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Hotels in Samburu expecting high revenue as festive season kicks in

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By MIKE LORIKUNI

As the calendar flips to December 25th in the next few days, most families are already planning the perfect way to celebrate the approaching festive season together with their loved ones.

When it comes to making merry everyone has their own plans on how to celebrate during the long holiday season. While visits to Kenyan coast is popular, among Kenyans, there is something to be said for a relaxing countryside getaway.

A good example to this countryside relaxation is Maralal town in the heart of Samburu County. The town which was once small, dusty and inaccessible trading center is now a home to dozens of modern hotels and lodges making the once inaccessible remote center modern and hospitable.

Located about 350 kilometres from Nairobi, Maralal town has some of the Kenya’s most beautiful sceneries. Here the vast arid plains give way to the spectacular Kirisia and Loroki hills.

“When you look at Maralal town and its surroundings, you see majestic scenery whose grandeur is enhanced by its consort with wildlife and by the calm dignity of the herdsmen and their herds, many investors here realized this is a huge attraction for tourists and they invested their money on hospitality which is now giving them good returns,” says Joe Mithamo, who chairs the Samburu County Investors Forum.

According to Susan Lelesit, the marketing manager of Ngurumaut Guest House, one of the hotels giving Maralal town a modern look, tourists both local and foreign have hugely influenced the growth of hotel industry in the semi-arid area.

“NKurumaut Igloos Resort started a few years ago, with about 5 rooms, we realized that the number of guests coming kept increasing, we expanded and now we have more than 30 furnished self contained modern rooms, a good number have already booked for this festive season,” she says.

Adjacent to Maralal police station, about 200 metres from Maralal-Nyahururu highway, the hotel is one of the largest in the town that is popularly known for its annual International Camel Derby.

“During festive season or such events as the annual international Camel Derby, all our rooms are fully booked even two weeks before the event. Here we believe the hospitality we provide makes us stand out as the preferred destination for conferencing and accommodation in Maralal town,” she added.

The hotel gives a view of the spectacular Loroki Hills and the breathtaking Kirisia hills on East side of town that gives tourists freedom to explore and lose themselves in the wild.

Samburu County Executive in charge of Tourism Peter Leshakwet says that privatisation of the once communal land in town and its metropolitan has encouraged many investors to buy land and develop it.

“Maralal is already a modern town. It is no longer geographically isolated. It is offering services that one can get in any modern town in Kenya. And not just the hotel industry that is growing we also have real estate developers coming up with modern housing projects and gated community estates,” he explains.

READ: UHURU ORDERS EMBAKASI DEMOLITIONS STOPPED

Improved infrastructure within the town centre and its environs has also seen a number of hotels and lodges coming up in the outpost as the feeder roads are being opened to increase accessibility for local and foreign tourists.

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BUSINESS TODAY
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