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No blanket bans on Kenya, says British envoy

29 May 2015, 14:41 Geoffrey Kimagut

Nairobi - Britain has denied claims that they have banned its citizens from visiting Kenya due to insecurity threats.

The British High Commissioner to Kenya, Dr Christian Turner said the travel advisories are usually not blanket bans, as the citizens are only advised to avoid specific places during their visits.

Speaking in Mara Serena Hotel on Thursday, Turner said the ban targeted parts of Coast and North Eastern Kenya where terror cases were rampant.

“The UK government has a responsibility to warn their citizens of any potential security threats and the travel advisories are usually based on an objective assessment of the security situation in the country,” said Dr Turner.

He advised people from Britain to visit the world-famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve, adding that it is one of the safest tourist destinations in the country.

“Maasai Mara is a world-renowned game reserve and is still safe because no cases of terrorism have been reported so far and therefore, my fellow countrymen should feel free to tour the area and enjoy the rich culture of the Maasai people and animal heritage,” he said.

Read Also: Nakuru hoteliers enjoy benefits of booming conference tourism

He said the rules governing UK travel advice are the same across the world.

“We have advisories against other countries; some of them are even close to us,” said Dr Turner.

On his part, Narok Governor Samuel Tunai said security has been bolstered at the reserve following the deployment of more police officers and Kenya Wildlife Service rangers.

"We have intensified patrols in the park as a way of ensuring the safety of our tourists. We want to assure all those visiting the Mara that the place is safe, he remarked.

He added that the county government would employ 120 more County government rangers to strengthen security in the park.

“We have also asked the national government to increase the tourist police because we do not want to leave anything to chance," said Tunai.

The county boss said the Maasai Mara Game Reserve management plan, which will ensure proper management of the park, will be concluded in the next three months after consulting all stakeholders in the park.

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