Alcohol Awareness on an African Safari

by: Mike Miller

As we all are aware here in the United States it can be difficult to interpret some of the laws. Just look at the amendments on each ballot. Often if you vote yes, you really are voting no. Sometimes a law will have consequences are far-reaching impacts that had never been considered.

Kenya is no Different

Recently the government in Kenya passed the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act. The country has been plagued by toxic brews that are homemade and have been lethal. This act was supposed to stop the spread of these backyard recipes and encourage healthy consumption of legal alcoholic beverages. It was aimed to protect Kenya’s poorest class of society.

Unintended Consequences

The new law has instead targeted the middle class and the consumption of safe and legal alcohol products. One unusual clause deal with the fact that now it criminalizes the presence with family of a child below 18 years at a dinner table in a restaurant where a glass of wine is served.

Under this law, as it stands now, children must be cleared from all places, rooms and entertainment joints where citizens, or even tourists who come to Kenya specifically to indulge themselves, are served with alcohol.

We may as well have banned all children below age 18 of age from our fabulous game lodges. But the most infamous clause, of course, is the severe limitation of the hours during which the sale of alcohol is permitted.

You cannot buy a bottle of wine legally from Nakumatt, or any other supermarket after 8.30pm. You cannot have a beer for lunch except, of course, in an exclusive private members’ club.

So, make sure you are aware of all the alcohol laws if you travel to Kenya for an African safari. Ignorance of the law may lead to unintended consequences!