Foreign Office tightens Kenya travel guidance

British tourists queue at the check-in at Mombasa airport (16 May 2014) Image copyright AFP
Image caption Hundreds of British tourists were evacuated from Mombasa amid warnings of an attack in May last year

The Foreign Office has added to the list of areas it advises Britons against travelling to in Kenya.

Britons have been told to avoid "all but essential travel" to within 15km of the coast from the Tana River to Tiwi.

This includes Mombasa's airport, Mombasa Island, Malindi, Kilifi and Watamu but not the Diani beach resort.

The Foreign Office said there was a "high threat" from terrorism, including kidnapping, and other violent crimes, such as robberies and carjacking.

Those without an "essential reason" to be in these areas should leave, it said.

This means the areas the Foreign Office advises against travelling to extends from the coast of Tiwi, just south of Mombasa, all the way up to the border with Somalia.

A Foreign Office spokesman said the security position in the country was "under constant review".

'Shared threat'

The main threat comes from extremists linked to Al Shabaab, a militant group that has carried out attacks in Kenya in response to Kenya's military intervention in Somalia, the Foreign Office said.

It said there were frequent incidents of violent crime, including mugging, armed robbery and carjacking, particularly in the large cities.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "Terrorism represents a shared threat and requires a shared response.

"The UK provides an extensive and ongoing programme of counter-terrorism assistance to the Kenyan government, and is working closely with the Kenyan security agencies to counter this shared threat through assistance on investigating, prosecuting and detaining terrorists in line with international human rights standards."

Full travel advice to Kenya and a map can be found on the Foreign Office's website.

Travel advice for other parts of the country, beyond the coast, has not changed.

The vast majority of Kenya falls outside the Foreign Office's advice against all but essential travel.

This includes Kenya's safari destinations in the national parks, reserves and wildlife conservancies; including the Aberdare National Park, Amboseli, Laikipia, Lake Nakuru, Masai Mara, Meru, Mount Kenya, Samburu, Shimba Hills and Tsavo.

The Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel to:

  • Areas within 60km of the Kenya-Somali border
  • Garissa County
  • The Eastleigh area of Nairobi
  • Lamu County and those areas of Tana River County north of the Tana river itself
  • Within 15km of the coast from the Tana River down to and including Tiwi (this area includes Mombasa Island, Moi International Airport, Malindi, Kilifi and Watamu)

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