General News - October 2011
October news letter - 31 October 2011
Lamu Cultural Festival 25 - 27 November 2011 - 26 October 2011
The annual festival recognises the Lamu Archipelago's unique Swahili heritage with tradtional dances, Swahili poetry, donkey races, dhow races, henna designs, Swahili bridal ceremonies and musical performances.
Kenya updates - 4 October 2011
Travel to Africa is generally free from incident.
Holidays and safaris do not have to take place in high risk areas and place tourists at unnecessary risk of attack.
Travelling with an experienced tour operator who has strong contacts on the ground and the ability to manage any eventuality is more important than ever before.
A few common questions:
Where did the latest incident happen?
The hijacking of a French woman on 1 October 2011 was at a privately rented beach front property on Manda Island, in the Lamu area on the north east coast of Kenya.
On the 11th September one British citizen was kidnapped and one murdered at Kiwayu beach resort at the northern tip of the Kenyan coast 50kms from the Somali border.
Both attacks were on beachfront properties.
On 23 October 2009, two British nationals were taken hostage while sailing in the Indian Ocean. They were approximately 60 nautical miles from the Seychelles' main island of Mahé.
What is the current advice?
FCO exclusion only applies to a certain area as follows:
We advise against all but essential travel to coastal areas within 150km of the Somali border, following two attacks by armed gangs in small boats against beach resorts in the Lamu area on 11 September and 1 October 2011.
This advice will be kept under review.
Does this advice apply to the whole of Kenya?
No. The area affected is the northern section of Kenya coast within 150km of the Somali border.
Does this affect travel to the Seychelles?
Land based tourism in the Seychelles is currently unaffected by piracy activity. Likewise other African coastal areas, including Mozambique, remain unaffected.
Is the problem simply Kenyan?
No, the threat of piracy from Somalia is increasingly having wider international implications, not just to tourism. 90% of world trade is carried by sea with about 75,000 merchant ships around the world.
Piracy off the coast of Somalia has been a threat to international shipping for a number of years. Many international organisations, including the International Maritime Organization and the World Food Programme, have expressed concern over the rise in acts of piracy, which have impeded the delivery of shipments and increased shipping expenses, costing an estimated £10 billion a year in global trade.
What is the world doing about piracy?
There are international patrols off the Somali coast but it’s such a huge area that it’s almost impossible to police. If and when pirates are caught they are then subject to International Law.
Land based action in war-torn Somalia is unlikely as the country has a barely functioning government, therefore a United Nations resolution would be required. A stable Somalia is arguably the real solution.
Can I alter my travel plans if I’m booked to travel to Kenya with you?
• Any clients booked to travel to affected areas (i.e. within the coastal boundaries specified by the FCO advisory): We will amend your booking to include a similar coastal option elsewhere.
• Any clients booked to travel to areas NOT affected: Our standard terms and conditions apply.
Any clients concerned about their itinerary and wishing to postpone or amend their booking should check our standard terms and conditions. Standard terms apply to any cancellations.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely.