PHOTOS: How foreign diplomats are using social media to promote Kenya’s tourism

When US Ambassador Kyle McCarter posted a video of a monkey that “stole” his biscuits on Twitter, there was some backlash after different users interpreted his caption differently. Some even said it was racist.

“Mgondi [thief] stole my biscuits! #Stopthesethieves If thievery in Kenya was only about biscuits…things would be just fine,” Ambassador McCarter tweeted on Saturday, July 25.

However, what was lost in the reaction was the bigger picture: Diplomats in Kenya using social media to promote Kenya’s tourism ahead of the resumption of international flights on August 1.

On July 17, just a week after Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia made the announcement, McCarter tweeted a video of the wildebeest migration in Masai Mara and captioned, “Restriction of movement over. #USAMarafiki Karibuni #magicalkenya #safekenya”.

On July 21, the envoy was at Crescent Island on Naivasha Lake.

US Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter and his wife in Naivasha/ KYLE McCARTER 

“One of the best value day trips in Kenya. Walk among & Picnic w/ Zebra, Giraffe, Wildebeest & more. Your guide Faith will show you everything. #USAMarafiki karibuni #Magicalkenya #Safekenya,” he tweeted.

And he is not alone.

United Nations Resident Coordinator Siddharth Chatterjee was on Sunday at the Nairobi National Park.

A photo by United Nations Resident Coordinator Siddharth Chatterjee at the Nairobi National Park

“This is why I often say that half of Kenya is nature & the rest pure magic. The undeniable beauty of Nairobi National Park. It is spectacular. Kenya is blessed with breathtaking nature & it’s wildlife is awesome. Within 3 hours on game drive with MR. Gordon from the Nairobi Tented Camp, some images that I captured on my phone. It took us 30 minutes to drive from our home in Nairobi to the National Park. Kenya can lead the way to harness the green economy which includes ecotourism as we recover from the ravages of the Coronavirus pandemic. Nature & wildlife are one of Kenya’s greatest treasures, which must be nurtured and protected,” he posted on his Facebook page.

Israel Ambassador Oded Joseph was on Sunday at Oloroka Mountain.

Israel Ambassador Oded Josep at Oloroka Mountain

“Another beautiful hike @magicalkenya This time climbing #Olesekut summit on Oloroka Mountain,” he tweeted.

Oloroka is one of two mountains flanking the little town of Oltepesi, also known by the locals as Tinga, sitting on the floor of the Great Rift Valley at 1000m above sea level.
It is hiked from the south west ridge towards Magadi, across to the Ole Sekut Summit and down the normal route.

After four months Covid-19 lockdown, his deputy, Eyal David, was happy to “discover a new beautiful part of magical of Kenya” in Samburu on the weekend of July 18-19.

The following weekend, Eyal was exploring the Land of Giants in Amboseli.

“The scenery of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, with the wild animals is just PERFECT, only a few hours away from #Nairobi ,” he tweeted.

European Union Ambassador Simon Mordue has also not been left behind,

On July 22, he tweeted that he was in Samburu with his family.

“Very enjoyable couple of days break with the family in Samburu. Spectacular scenery and a warm welcome.

@magicalkenya,” Mordue tweeted, attaching four photos of the different animals he saw.
A photo by EU Ambassador in Kenya Simon Mordue in Samburu

 On July 23, he donated EU-funded equipment for monitoring of illegal wildlife activities and managing human-wildlife conflicts in response to Covid-19 for wildlife conservation in Kenya to Tourism CS Najib Balala and KWS boss John Waweru.
Olya Senkiv of the Ukraine Embassy was in Ol Pejeta Where she took photos and shared on her timeline.
Olya Senkiv of the Ukraine Embassy in Ol Pejeta in June

Ambassador McCarter, Italy envoy Alberto Pieri, Germany’s  Deputy Ambassador Thomas Wimmer and British High Commissioner representative John Hamilton represented their respective countries and the diplomatic community at the launch of the Magical Kenya Tourism and  Travel Health and Safety Protocols o July 1.

“I would also like to thank all Kenyans and diplomats in the country for supporting domestic tourism during this crisis. Let us continue exploring Kenya safely, while following the Travel Health and Safety Protocols,” Balala said on July 23.


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