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Offline dsislen

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Help! Anyone been through Kenya lately?
« on: January 16, 2014, 06:55:31 pm »
Hi,

we are 6 guys heading up to Ethiopia in a few weeks from Pretoria. Has anyone been through Kenya in the last few months? We are trying to get info on security situation from Isiolo north. Extremely grateful to anyone with any experience on this.

David
 

Offline AgentK

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Re: Help! Anyone been through Kenya lately?
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2014, 10:19:21 am »
We have offices in Nairobi.
Our security team has lifted all travel bans to Kenya.
Loss of big wigs have been travelling in and out without any security issues.

But that is only for Nairobi.

Can't say for rest of the country.
 

Offline frankmac

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Re: Help! Anyone been through Kenya lately?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2014, 06:47:09 am »
According to our drivers, the road to Moyale is ok as long as you stick to the main track. The Turkana area in the west can be a bit volatile at times (pillaging and counter attacks between Turkana & Pokots, all armed to the teeth)

People in south western Ethiopia are very friendly by all accounts but not sure of distances between petrol availability.

I'm in the Ogaden region, Somali Province of Ethiopia and wouldn't recommend visiting this area (security issues, fuel etc).
 

Offline Amsterdam

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Re: Help! Anyone been through Kenya lately?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2014, 02:33:18 pm »
We went through that section from Isiolo to Moyale end November 2013.  We had been very concerned about this section before but it turned out alright. We had no issues.  Well, not completely correct.  About halfway between Marsabit and Moyale you pass through a small village.  As we went through there trucks blocked the road in both directions.  People came running up to us and told us not to go on as they were killing people further North.  We figured this was some kind of scam and that they just wanted to sell us "armed security services" so we weaved our way through the trucks and carried on.  We did not encounter any trouble.  At the border a policeman asked us how we had managed to get through as they had had reports of shootings along the road.

The road was mostly not too bad.  Some sections were so corrugated that made it seem like you were riding a jack hammer but those sections were fairly short.  We did the section from Laisamis to Moyale (including the border crossing) in 9 hours of steady riding and a breakfast stop. 

It was dry when we went, if that section is wet it will be very different and might take you two or possibly three days (based on what I have heard from others who have done that in the wet).

You have excellent tar from Isiolo to about 20 kms before Laisamis.  These last few kms were quite bad and we spent the night in Laisamis.  It took two hours from Laisamis to Marsabit (approx 100 kms of dirt road).  There is an excellent tar road for the first 60 kms north of Marsabit.  After that it is dirt road again.  The bad sections were mostly quite short.

The one thing that you hear a lot about this section is that a lot of people wreck their back shock on this road.  Our bikes were not overloaded and we had put heavier springs on.  With this combination we had no issues.
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Offline evansv

Re: Help! Anyone been through Kenya lately?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2014, 03:17:04 pm »
I'm currently in Kenya, based in Nairobi. We've got a project we're just kicking off just to the west of Mombasa.

There are isolated incidents in Nairobi & Mombasa. Avoid the Somali area of Nairobi (Eastleigh). Southern Mombasa seems to be flavour of the month as well.

The traffic in both places is "interesting" to say the least!! Our freight forwarding guy got knocked off his bike in Mombasa on Saturday, so be very careful!! Buggered leg & shoulder. Nothing broken though.
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Offline dsislen

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Re: Help! Anyone been through Kenya lately?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2014, 03:53:34 pm »
Thanks to everyone for the guidance. There seems to be quite some tension in and around Marsabit lately. Our security guys are recommending that we hire armed escorts from Isiolo to Moyale, which we are strongly considering doing. Happy to update everyone in a few weeks when we make it there.

David
 

Offline evansv

Re: Help! Anyone been through Kenya lately?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2014, 04:02:48 pm »
Dave

I sent this link to our security guy for comments.
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Offline AgentK

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Re: Help! Anyone been through Kenya lately?
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2014, 02:45:34 pm »
Just received this internal security alert:

Kenya: Terrorism Security Advisory
23 January 2014

The threat of further terrorist activity in Kenya since the 21 Sep 2013 attack on the Westgate Shopping Mall has remained consistent, although recent attempts have so far been low-level in nature and focused on soft targets in Nairobi, Wajir, Dadaab and recently Ukunda Town at the coast. The latest being the Jomo Kenyata International Airport (JKIA) Java Coffee shop IED attack. Investigation into the 16 January 2014 attack suggests terrorist linked to Al-Shabaab staged the attack. Several sources have suggested that the initial target was the JKIA departure areas, but that the suspects failed to gain access, resorting to the secondary attack at the Java Coffee Shop. This attack reportedly has been linked to the killing of a senior Al-Shabaab leader last week by the Kenya Defence Forces.
While the Kenya Government focuses on enhancing its national anti-terrorism capabilities, it should be expected that measures will be taken by the Kenyan authorities to step up security at JKIA. Such measures would include:
*Increased and more thorough searching of vehicles at the JKIA entry point
*Enhanced security presence (GSU?) in the JKIA cargo area
*Increased CCTV and Police patrols within the JKIA public areas, to include canine support

This advisory is to alert and raise the awareness level of ALL employees in and or visiting Kenya to be very cautious around known soft targets. Although several security alert warning sources suggest that attackers may be focusing on government installations and offices, law enforcement personnel and facilities as well as Somalia government interests in Kenya, we advise employees to take extra security precautions when around even softer targets like hotels, bars, supermarkets or shopping malls.
Increased personal vigilance and immediate reporting of any suspicious activity should be a spontaneous reaction. This advisory and recommendations below are consistent with previous Enterprise Security assessments and advisories that Nairobi continues to offer attractive targets for Islamist militancy:
*Business Essential Only travel restrictions remain in effect for Kenya.
*Employees traveling to Kenya are required to liaise with local Management and monitor ES travel security alerts for the latest information

Employees should exercise high levels of vigilance and report any suspicious behavior to a member of the security forces.
In the event of an incident, employees are remind to
*Immediately leave the area,
*Call police at the earliest opportunity,
*Move away from any suspicious package or activities
Movement within Kenya should be coordinated with the local travel team with a risk assessment and a Journey Management Plan conducted for high risk journeys
Strict journey management procedures are to be adhered to.

 

Offline Vintage_Mania

Re: Help! Anyone been through Kenya lately?
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2014, 02:49:51 pm »
.

People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day. And doing nothing often leads to the very best kind of something.
 

Offline Vintage_Mania

Re: Help! Anyone been through Kenya lately?
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2014, 02:50:21 pm »
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to areas within 60km of the Kenya-Somali border; to Kiwayu and coastal areas north of Pate Island; to Garissa District; to the Eastleigh area of Nairobi; and to low income areas of Nairobi, including all township or slum areas. See Terrorism and Local travel.

There is a high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping.

A small explosion reportedly took place at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on 16 January. There were no reported casualties. Airport services were not affected.

On 12 December 2013 a failed grenade attack on a vehicle took place in the Likoni area of Mombasa. On 14 December 2013 an explosion took place on a public bus in the Pangani area of Nairobi, in the outskirts of the Eastleigh suburb. Six were killed and a further 24 injured. On 1 January 2014, a number of people were injured in a grenade attack on a nightclub in Diani, near Mombasa. Further small-scale attacks are likely.

In September 2013 a major attack took place at the Westgate shopping centre in the Westlands district of Nairobi. You should avoid the cordoned area around the shopping centre. Further large-scale attacks canít be ruled out.

You should take care in public places where people gather, and exercise a heightened level of vigilance. Monitor local and international media and keep up to date with this travel advice by subscribing to email alerts. See Terrorism.

There are frequent incidents of violent crime including mugging, armed robbery and carjacking, particularly in the large cities. See Crime.

There is a threat of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. See Sea travel.

185,967 British nationals visited Kenya in 2012. Most visits are trouble-free.
People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day. And doing nothing often leads to the very best kind of something.
 

Offline casspir

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Re: Help! Anyone been through Kenya lately?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2014, 06:11:11 am »
The comments above regarding the security situation in Kenya are all true.  The Kenya government and security forces were somewhat embarrassed by the Westgate Mall incident resulting in a somewhat heavy handed approach now.  

Normal rules will apply - don't try to be brave.   Listen to the locals. Stay away from public gatherings, big shopping centres, and obvious expat hangouts.  Vince's (evansv) advice above is valid.  

I have travelled north from Nairobi towards Marsabit is 2008.  The roads north of Isiolo were really horrendous then but I do suspect that it has been greatly improved since.  Travel in Ethiopia should be much easier.  Going north up to Addis may be somewhat boring at times as well.  Animals, people and big freight lorries are the main hazards to be expected.  

I have experienced Ethiopia as being a very paranoid society.  Some people differ and see it as paradise.  They are still today battling to get away from the old Soviet influence they were under.  Obtaining a receipt a some shops will be a timeous process - stay calm and keep on smiling.  

I would suggest that you ensure that you have some sort of internet capable phone/tablet/phablet/netbook/laptop with you.  Purchase local SIM cards on the way and get data bundles as well.  Use Twitter and Twitter searches to keep updated on security matters in the area you'll be traveling the next few days.  Searches could include words such as "Kenya_security", "kenya_incidents" etc.  I have found Twitters as being an excellent source of information during the Westgate Mall siege.  

Irrespective of the above, I do think you are embarking on a great adventure.  Enjoy the preparation, planning and execution thereof - but make a mental note to stay safe all the way.  

Hope this helps.  
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 03:24:05 pm by casspir »
 

Offline Camino Cerdo

Re: Help! Anyone been through Kenya lately?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2014, 11:22:30 pm »
I went through a year ago, I called it the hell road. No issues with the people but the road can get tore up real bad if there is rain. I got caught in the rain and spent a night in the bush. But I would do it again.

Writing just to comment on keeping your shock working if the road is anything like it was when I made the run.  Shocks do not "wear" out, they burn up.  Basic law of physics, you can not create nor destroy energy, you can only change its form. The shock adsorbs movement (energy) and converts it to heat. The advice given to me worked so I pass it on. Every half hour stop for five minutes, go pee, take a picture or what ever but let the shock cool down and you will make it. That road has claimed barrels of shocks only because they over heat.  I checked mine once on that road and the spring around the shock burnt my fingers, and that was when I was stopping every 25 minutes. There are lots of fancy, and expensive, shocks out there, but what we need is a good shock with cooling fins.

Ride on

Bob
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but  rather a slide in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body totally worn out and screaming "Woo Hoo what a ride"