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Security in the Lamu archipelago

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In 2011, two separate events sparked intense media attention questioning the safety of tourism in the Lamu archipelago. In September, bandits raided a British couple’s banda at Kiwayu Safari Village on a remote beach on the mainland facing the northern tip of Kiwaiyu island. The man was shot dead and his wife kidnapped – she was released six months later after a ransom was paid. In October an elderly French expatriate was kidnapped from her home on the island of Manda. She died soon afterwards owing to her fragile state of health.

Foreign governments issued travel advisories warning against travel in the area, and security measures in the archipelago were significantly heightened. In early 2013, British travel advice still warned against travel to Kiwaiyu island and the mainland areas north of Pate within 60km of the Somalian border. Pate, Manda and Lamu islands are not included in the warnings and, with greatly increased marine surveillance, are considered as safe as the rest of the coast.

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