Foreign Office relaxes Lamu warning

by Alister POOLE on May 4, 2012

The popular Kenyan resort of Lamu has now been declared relatively safe for UK holidaymakers to visit. 

The Foreign Office amended its advice for Kenya earlier on in the week and is now warning against anything but essential travel to the coastal areas that are within 60 kilometres of the border the country shares with Somalia. This represents a significant relaxation of the previous advisory that had suggested all coastal areas under 150 kilometres of Somalia must be completly avoided.

The move means that the resort of Lamu is now once again open to everyday travellers. Fuzz Dyer, the owner of the Manda Bay resort close to Lamu Island, understandably welcomed the newsand said that the Kenyan economy  has been hit hard by the Foreign Office’s previous warning.

Indeed Dyer was correct, as visitor numbers to his homeland have fallen by almost two thirds since 2011. He added that security measures now in place and are supported by the whole of Lamu’s population – regardless of whether they are local fisherman, hoteliers or police officers.

The original warning was put in place by the Foreign Office after several attacks in Lamu last year. In October, an armed gang kidnapped a disable woman. Before this, a British citizen, Mr David Tebbutt, was shot dead in Kiwayu, just 30 miles to the north of Lamu. His wife, Judith, was only released in March of this year after being abducted and held hostage.

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