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Bayern coach Pep Guardiola in Kenya for Safari and will celebrate New Year in the country

GOSSIP & RUMOURS By GEORGE ORIDO | December 29th 2015
Pep Guardiola in Kenya Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola with Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho when the Spaniard arrived in the country yesterday with family on a private Safari. PHOTO COURTESY

One of the most celebrated and respected European football managers Pep Guardiola has arrived in Kenya for a private family Safari.

The Bayern Munich coach arrived at JKIA yesterday in the company of his wife Cristina Serra, and children Maria Guardiola, Marius Guardiola and Valentina Guardiola.

On landing the decorated coach took selfies with his Kenyan fans including Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho.

“He is really happy to be here with his family,” Hon Joho said after he landed from Dubai aboard an Emirates plane together with Guardiola.

“Pep said he will be here till the New Year but wants a low profile to just have a rest with family,” Joho said.

The Mombasa governor said he welcomed the highly-rated coach to Kenya and has invited him to also sample the white sandy beaches of Mombasa. Guardiola’s visit returns a trend of international celebrities choosing Kenya as their prime trusted destination in the past.

The outgoing Bayern Munich manager went straight to Masai Mara on landing at JKIA aboard the Emirates flight from Dubai.

The last week has seen a surge in tourist numbers in Kenya on what industry pundits believe is the lifting of travel advisories by French, American and British governments.

The advisories had adversely affected tourist landings almost bringing the crucial industry on its knees.

MS Insignia, operated by Oceania Cruises arrived in Mombasa from Seychelles carrying 668 passengers and additional 400 crew members.

A week earlier MS Nautica arrived in Mombasa with 1,070 tourists and crew bringing a year total of 2,500 compared to 900 last year.

Two years ago after holidaying in Malindi former Italian Formula One tycoon, Flavio Briatore invested a whooping Sh500 million to put up a luxury resort there.

Sources close to Hon Joho said the 44-year-old tactician promised to come back to the country and help with the development of youth football in future.

“I think the gap that there is in your country is the lack of football academies to tap young talent at an early stage,” he is said to have remarked citing Southampton’s Wanyama and former Serie A and FC Inter Milan star MacDonald Mariga as examples of rich football talent in the country.

Mariga became the first ever Kenyan to win the Uefa Champions League in 2010 when he played under controversial Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho.

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