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Security as at 29/30 Oct

London, United...
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Security as at 29/30 Oct

Having just breezed through on business, I thought I’d give a personal perspective on things before I go to bed!

Jomo - During the arrival phase, there did seem to be more security staff around, particularly outside the Airport buildings. On returning to for departure, our vehicle was actually stopped and searched; the first time this has happened in many years of visiting; it would seem a ‘white face’ is no longer a sufficient to get you quickly through a barrier; which impressed me.

NBO - Security within the centre is much more visible than ‘normal’, plenty of armed Police patrolling and they do seem to be keen. Once outside the centre, things obviously appear more relaxed, though not in anyway that would make you worry. They are after all concentrating their efforts on the most likely targets.

Hotels - Whilst I did not stay in ‘a tourist hotel or area for that matter’, I obviously passed a few, all seemed to acting in calm and efficient manner concerning their security. I did pop for drinks in the Jacaranda and whilst this has always struck me as more secure than many, in my opinion, again they seemed keen to get things right.

Tourist Opinions - Of the tourists I spoke to, whilst all aware of the latest goings on and many admitted to be very apprehensive before arrival, they seemed to believe it no more dangerous than visiting London or New York. They were also impressed by the way everyone was dealing with the situation, from the staff at the airport to their hotel Askari and all were greatly looking forward to their safari.

Ex-Pat Opinions – No great change, though bear in mind most I had dealing with are former military, police and Government employees, so probably more used to living with any sort of threat. They were worried about the long term impact of on tourism obviously, particularly as many believe, as I do, that Al Shabaab will attempt something a little bigger in months to come, but no time soon; all were impressed (shocked) by the efficient actions of the security services in the swift capture of the last batch of miscreants and the clampdown on areas possibly harbouring the next batch.

Summary - All in all, there is no panic on the streets, no tension, no huddles of worried tourists locking themselves in their rooms out of fear. Life seems to be going on, as normal, with just a heightened sense of awareness and greater visible physical protection. I would have had no qualms about staying longer, chance would have been a fine thing, and never really felt ‘threatened’; moreover, given that I will be visiting again in early December, have no worries whatsoever as to the safety of loved ones or myself at the moment.

GJ

Nairobi, Kenya
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for Nairobi, Kenya
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1. Re: Security as at 29/30 Oct

GJ - judging by your post, you could be passed off as somone working for the "MI5 Secret Intelligence Service" !

Nairobi, Kenya
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2. Re: Security as at 29/30 Oct

GJ - thanks for this, a great post and, hopefully, reassuring to anyone travelling or intending to travel to Kenya in the foreseeable future.

Dingwall, United...
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3. Re: Security as at 29/30 Oct

GJ

Good post which I hope will go some way to overcming someof the media hype there has been in the UK.

Thanks

Telford, Shropshire
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4. Re: Security as at 29/30 Oct

Great post from another one of our "men on the ground", thanks.

London, United...
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5. Re: Security as at 29/30 Oct

Stef,

I'm retired...........that spying malarky sound far too much like work to me!

Besides; Kenya is the domain of 6, not 5!

GJ

All - Thanks.....................But why is it no matter how tired you are, you can never get to bl**dy sleep when you get back! Perhaps I need a pint?!

Edited: 31 October 2011, 11:16
Grantham, United...
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6. Re: Security as at 29/30 Oct

Great info...ta very much! Only 5 days to go Xxx

Isle of Wight
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7. Re: Security as at 29/30 Oct

Currently in N Mombasa area and have been a few times before but staying for longer now. I would concur with what has been said above. Been into a couple of the well known hotels on the Malindi Rd and the security is slightly tighter but not over the top. Nakumatt is, as in previous posts, increased its security at all entrances to the mall and shop.....although I did hear some people complaining at having their bags searched and a metal detector wand being waved at them.

Been out in the bars in Mombasa and Mtwapa and no real change in these.

Having spoken to some staff in Whitesands they are 95% full which is very good. All pretty much 'normal' out here as far as I can see.....

Kevin

kenya
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8. Re: Security as at 29/30 Oct

what a wonderful post,Kenya still remains safe destination for holiday makers,security is 100% tight and,all are welcome.

Mtwapa, Kenya
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9. Re: Security as at 29/30 Oct

Cheetah,

Nowhere in the world is 100% secure in these days of suicide bombers, etc not even developed countries such as the UK and Spain who have had decades of experience of dealing with terrorism. Kenya is trying but it and its people do not have the experience. For example they are stopping and searching all the cars entering the Nova shopping mall (Nakumatt Nyali) as they are at Whitesands Hotel on Bamburi Beach but they never stop me on my motorbike and search my backpack and they don't stop pedestrians.

Having said that life here at the coast is pretty much as GJ describes in Nairobi. Life goes on as normal, there is an awareness of the threat but no sense of fear or panic. There is increased security. There are more frequent police checks on the Mombasa - Malindi Highway, there are more police around or at least visible than normal, there are lots more private security personnel around. Hotels have increased their security,

As with GJ I have talked to quite a few holiday makers some of whom were nervous before coming and for an hour or so after arriving the rum from Mombasa Airport into Mombasa then out through Bombolulu to the North Coast does little for their nerves being such a culture shock, But almost as soon as they have checked into the hotel they quickly relax and start enjoying their holiday.

NYC
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10. Re: Security as at 29/30 Oct

Thanks to all for your "insight". We are 7 days and counting.....

It has been very quiet these past few days and we are encouraged by all the great TA posts..... we are ready to go!!!!