Roy Chivers, 51, a former detective constable with the Metropolitan Police's Directorate of Intelligence, was knifed in the chest as he struggled against two robbers stealing his cameras.
The father-of-two from Orpington, Kent, was visiting Kenya for the first time. He was on a two- week holiday with his wife, Sandra, 50, at the exclusive Aberdare Country Club, 140 miles north of the capital Nairobi. He was attacked after refusing to hand over his video camera.
Guests at the luxury safari camp found Mr Chivers covered in blood being cradled by his wife. They were flown to Nairobi hospital where Mr Chivers suffered a cardiac arrest and died.
Mrs Chivers also suffered a cut to the hand as she struggled to protect her husband from the vicious attack on Sunday.
Scotland Yard said Mr Chivers joined the Metropolitan Police in May 1966 when he was 19. In August 1979, he moved to the Directorate of Intelligence as a surveillance officer where he continued until he had completed his 30 years' service.
A senior colleague at Scotland Yard, Detective Inspector Sheridan, said: "Roy Chivers' death came as a great shock to everybody ... He will be greatly missed."
At Mr and Mrs Chivers' home in Orpington a family friend, David Walters, was comforting their children Steven, 20, and Helen, aged 23.
Mr Walters said: "The family are totally and utterly, utterly devastated. That is all I can say at the moment."
Mr Walters, himself a constable in the Met, was close to tears as he remembered the friend he had known for almost two decades.
"He was just, you know, a lovely bloke. We used to have some laughs. He'd got a good sense of humour," he said.
"We have been on holiday with him. We have been friends since we moved here 19 years ago. The kids have grown up together."
Mr Walters said Helen Chivers was intending to fly to Nairobi accompanied by Mrs Chivers' father, Norman, last night, but Steven was unable to travel because there were problems with his passport.
"I don't know when they'll be coming back, the tickets are open-ended," he said.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Office in London is warning tourists to use their "common sense" when visiting Kenya.
A spokesman said: "We are appalled by this senseless murder. Our thoughts are with the family ... We would recommend that people take a common- sense approach when travelling to Kenya. Be aware when you are in possession of valuables.
"However, we don't wish to single out Kenya as a particularly troublesome spot - we don't want to panic people."
Kenya's Minister for Tourism and Wildlife, Henry Kosgey, said last night that he would do everything in his power to bring the criminals to justice.
A reward has been offered by the Kenya Association of Tour Operators for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of Mr Chivers' attackers.Reuse content