Now US issues travel advisory to Kenya


The US State Department has issued a new travel advisory to Kenya noting that at least 125 lives have been lost in the past 18 months due to terrorism related activities.

The report dated July 5 is the latest in a series of US warnings, the first of which was issued in May 2003.

In addition to highlighting the threat of terrorism, the State Department is warning that “violent and sometimes fatal criminal attacks, including armed carjacking, grenade attacks, home invasions and burglaries, and kidnappings can occur at any time and in any location, particularly in Nairobi.”

The Kenyan capital city, Nairobi has also been hit by 12 deliberate explosions in the past 18 months, the travel warning adds. It says these incidents illustrate “an advance in the sophistication of attacks.”

US government personnel and their dependents are prohibited from traveling to North Eastern Province, the site of more than two dozen terror attacks, the warning notes. Similar travel restrictions are in force for the coastal area north of Pate Island.

Travellers unaffiliated with the US government are not subject to these prohibitions, the State Department notes, but it advises US citizens to take them into account when planning travel.

The updated warning points out that there are “no restrictions on travel to Kenya’s most popular tourist destinations such as Maasai Mara, Amboseli, Lake Nakuru, Tsavo, Lamu Island, Hell’s Gate, Samburu, Mount Kenya, Malindi, and Nairobi.”

Growing numbers of Americans visit Kenya despite the State Department’s decade’s worth of warnings about travel to the country. Read (Americans favour Kenya among African nations)

Kenya is reported to have attracted a total of 123,905 American tourists in 2012 or 3.6 per cent more than in the previous year.

The growth in US tourism contrasts with a 2.3 per cent drop in the overall number of visitors to Kenya in 2012.

The UK still ranks as the country’s leading source of tourists, with 185,976 British nationals having travelled to Kenya last year. But that total represents an 8.5 per cent decrease from 2011.

The number of visitors from Germany and Italy also fell last

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