Air Force One touched down in the Kenyan capital just after 8pm, and Mr Obama was met on the tarmac by the country’s president Uhuru Kenyatta and a local drumming band complete with grass skirts.

Mr Obama waved to the ululating crowds assembled to welcome him “home” to his father’s birthplace, before climbing into his bullet-proof limousine that has been named The Beast for its ability to withstand virtually everything but a nuclear attack.

Meanwhile along the Mombasa Road to the airport, a thoroughfare usually clogged with traffic from dawn until dusk but on Friday night eerily empty of cars, American flags fluttered in a faint breeze.

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