News networks around the globe have been eagerly reporting the story of David and Judith Tebutt, who were brutally attacked at the weekend in Kenya. The pair were staying at the Kiwayu Safari Village, around 45km from the Somali border, when bandits broke into their hut. Mr Tebutt was shot dead, while his wife was kidnapped and believed to be taken over the Somali border.
The Kiwayu resort have taken down their website in light of “tragic recent events”, but it’s likely that the attacks are going to have an effect on the wider Kenyan tourist industry, too.
The Kenyan Ministry of Tourism were quick to release a statement to calm any nervous visitors: “We wish to reassure tourists in the coastal border towns and indeed all over the country of the high level of security for our tourists… The Government of Kenya expresses its deepest sympathy to the family of the bereaved and their loved ones and we strongly condemn this senseless act of violence on innocent visitors to our country…”
The luxury Kiwayu estate has been frequented in the past by famous names such as Mick Jagger and Imelda Staunton, and several British tour operators currently arrange trips to the resort.
The travel association ABTA state that as long as tourists take care, they can have a safe and enjoyable visit in Kenya: “Kenya is generally a safe and hospitable country which attracts thousands of British holidaymakers. The main safari areas and resorts along the Indian Ocean, which the vast majority of British holidaymakers visit, are safe and keen to welcome customers.”
Nearly 175,000 Britons visit Kenya every year. Most visits are trouble free, as the British consulate had to offer help to only 81 visitors last year.
However, in light of recent attacks, visitor numbers may shrink until tourists gain confidence in Kenyan security again. If you are thinking of heading to Kenya, check out the FCO’s travel advice before you go.
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