 2015. Every year hundreds of thousands of wildebeests make the crossing from the Serengeti to Masai Mara game reserve to graze during the migration. AFP PHOTO/Carl de Souza

A recent survey by New World Wealth, a London-based research firm that provides information on the global wealth sector, shows that of the estimated 43,000 ultra-high net worth community that visited Africa, at least 3,000 preferred Kenya.

Top African ranked destinations are South Africa and Morocco. In Eastern Africa, the survey puts Kenya at the summit together with Seychelles, followed by Tanzania (2,000) and Uganda’s 1,000.

South Africa was the most popular destination in Africa, receiving about 11,000 wealthy individuals from around the globe. The report ranks Morocco as second with approximately 4,000 such visitors in the period under review.

The survey titled “Millionaire Tourism in Africa,” describes multi-millionaires as individuals with net assets of $10 million (Sh1 billion) or more. Other countries in the top ten list include Botswana (3,000), Egypt (2,000), Mauritius (2,000). Uganda, Zambia Mozambique and Nigeria are tied at 1,000 high end visitors.

The survey notes that despite the tightened visa rules, South Africa remained attractive due to various popular destinations within the country such as Cape Town, Johannesburg, Umhlanga, Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, the Kruger National Park (mainly around Sabi Sands) and the Garden Route (mainly around Knysna).

Outside South Africa, Maasai Mara in Narok County and Nairobi city wowed the affluent community. Also popular in East Africa were Serengeti in Tanzania and The Bwindi Forest in Uganda.

Other attractive places included Marrakech and Casablanca (Morocco), Cairo and Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt), Livingstone in Zambia and Okavango Swamps in Botswana.

The survey also determined the top ten rated safari lodges in Africa that the super-rich prefer. In the list, Ngorongoro Crater Lodge in Tanzania is the most preferred lodge in Africa, while Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp Masai Mara in Kenya is ranked sixth.

Uganda’s Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is ranked at number nine in a list that has four lodges from South Africa, including Ngala Tented Camp Timbavati that is ranked second. Botswana has two, while Zambia has one slot. In the list of top five small boutique hotels- hotels with less than 30 rooms- South Africa has four, with three of them in Franschoek town, while Seychelles has one.

The survey shows that Hemingways hotel in Nairobi is the fourth most popular destination for tourists who prefer normal sized hotels. The 45-roomed hotel boasts of 80 square metre bedrooms each with a private balcony overlooking the iconic silhouette of the Ngong Hills. But even in this category, South Africa has five.

The survey comes barely a month after Kenya was voted as Leading Safari Destination during the 2015 World Travel Awards (WTA) held in El Jadida, Morocco, on December 12 this year.

The awards dubbed the Oscars of the travel industry saw Kenya beat nominees of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

During the awards, Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) was also voted Africa’s leading tourist board for the fourth time in a row and Masai Mara National Reserve named for the third time as Africa’s leading National Park.


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