UK softens anti travel advisories against Kenya


(Posted 16th August 2019)


The Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the British government has finally lifted their negative travel advisory against key upcountry areas in Kenya but retained their anti travel advice against sections of the coast, reaching from the Somali border to near Malindi – with the notable exception of Lamu town and Manda island.
Meru, Nanyuki, Naivasha and Narok, all springboard to or home of some of Kenya’s major tourism attractions, are now no longer part of those sections of Kenya where ‘particular vigilance‘ against the potential of terror attacks is mentioned.


Kenya’s tourism trade had for long lobbied the UK authorities to be more realistic in their advisories and not slap blanket bans on wide sections of the country which have not experienced problems of this kind.

The latest edition of the FCO advisory on Kenya further reads:

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to:

  • areas within 60km of the Kenya-Somali border
  • Garissa County
  • Lamu County (excluding Lamu Island and Manda Island)
  • areas of Tana River County north of the Tana river itself
  • within 15km of the coast from the Tana river down to the Galana (Athi-Galana-Sabaki) river

The areas to which the FCO advise against all but essential travel (marked in amber on the map above) don’t include 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), nor does it include the beach resorts of Mombasa, Malindi, Kilifi, Watamu, Diani, Lamu Island and Manda Island, or Mombasa (Moi International), Malindi and Manda airports. If you travel to Lamu Island or Manda Island, you should do so by air to Manda airport and not by road.

However, there’s a heightened threat of terrorism, including terrorist kidnappings, across Kenya, including to people travelling in or through Nairobi, the coast and resort areas around Mombasa and Malindi and their surrounding areas, and the northern border counties. Attacks, including terrorist kidnappings, could target Westerners, including British nationals. Attacks could be indiscriminate in places frequented by foreigners including hotels, bars, restaurants, sports bars and nightclubs, sporting events, supermarkets, shopping centres, commercial buildings, coastal areas including beaches, government buildings, airports, buses, trains and other transport hubs. Places of worship including churches and mosques have also been targeted. Be particularly vigilant in these areas.