Najib Balala to climb Mt. Kenya to promote tourism

Najib Balala to climb Mt. Kenya to promote tourism
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala with 7 Summits Africa Team Leader, Carel Verhoef on Monday (November 13, 2017) preparing to climb Mt Kenya.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala is on a five-day excursion to the top of Mt. Kenya with the hopes of using it to promote the country’s tourism.

Balala will be hiking the mountain together with members of an adventurers group dubbed the 7 Summits Africa team. The group has set out to achieve a World First by climbing 7 African mountain summits, back to back in 7 weeks.

The summits are Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Kenya, Mt Stanley & Mt Speke, Mt Meru, Mt Karisimbi and Mt Nyiragongo.

Speaking ahead of the excursion, the Cabinet Secretary said the exercise was in a bid to raise awareness of Kenya’s adventure tourism as well as profile Mount Kenya as a favourable tourist destination.

He acknowledged that the activity is not an easy task but expressed excitement over the adventure brought by the diversity of wildlife in the mountain.

“Mt. Kenya has the best scenic view with diverse animals. It is not an easy mountain to climb in terms of professional mountain climbing but it’s an interesting site and product to introduce to the market,” said Balala. “Mt Kenya is well known but still we have underutilised it in terms of opening it up to both local and international visitors. When I come back we will call a stakeholders meeting to be able to promote it better.”

7 Summits Africa Team Leader, Carel Verhoef said: “There are some really hard and tough mountains in Africa to climb and Mt Kenya is one of them. That is the message we want to send out to the world; That you can come to Africa, especially East Africa, and give yourself a proper challenge.”

President Uhuru Kenyatta wished Balala well as he embarks on the five-day adventure that is expected to end on Friday, November 17, 2017.

“Wishing Tourism CS Balala success as he starts his ascent of Mount Kenya today to raise awareness of Kenya’s Adventure Tourism offering; while profiling the region as a favourable tourist destination,” Kenyatta said via his Twitter handle.

Mount Kenya is Africa’s second highest mountain at 5,199m (17,058 feet), after Mt Kilimanjaro, and the highest of all Kenya Mountains.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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