Thursday, February 08, 2007

Living and Surviving in Nairobi

I’m not saying that the media overreact or blow things out of proportion… But come on! I’ve seen less reactive stories about war zones than the Reuters article below.

That said…

Please, guys, come visit us! Nairobi maybe isn’t as safe as, say, Toronto (few places are), but is a perfectly great town if you take reasonable precautions. You do need to be careful: windows up while driving, doors locked at all times, keen awareness of your surroundings, don’t stop on the side of the road, don’t carry huge amounts of money or jewelry on your person…

Oh and don’t arrive at the Hubby/Typ0 household without one or more of the following: minimum two weeks notice, (numerous boxes of) Kraft Mac & Cheese, books/DVDs preordered by yours truly, wine... You know: rent!

Seriously though, Kenya isn’t a walk in the park (Well, Central Park in the 80’s maybe…), but it is reasonably safe if you take the appropriate precautions that you would in any big city. Despite the fact that we may now be on the United States’ “think carefully before visiting” list, I urge you to add Kenya to your future travel plans and not just because I have some books I need to order from Amazon. This is a beautiful country and there are lots of things to do and see.

Give Kenya a whirl and you’ll soon find, like we did, that this is a fabulous country just waiting to be discovered!


U.S. warns citizens of violent crime in Kenya

NAIROBI (Reuters) - The United States has told its citizens to think carefully about visiting Kenya due to an upsurge in violent crime it said the Kenyan authorities had a limited capacity to deal with.

The warning was issued after high-profile carjackings involving U.S. citizens. On Sunday, an American woman traveling in the car of a top Kenyan AIDS researcher was shot by carjackers who killed her friend and wounded his wife.

Last month, carjackers shot dead two American women -- the relatives of a U.S. diplomat -- as they sat in a U.S. embassy car on the outskirts of Nairobi.

The travel advisory issued on Tuesday asked Americans to "consider carefully the risks of travel to Kenya ... due to ongoing safety and security concerns."

"Violent criminal attacks, including armed carjacking and home invasions and burglary, can occur at any time and in any location and are becoming increasingly frequent brazen, vicious, and often fatal," the advisory said.

"Kenyan authorities have limited capacity to deter and investigate such acts," it added.

Washington already maintains a high-level travel advisory against Kenya and has issued a specific warning about terrorist threats in the past after the U.S. embassy in Nairobi was bombed in 1998, killing 214 people.

There has been an increasing number of reports of attacks on diplomats or their families in the past six months.

In September, a U.S. embassy official was shot in the chest, while a month earlier, the Russian ambassador was stabbed while on the roadside attending to a sick grandchild.

Carjackings of Kenyans and foreigners are common in Nairobi, where gangsters pounce on people for cash, bank cards, mobile phones or cars. Rapes are also common during the robberies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The article was also published in the local paper here. When we can come we will be there. TO ain't all that great but it is OK--would you go out on your own at night these days?
Be Safe,