By U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs
January 14, 2017
The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens to avoid travel to the border area between Somalia and Kenya because of threats by the terrorist group al-Shabaab. U.S. citizens should also be aware of potential terrorist threats and the high risk of crime throughout the country. This replaces the Travel Warning dated June 30, 2016.
For your safety:
- Avoid travel in the northeastern Kenyan counties of Mandera, Wajir and Garissa, the coastal counties of Tana River and Lamu in their entirety, all areas north of Malindi in Kilifi County, and the Nairobi neighborhood of Eastleigh.
- In Mombasa, the U.S. Embassy recommends U.S. citizens visit Old Town only during daylight hours, and avoid using the Likoni ferry due to safety concerns.
In 2016, terrorist attacks involving shootings, grenades, or other explosive devices resulted in 122 fatalities. The bulk of these incidents occurred in Wajir, Garissa, Lamu and Mandera counties. Potential terrorist threats remain in Kenya, including within the Nairobi area, along the coast, and within the northeastern region of the country.
Terrorist targets have included Kenyan and foreign government sites, police stations and vehicles, hotels, public transportation and other infrastructure targets, nightclubs and bars, religious and academic institutions, and shopping areas. On September 11, 2016, press accounts noted that three women purportedly attacked a police station in Mombasa with knives and petrol bombs, wounding two Kenyan police officers. The next month, on October 27, 2016, an assailant with a knife attacked a police officer guarding the U.S. Embassy compound.
Violent and sometimes fatal crimes, including armed carjackings, muggings, home invasions and burglaries, and kidnappings can occur at any time. U.S. citizens and U.S. Embassy employees have been victims of such crimes in the past.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen for Kenyan airspace. For further background information regarding FAA flight prohibitions and advisories for U.S. civil aviation, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.
To be safe, you should review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings and local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security, and follow instructions of local authorities.
For further information:
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution , Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Kenya.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Contact the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, at telephone (+254) (20) 363-6451, 7:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is (+254) (20) 363-6000.
- Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
Date Published: January 13, 2017