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Kenya’s anti-piracy rapid response team swings into action


…others say that this is really Team Kenya’s challenge for the America’s Cup

Anti-piracy? These guys are just having fun off Lamu Island

Joking aside on Tuesday July 30th 2013, Kenya sentenced 9 Somali pirates in Mombasa

Nine Somali’s were jailed for 5 years each in Mombasa. The men were arrested by international anti-piracy forces for attempting to hijack the German merchant vessel MV Courier in the Gulf of Aden in March 2009. Another 9 men were similarly sentenced last month for hijacking a ship in the Gulf of Aden in 2010.

The pickings are not so easy for pirates these days.

There has been a marked reduction in piracy attacks on ships since 2011. There is a strong presence of international warships in the Gulf of Aden and on the Kenya coast and around the Seychelles. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has worked hard to ensure Kenya and the Seychelles in particular, are given real assistance with containing piracy in these areas. Mauritius is a key player in the campaign against piracy in the Indian Ocean.

All of these anti-piracy efforts have helped to reduce the risk of running into Somali pirates along East Africa’s coastline.

The Indian Ocean offers some great opportunities for fishing, diving, boating and simply enjoying the beach after a safari. Gentle seas encourage a great variety of tropical fish and these are easily seen by simply snorkeling. There are excellent dive spots all along the coast line. The Kenyan Coast neighbours one of Africa’s great wilderness areas – Tsavo National Park. Many a great holiday is enjoyed by combining safari and beach.

The British Foreign Office has updated its travel advice and most of the region now carries a general warning, downgraded from a specific warning not to travel to these regions.

Kenya Travel Advice Map guideline

The Swahili culture which is prevalent in these areas, creates an atmosphere completely different to the rest of Africa. Heavily influenced by interaction between Arab traders and the Bantu, the result is an eclectic mixture of beliefs, food and dress. Zanzibar, Pemba and Lamu Islands are all great places to experience these cultural differences.

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