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If you are planning a trip to Kenya in 2007, make sure you keep in mind several special events that will add extra value to your safari- whether you are a music fan, a sports lover- or you are just looking for a very different wildlife experience. We have something for everyone, so make your New Years Resolution a trip to magical Kenya.

Music lovers have a special treat in store in February-March and August 2007, as the annual Kijani Festival gets off to a great start with a host of local and visiting talent performing at several special events.

Kijani is a charitable trust supporting HIV AIDS and Conservation work in Kenya, and each year they gather a diverse range of performers to stage unique musical events. Their 2007 programme promises to be the best yet.

Highlights include a performance of Gershwins’ classic Porgy and Bess by the Capetown Opera, held both in Nairobi (at the Arboretum on the 25th February) and in the bush beneath the imposing cliffs of Hell’s Gate National Park, Naivasha on 24th February.

Don’t miss the special concert by the London Adventist Chorale held to mark the 50th Birthday of AMREF, Africa’s leading medical rescue, research and training charity, held at the Langata Pentecostal Church on the 4th March. AMREF provide special medical cover to travellers to Kenya. Click here for details.

In August, there will be a Ballet Spectacular at Mombasa’s Historic Fort Jesus, starring Mara Galeazzi from the Royal Ballet. The show will feature selections from Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and many more ballet classics.

For details of these and other performances, visit the Kijani Trust . The event is sponsored by Safaricom Kenya’s leading mobile network.

Other special visitors to Kenya in early 2007 will be arriving along our coastline- as the Whale Shark season begins in February. For scuba divers, there are almost guaranteed sightings of these rare and majestic undersea giants from February to March- particularly at dive sites near Diani on the South Coast and Malindi/Watamu in the North.

An easy surface drift dive will give divers a close encounter with the world’s largest shark, their skins glittering in the tropical sun, which has given them the local name of ‘Papa Shillingi’- the Shark covered in silver coins. The sharks can be as long as 18 metres and weigh as much as 20 tonnes- yet they feed only on plankton and are completely harmless.

In 2007 a special team of researchers will be working with the Kenya based East African Whale Shark Trust to tag the visiting migrant sharks, in an effort to better understand and conserve these remarkable creatures.

For more details on this work and how to organize a Whale Shark dive, please visit the East African Whale Shark Trust

To encounter some of our better known wild visitors, don’t forget that our Annual Wildebeeste Migration has just been named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World by a panel of travel experts.

Plan now to take full advantage of the 2007 Migration by booking a safari to the Maasai Mara between August and October. The herds are drawn away from the plains of the Serengeti in late July by the promise of rain and fresh green grass in the Mara, and begin moving Northwards into Kenya.

The following months are an unending spectacle of life and death drama as 1.3 Million wildebeest and zebra forge across surging rivers alive with crocodiles and encounter prides of hunting lions as they enter Kenya on the sweeping plains of the Maasai Mara.

Book your front row seat for the Seventh Wonder of the World. Heritage Hotels have a Migration update service that tracks and reports on the movement of the herds- see some samples here.

If you’d prefer a front row seat at a World Class sports event- then you’ll want to be in Mombasa for the 35th IAAF World Cross Country Championships, starting March 24th 2007.

Kenya was selected as host Nation for this prestigious event in recognition of our undoubted role as the world’s leading Cross Country Nation. Over the past 20 years, 54% of all World Cross Country gold medals have been won by Kenyans.

Now, Cross Country has come home as the world’s best gather in Mombasa to compete. According to running legend Paul Tergat “On five occasions I've been lucky enough to win a World Championship Cross Country race. Holding the 2007 event here in Kenya will show lots of kids what its all about and encourage them to try for themselves. Somewhere out there are the 2015 champions. We need him and her to be Kenyan”.

For full details click here

So whether it is sport, wildlife or music- there are plenty of reasons to come and see us in 2007- and there will be plenty more, so stay tuned to Magical Kenya.

On behalf of the Kenya Tourist Board, we wish all of our readers the best for the holidays, and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year!
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