January 22, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Today Nairobi was calm and all was operating as normal, apart from an incident this morning when a small crowd gathered in the city centre and attempted to hold a demonstration in support of the President. This was quickly dispersed by the police and all quickly returned to normal. There were no reports of any injuries and no tourists were reported to be in the vicinity of this demonstration. No problems were reported today in the Nairobi slums. The airports operated as normal and all roads were open as usual.
Mombasa and the coastal areas: all calm and quiet with business as usual in Mombasa town and all roads open as normal.
No problems were reported in any of the wildlife parks and reserves, with all tourist routes open for traffic as normal to all the leading parks and reserves including the Mara, Lake Nakuru, Aberdares, Laikipia, Samburu, Meru, Mt Kenya, Amboseli, Tsavo, Shimba Hills and the community wildlife conservancies.
Once again there were no reports of any problems affecting tourists staying in Nairobi hotels, beach resorts, on safari, or transferring between airports and hotels.
The scenes of violent demonstrations and confrontations with police which have been frequently screened on international TV networks during the last fortnight have been sporadic and isolated, confined to certain parts of Kenya and have not occurred across the whole country. They have largely taken place in some of Nairobi’s slums and areas of Western Kenya around Kisumu-Kericho-Eldoret which are not often visited by tourists. These areas are at present off-limits for tourists and have been avoided by tour operators since the onset of the post-election crisis. The tourist resorts and wildlife parks have been unaffected and tourists continue to visit these areas without a problem.
The arrival of Kofi Annan is expected today and it is hoped that he will be able to assist as a mediator between both sides in the current political impasse to achieve an early settlement.
The British Travel Advisory was amended on Saturday so that it is no longer a blanket “non-essential travel” warning against the whole of Kenya and applies only to specific locations, in line with our own recommendations, and on similar lines to the US and German government advisories.
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