Kenya Tourist Security & Helpline

Your Safety and Security in Kenya:

We wish to ensure that you enjoy your stay in Kenya without any undue concerns about safety and security.
 
The tourism industry in Kenya takes visitor safety very seriously and considers all aspects of the tourist's stay in Kenya. For this reason, the industry created a Safety and Communication Centre under the auspices of the Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF), which is operated 24hrs a day to monitor visitor safety and to liaise closely with the security agencies in Kenya. The Kenya Tourism Federation represents the leading tourism trade associations comprising the Kenya Associations of: Tour Operators (KATO), Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC), Travel Agents (KATA), Budget hotels (KBHA), Air Operators (KAAO), Ecotourism Society of Kenya (EK), as well as Mombasa and Coast Tourism Association (MCTA).
 
The Kenya Tourism Federation Safety and Communication Centre is manned by well-trained staff who are at hand to attend to any issues of concern to tourists. These include security, health, road conditions, travel advisories etc. Gamewatchers safaris is a member of the Safety and Communication Centre and is regularly updated on issues that are of importance for the security of our customers.
 

Global Terrorist Threats: 

Kenya, like many countries in the free world has had several incidents of small-scale terrorist attacks in recent times. These incidents over the last two years have been mainly at remote towns in the north-eastern province and also in some of the populous low-income housing areas of Mombasa and Nairobi in places such as bars or eating-houses, on public buses heading out of Nairobi from one of the big bus terminals, in churches and in crowded markets. They have all involved small home-made devices aimed at ordinary Kenyans, apart from eight months ago when there was an attack by a number of terrorists at the up-market Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi which received wide international media coverage. More recently on 15th June there was an armed attack on the remote small coastal town of Mpeketoni where the police station, government offices, and lodging houses were attacked indiscriminately and many Kenyan civilians were killed or injured by terrorists. Mpeketoni has no tourist hotels and is not a place normally visited by tourists being some 45 kms by road from Mokowe the jetty on the mainland opposite Lamu island. All our guests going to Lamu fly in to the airport from Nairobi and do not travel there by road.
 
The current advice is to avoid all non-essential travel to the following:
• areas within 60km of the Kenya-Somali border
• Kiwayu and coastal areas north of Pate Island
• Garissa District
• in Nairobi: the Eastleigh area and other low income areas around the city including all township or slum areas
• at the coast: Mombasa island and within 5km of the coast from Mtwapa creek in the north down to and including Tiwi in the south (this does not include Moi International Airport, Mombasa).
 
There are no restrictions on travel to Kenya's most popular tourist destinations such as Masai Mara, Amboseli, Lake Nakuru, Tsavo, Samburu, Mount Kenya, Laikipia and Mount Kenya, for safaris, or Lamu Island and Malindi at the coast.  
 
As we live in Kenya and go about our normal daily lives in Nairobi we are well placed to ensure the safety of all our customers. We have been operating here for over twenty-five years and have looked after thousands of visitors every year whose safety is our absolute priority. We have taken steps to see that our customers are not at risk and these actions include the following: 
  1. We keep abreast of the security situation on a 24 hour basis and monitor the advice of the foreign embassies based in Kenya to ensure we comply with their Travel Advisories including the latest advice from the British FCO.  The current advice is to avoid travel within 60 kms of  Somalia and, apart from Lamu which is currently considered safe to visit, we do not go within 200kms of the border with Somalia. 
  2. We meet our guests on arrival at the international airport and transfer them to Nairobi hotels which are in safe locations. We recommend that guests do not wander off on their own trips in Nairobi or go into the back streets on foot but allow us to transport them so that they do not inadvertently head into an area which we would not consider to be entirely safe. Just as in parts of Europe or North America, where there may be areas of a city that are not considered ideal for visitors, we know which places to avoid in Nairobi. So we take care of our guests from the time of arrival until their final departure. 
  3. Through our industry associations and the Kenya Tourism Federation which represents the private sector, we have participated in meetings with senior government officials from the Office of the President and the Security Services to discuss ways of minimising risks for visitors and methods of counteracting the threat of terrorism.
Kenyans are well known for being very friendly and welcoming and our visitors often remark to us that they felt extremely safe and well looked after while they were here.  For the reassurance of clients who may be anxious about staying in Nairobi we use hotels in safe locations, well away from the areas which have been recommended to be avoided. We also recommend our own Nairobi Tented Camp which is located inside the Nairobi National Park and protected by the Kenya Wildlife Service. On safari, the Porini Camps and all the other safari camps and lodges which we use in Kenya are in areas considered safe for tourist visitors and have never been the targets of any terrorist acts.
 
All tourism facilities and services in Kenya in the areas where we operate are functioning as usual without any disruption to our clients' itineraries and with all the international airlines operating into Kenya it is business as usual throughout the country. We continue to receive excellent feedback from all our customers about their experience in Kenya and have no hesitation in encouraging visitors to continue visiting this beautiful country with its wonderful landscapes, magnificent wildlife, tropical beaches and friendly hospitable people.
 
We look forward to welcoming visitors to Kenya in the months ahead and taking care of all our guests while they are here.
 
Concerned about the security of your booking and your own safety while on safari?
We fully appreciate your concerns when it comes to booking a safari in Africa and you can rest assured that your financial security when booking and your own personal safety when on safari is our highest priority. Gamewatchers Safaris is a member of the Kenya Association of Tour Operators bonding scheme, backed by a leading insurance company, to ensure your payments are fully protected if a bonded KATO member ceases trading.
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