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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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  #1  
Old 28 May 2011
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Bandit attack on the road Isiolo - Marsabit - Moyale in Kenya

We are french travellers and we were heading north from Samburu to Marsabit last Wednesday 25th of May.
Few kilometers after the end of tarmac, we've been attacked by several armed people (at least 3) that were very excited and we didn't manage to arrange the situation trying to give them our money
As the situation got worse very fast we decided to go on and they shot us and the car : my friend had received a bullet in the mouth and his jaw has been broken.
Fortunately, with lot of chance we managed to reach a safe place where they could take care of my friend. Other vehicles after us have been attacked as well.
Today, 3 days after, we are in Nairobi Hospital and my friend has been operated and thanks to our "bonne ├ętoile - good star" as we say in french, everything shoulg going well now
So, If you have to take this road, you should ask an escort at the police station of Marsabit or Isiolo and/or organize a convoy.
Have safe travel !
David and Nadine
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  #2  
Old 19 Jun 2011
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Thanks for the info and sorry to hear about the gunshot wound. I am in Khartoum and heading that way soon. I will try and convoy. Cheers.
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  #3  
Old 19 Jun 2011
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going south from moyale to isiolo

Thanks for this info - hope you are all feeling better now.

We're also hoping to travel this road south in a month or so. If anyone is doing the same around July 20th, let's try to convoy...

Good luck,

Emma
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  #4  
Old 28 Jun 2011
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North from Samburu

Hope all is well - anyone else had problems here recently?
Anyone going north around second week july?
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  #5  
Old 28 Jun 2011
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N kenya convoy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammin View Post
Thanks for the info and sorry to hear about the gunshot wound. I am in Khartoum and heading that way soon. I will try and convoy. Cheers.
Hi my name is Humphrey me and my friend are both on bikes and planning cross aswan on the 4th of july, then down to khartoum and then over the matema crossing into ethiopia etc. we were wondering what your schedule was since we'll be travelling throuhg N.Kenya after Ethiopia
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  #6  
Old 28 Jun 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emmaLF View Post
Thanks for this info - hope you are all feeling better now.

We're also hoping to travel this road south in a month or so. If anyone is doing the same around July 20th, let's try to convoy...

Good luck,

Emma
Hi Emma, me and my friends Jim are motorbiking down Northern Kenya, we will be a few days to a week behind you unfortunately but were wondering if you had any info on traffic at the border etc. so as to the likelyhood of another convoy.
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  #7  
Old 1 Jul 2011
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Moyale overland traffic

Hi Humphrey and Jim,

Sorry that we'll miss you! We know of at least one couple (David & Tisha of big orange bedford fame: Big Orange Bedford - UK to Cape town, South Africa - The Idea is Born) who are a week or two behind us. Otherwise, haven't seen anyone else going South yet.

Once we get to the border, will try to post about how many people we see, if wifi permits!

Good luck!

Emma
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  #8  
Old 2 Jul 2011
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How helpful is the police with agreeing with an escort?

Are there ways around it?

Does the threat get less as you get further from the edges of the tarmac bit of the road and further into the dirt section?

Last edited by tmotten; 6 Jul 2011 at 05:20.
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  #9  
Old 3 Jul 2011
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Convoy / Escorts North

Hi tmotten,
This part of Kenya has always been a bit lawless and bandits have been reported all over the area, we had some problems there in the '70s and some German people were shot in the back of a bus.
We have just arrived in Nairobi, heading north, and have spoken to a few people. It seems convoys were the norm until recently when they ceased due to things quietening down. The alternative route is via Lake Turkana but this is further although the road is supposedly slightly better. However whilst there are less frequent bandit problems here too the road is much more remote so if something does go wrong it might be a long time before anyone else arrives.
We were also told that it's easy to set up a convoy when in Marsibit and the police will apparently travel in your truck for a fee.

We plan to visit the police etc to assess the situation on Monday so will let you know (if we can get internet contact).
Incidentally for anyone planning to travell this route it is no longer possible to get Ethiopian visas here in Nairobi. People are having to send their passports back to their home countries to get them.
Cheers, Terry & Jean.
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  #10  
Old 6 Jul 2011
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Hi Terry.

I was aware of the threat of this road, but as you said thought it was relatively quiet for a long time now. It seems that it's back to it now. Wonder if this is related to the dire drought situation that causing people displacement throughout the larger area.

I'm planning to cross that way in 2 years on motorbikes. A while yet I know but keeping my eye out. I can't remember reading many issues on blogs and things. Althought I don't really look for it, when I do hear of a trip underway I try to keep an eye on it.
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  #11  
Old 6 Jul 2011
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Hi tmotten,

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmotten View Post
How helpful is the police with agreeing with an escort?

Are there ways around it?

Does the threat get less as you get further from the edges of the tarmac bit of the road and further into the dirt section?
It's quite hard to evaluate the threaten and of course you can have big risk and nothing happen and the opposite aswell. All that I can say is that we were attacked, few kilometers after the end of the tarmac and I think it's not a coincidence : the track was very corrugated and plenty of gravel so we could not go very fast : even 50km/h was difficult.

Before this event, I was thinking the problem shoud begin far after Marsabit, closer of the ethiopian border or the Turkana Lake , so we had planned to camp in official places in cities and no bushcamp ! But we did not reach this part. When we were at the hospital, we read the national diaries and we heard about several raids attacks from foreigners about villages with quite a lot of dead people and it seems that insecurity around that border is a sensible subject between Kenya and Ethiopia, but in that cases it looks to be in remote areas, not near main roads.

When we left Isiolo, there was a poclice checkpoint and they did not tell us nothing special even if they saw that we were tourist travelling alone on that road.

Listening local people, if we had to do it again, I think we would stop at the police station in each cities and asked for information about the situation and may be escort if it is needed and I imagine they will supply escort may be expecting some money in exchange.
In the other hand, we travelled several times in other places at least so risky as the North of Kenya and I am not sure I would have applied these advices before we had this event and dont know either for the next travels : only sure for this area now !

Thanks all of you for your messages of sympathy, my friend is recovering well even if he is still with yogurt, soup and puree diet ! We hope to go back to Kenya at the end of the year but not sure we will be ready for the north Kenya !
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  #12  
Old 7 Jul 2011
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That is a real pity, sorry to hear. Must have been quite a scary experience. You must have reported the matter to the police but we did not hear anything in the press here in kenya.
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  #13  
Old 8 Jul 2011
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David & Nadine,

very sorry to hear about your troubles - I hope that your friend recovers and that this has not put you off travel.
Would it be possible to share with us all the details of what happened so that we can all learn from your unfortunate incident?
If anyone else has had problems in this area - what happened exactly - what should we look out for?

To start: The guy I bought our truck from had a problem here some years ago - a local-looking truck was broken down and some guys tried waving them down - they were suspicious so drove past in what space there was as quickly as possible - turned out to have been the right thing to do as the guys jumped into a hidden pickup and chased them, shooting, to the next town. After that they armed themselves - not sure this was the right thing to have done - but everyone makes their own choices.

Ian
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  #14  
Old 21 Jul 2011
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Hi,
Few news to say that my friend David has just finished his smooth diet and can now be again a meat eater !
To answer to sonnymotox, I imagine we didn't have the headlines for this incident but in the newspaper we had at the hospital, we found an article very strange because a lot of wrong things in feaw lines ! You can read it here : 20110527 | French Tourist Shot at Laisamis 20110525

Frenchian, I can try to explain in more (and true) details what happened but my english is not very good so you have to be indulgent !
Nadine
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  #15  
Old 22 Jul 2011
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Nadine,

that's good news of David - best wihes to him for his recovery.

I lived and worked in France for 20 years - if you PM me the information in French, I'll translate it and post it here in English for the benefit of everyone else if you are happy with that?

Ian
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