KENYA TOURISM INDUSTRY STATEMENT ON SOSIAN INCIDENT OF 5TH MARCH 2017

A statement from the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) and Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF)

The tourism fraternity in Kenya deeply regrets to learn of the death of Tristan Voorspuy, a co-owner of Sosian Ranch and owner of Offbeat Safaris who was killed at Sosian Ranch on Sunday 5th March 2017 by unknown assailants who had trespassed onto the ranch apparently with groups of herdsmen seeking grazing for their livestock.

On behalf of all industry stakeholders we extend our condolences and sympathy to the family of Mr Voorspuy and to the other Kenyan farmers and ranch employees who have been caught up in the conflict over pasture in the affected area in recent weeks.

Sosian Ranch is one of the private ranches in northern Laikipia hosting a vibrant population of wildlife. During this year’s drought-like conditions, they are one of 7 ranches that have been invaded by hungry livestock and pastoralists.

Following the incident, we would like to clarify the following:

  • The incident took place at Sosian Ranch, a 24,000 acre private ranch dedicated to cattle ranching and tourism in the Laikipia area of northern Kenya, 240 kilometres from Nairobi
  • No tourists were involved in the incident and there were no tourists staying on the ranch at the time of the incident
  • Laikipia is one of 47 counties within Kenya and over 9,000 square kilometres in size. It is well-known for its excellent wildlife and ecotourism facilities. Laikipia’s wildlife is second only to the Maasai Mara
  • The present unrest and insecurity are restricted to a few localities and a small number of ranches and that the well-known wildlife conservancies and tourism facilities in the rest of Laikipia are not affected and remain calm and peaceful

Kenya covers an area of approximately 582,650 square kilometres and is frequently compared to an area the size of France. Tourism activity continues as normal in most of Laikipia and throughout the rest of the country with holiday-makers currently on safari in the country’s national parks and visiting its popular coastal resorts.

The Tourism Industry continues to maintain very close contact with the stakeholders in Laikipia and a fact finding trip to Laikipia was earlier carried out by Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) and Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF) industry executives to assess the situation on the ground. We fully support the investigations being carried out by the police and other relevant authorities to bring the perpetrators of these lawless acts to justice.

We believe that the Government of Kenya will be giving the highest priority to restoring law and order for all the people in the affected area so that they can enjoy the normal peace and security found throughout the rest of Laikipia county.

JIMI KARIUKI
CHAIRMAN
KENYA TOURISM BOARD (KTB)

LUCY KARUME
CHAIRPERSON
KENYA TOURISM FEDERATION (KTF)

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