Find myself saddened by recent events in north-eastern Kenya. Two kidnappings and a murder, all perpetrated against tourists visiting the Lamu archipelago, have resulted in the deaths of two Kenyan police officers who were pursuing the kidnappers, and the collapse of tourism to the area. Here’s a recap from the Guardian. Two of the best holidays of my life have been on Lamu: first in 2o01 mid-way through my gap year, spending three weeks in Lamu town with a group of other volunteers; second, six years later with my then-girlfriend-now-wife, we had four days or so there at the end of a two-week tour of the country. I mention this because what I loved so much about the place was the incredible feeling of peace and safety you had there. Lamu town is full of tiny dark alleyways and yet you can walk through them at night in almost pitch blackness and not feel at the slightest risk. With sand underfoot and the heavy humid air it’s also got a lovely warm quietness to it – apart from when you hear a donkey honking away or the call to prayer. Tourism did pretty well by the locals: it seemed to be the main industry apart from fishing. With no apparent end in sight to Somalia’s state of statelessness, it’s difficult to say when people will begin to feel secure travelling there again. It’s pretty cut off from the rest of Kenya – a good four hours’ or so bus ride to the next major place down the coast. I hope the security situation does improve but a return to the backwater carelessness of the past seems unlikely.

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