British holidaymakers are being advised to stay away from coastal areas within 93 miles of the Kenya-Somali border, following two attacks by armed gangs on westerners in less than a month.
The Foreign Office revised its warning after a 66-year-old disabled French woman was kidnapped by suspected pirates from a beach resort on Kenya’s northern resort island of Manda on Saturday.
The FCO had previously warned travellers to stay 37 miles away from the border after Briton David Tebbutt, 58, was killed and his wife Judith, 56, was kidnapped by armed gunmen from a resort near the tourist town of Lamu and taken across the border to Somalia on September 11.
Despite the warning, travel insurers say they will not compensate for loss of deposits if holidaymakers decide not to travel to the northern coast due to changing Foreign Office guidelines.
Insurers point out that a personal “disinclination to travel” is not covered by the terms and conditions of travel insurance.
Travel agents and tour operators are likely to offer alternative destinations or dates, or accommodation in resorts further south on the Kenyan coast.
In a statement, the Foreign Office said its travel advice is “under constant review”. Holidaymakers would only be covered for cancellation costs if the FCO imposed a blanket ban on travel.
Malindi and Mombassa – popular holiday destinations on Kenya’s north coast – are located well outside the British government’s current exclusion zone.
Kenyan authorities say they are working closely with British, French and international authorities to ensure that acts of piracy by Somali nationals are stopped and that hostages are released.
British holidaymakers due to travel to Kenyan coastal areas should continue to monitor the FCO’s travel advice, which is subject to change.
Follow the FCO’s Twitter updates here