Kenya Travel Alert

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May 15th, 2003, 09:04 AM
  #1
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Kenya Travel Alert

FYI -- this story in the London Times today:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...681281,00.html

British Airways is suspending flights to Kenya tonight (5/15) because of high-level terrorist risk.

Travel safe!
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May 15th, 2003, 09:46 AM
  #2
LizFrazier
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I just verified this with British Airways. The BA flights between now and the end of May are cancelled to Nairobi. Right now its just for 15 days for security reasons. The lady I talked to thought we shouldn't be affected in September, but I did assure with Governor's Camp before I booked our next trip that we would be allowed to rebook later or for next season without penalty if this got cancelled due to terrorist activity. I think I learned with our last planned trip to ride it out and not to jump to conclusions too quickly. Liz
 
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May 15th, 2003, 10:30 AM
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Just got word from a friend in Tanzania, that since the British planes will not be landing in Nairobi, that tourists are being diverted to Arusha or Dar Es Salaam, both in neighboring Tanzania. FYI.
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May 15th, 2003, 11:31 AM
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itleyen
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US State Dept. and British gov't. characterize the threat as imminent. Ground-to-air missiles ae considered possible. Observors say BA's action is extreme but warranted.

Did you notice that BA no longer permits its air crews to overnight in Saudi Arabia? Very recent change in response to terrorist actions and more threats there.

Liz, you're absolutely right - caution is necessary, but we want ot be careful not to cancel too quickly.
 
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May 15th, 2003, 12:48 PM
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Liz when in Sept are you going?
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May 15th, 2003, 06:17 PM
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It is not surprising at all re Saudi Arabia!
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May 15th, 2003, 07:16 PM
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Message: Our August trip doesn't look good
It does not look good for our party of 9 who were to fly from London to Nairobi/Kenya 17 Aug. 03 on British Airways on our 1st safari. I agree with other posters who say we are more likely to be killed in car accidents in our hometowns, but the current 'official' risk may be too much for this extended family group most of whom have children and including my own 13-year-old as part of the travel party. Today the travel agent called to say we might need to rearrange and he can get us to South Africa instead. I so had my heart set on Kenya, but from this message board, it sounds like there are good S. Africa itineraries, even though it may be farther and more expnsive from the states. Any ideas or suggestions?
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May 15th, 2003, 08:11 PM
  #8
LizFrazier
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Clematis-
Sept 3rd. Liz
 
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May 16th, 2003, 04:58 AM
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I really need some advice. My husband and I are now fully paid for a Kenya safari leaving Washington DC on August 17th. There have been travel adviseries in the past, but our opinion was that we felt that we would be safe. We are starting think that that's not the case anymore. Our flight takes us through Amsterdam, and one though is to bail out there and spend 8 days in Europe, but this trip has been a dream of our for years. Our trip is with 2Afrika, and I have not yet been in contact with them, but I assume that many people have the same concerns as I do, and they probably won;t make it easy to cancel or postpone. If anyone out there has a Kenya safari coming up soon, and would like to talk about it, please post a response or e-mail me at [email protected].

Thanks,
Marcy
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May 16th, 2003, 05:24 AM
  #10
LizFrazier
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Dodgersmom-
Buy travel insurance if you haven't already. The reason I say that is if there are terrorist attacks in the destination city or place to where you are going(I forget the exact wording), you can get your money back if you cancel. Since those of us going to East Africa have Nairobi as the destination we should be covered. I'm not sure I can go through this again emotionally because we had to cancel a dream safari to Southern Africa in February. The trip was for April/May and we lost money on that one because I cancelled when the final payment was due and lost the deposit. It was because of the threats of war in Iraq and we thought back then it would be much worse than it was here in the states. So I am right there with you. Its not so much just about the money, but I went through a real down period after that. I was so sad. Africa always affects me emotionally because you get an emotional connection once you have been there. So I am right there with you and I feel your pain.
I will tell you this- by booking with 2Afrika you have picked one of the best operators for a situation like this in my opinion. When the war broke out Ken sent emails to everyone on his email list about cancellations. I thought he went over the top to assure people he was right there with you and would try to go the extra mile for you if he could. I'm sure a call to him would help you right now.
I'm not meaning to put anyone else down here, its just that I emailed back and forth with him and I thought he really wanted to assure his customers that he would do what ever he could.
The other thing is most places give you up to a year to rebook the same trip. We have a little time right now and as time gets closer you might need to do that.
I hear that these warnings are due to a telephone tip that the officials are trying to confirm. It isn't only Kenya but a number of places on this warning. Lets hang in there another month anyway and see. Okay? Liz
 
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May 16th, 2003, 05:34 AM
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My thoughts are with those of you that have special trips planned - this is a worrying development indeed.

But don't forget that travel advisories do change over quite short periods and that it's still a while till August/ September.

That said, I do think insurance is a good idea (but you need to check what it will and wont cover regarding terrorism cancellations) and it's also worth checking with agents etc about what will happen if you leave arrangements as they are a little longer before deciding.

Good luck to all of you!

PS Liz, Sept 3 is my wedding anniversary!
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May 16th, 2003, 07:51 AM
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I just got this message on e-mail early this morning from a friend in Kenya, and thought i should share it here:

STATEMENT FROM THE KENYA TOURISM FEDERATION For overseas tour operators and
travel agents: The Kenya Tourism Federation ( KTF ) represents all private
sector stakeholders in the tourism industry in Kenya comprising hoteliers,
travel agents, safari operators, Coast tourism, air operators and
Ecotourism. We recognise that there is today an increased threat from
terrorism affecting many countries across the world and that this has had an
adverse effect on global tourism. People are now more aware of the increased
risks of indiscriminate terrorist attacks in public places anywhere in the
world, both at home and abroad. KTF wishes to reassure our tourist visitors
that we have confidence that the new government in Kenya has fully
recognised this increased global terrorist threat and we are aware that
action has been taken to deal with it by our new National Security Minister,
Chris Murungaru, who has taken steps to see that the necessary machinery has
been put in place to combat terrorism. The Kenya government has confirmed
that Kenya's security forces continue on high alert and that security agents
have recently stepped up the level of vigilance country-wide with a greater
security presence around vital installations, airports, tourist resorts,
urban centres and foreign embassies. We have been pleased to note the
actions taken by the newly appointed Commissioner of Police, Edwin Nyaseda,
in co-ordinating action to improve our level of security and we are aware
that the recently established Anti-Terrorist Police Unit has been working
closely with leading international security agencies to protect both tourist
visitors and the Kenyan people from any possible act of terrorism. Within
our own industry, our members have all been asked to give increased
attention to security issues and to give a high priority to implementing
action to ensure the safety of our visitors. We would like to assure our
visitors that they can expect to receive a friendly welcome from all Kenyans
involved in our tourism industry and that Kenya continues to offer a first
class holiday experience for overseas tourists. Jake Grieves-Cook Chairman,
Kenya Tourism Federation

---
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May 16th, 2003, 08:58 AM
  #13
LizFrazier
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Thanks Soniya for the post. Don't know how that will affect cancellations, but I just emailed both Governors Camp and AirKenya to go over this situation. I also am arranging to skip the night in Nairobi we arrive, and go straight away to the Mara, where I would feel safer. I'm sure they will be ready for everyones inquiries if their government has alerted them. Liz
 
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May 16th, 2003, 09:26 AM
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Liz, i agree. It's always best to skip the big cities and head straight for the game reserves. I am also happy to hear that you will be flying to Mara instead of driving. The road conditions in Kenya are really bad, and are the major cause of accidents. Huge trucks also overspeed on the highways and the dust, the bumpy ride trying to dodge potholes all leave you exhausted by the time you arrive at the lodge. Due to the body aches and exhaustion after the 6 to 7 hour ride [if going from Nairobi to Western Mara] it's not unusual to miss a day while on safari just 'recovering'. Anyway, i don't think you need to worry much about Gov's Camp, they are all very professional folks working down there and i'm sure they will respond to you soon enough. The owners of Governors are the Grammaticas family, if you don't get a reply soon feel free to get in touch with me and i'll send you a direct contact.

Thanks for hanging in there and not just cancelling the trip right away, and for giving Kenya a chance to sort out this problem. I really do hope that you're able to take this safari to Kenya, you're in for a life-changing experience!
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May 16th, 2003, 10:11 AM
  #15
LizFrazier
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Just looking for yellow fever requirements (Yes, we both need to update our yellow fever shots), I came across this: http://travel.state.gov/eafrica_announce.html
You will want to read it if you are traveling to East Africa. It says the warning is on until 12 Sept 2003. Ugh! I'll still wait another month to see how it goes.
Soniyeh- I have been to East Africa four times previously. You are soooo right. First trip was a life altering experience. This next trip is just to the Mara and Governor's Camp for the migration of the Wildebeests. I booked direct with Governors Camp so I am sure I will get a hasty reply. Since its Friday, it will more than likely be Monday morning. Thanks for your help and info. Liz
 
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May 16th, 2003, 01:24 PM
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Liz: As Soniya put it, hang in there. You will be going to the Mara, of that I have the utmost confidence. I agree with those who have previously posted to not cancel things right away. You are doing the right thing to think of other options, such as not spending the night in Nairobi. I am sure that for all this concern, your trip to the Mara will be the most spectacular that anyone has ever had and you will see things that only a few documentary filmmakers have ever seen. I am keeping my fingers crossed that all works out well for you.
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May 16th, 2003, 02:02 PM
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Liz, I posted that link to the recent US gov warning in another post. That's why I asked you when you were going, I was hoping it was going to be post 11/12 just to give you some comfort.

I do feel it's a long ways off and knowing what you went through having to cancel before, I would dearly hope things are sorted out before then. Again, friends who went last year (and Kenya's been having problems for a while now) said they felt safe and had a honeymoon they'll cherish forever. Terrorists are aware that everyone is on high alert and hopefully the intelligence has foiled any attempts.
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