PLEASE NOTE THAT THE WORLD CHANGES ON ALMOST AN A DAILY BASIS, PLEASE CONTACT THE NEAREST EMBASSY OF THE COUNTRY YOU ARE VISITING FOR MORE ACCURATE NEWS AND UPDATES.
This is a basic guide for safety tips whilst in any of the African cities or while on a safari in the African bushveld. Travelling around Africa can and most probably will always be safe, but as in any destination on the planet - listen to your instincts and use common sense.
African News Websites
The following websites offer the latest in news and are updated every few minutes (although South African based they do cover most of Sub-Sahara Africa);
Safety Tips For When You Are In The Bush
- Always listen to your guide!
- Guides are experienced and professional individuals who have a very intimate knowledge of wildlife and the bushveld.
- When visiting wildlife areas do not walk into the bush without your guide.
- Do not approach any wild animals: If it is wild it bites, kicks or pokes one with horns!
- Do not swim in any rivers, dams or lakes within or nearby wildlife reserves, the presence of crocodiles and hippos is real!
- Never feed animals: they get used to people feeding them and eventually have to be put down as a result!
- Never leave the surrounds of your safari lodge or camp unattended.
- Always have a torch with you at night.
- Give your room a once over whenever you enter, we personally have had snakes, scorpions and monkeys as unwanted guests.
- Respect Africa's wildlife at all times and the wildlife will respect you.
- Disrespect the wildlife and there will only be one winner (hint; it is not you).
- Whether staying in a lodge or camping it is always recommended that one has a small first aid kit with you. Nothing like having a headache at 3 in the morning and all the staff are sleeping!
- When travelling between lodges, never drive above 80kph on gravel roads. This is the quickest way to spoil your safari by wrapping your car around a tree.
Safety Tips For African Cities
- Using ones common sense is always a good start.
- Ask locals to give you a run-down on all safe and unsafe areas and of course dress codes.
- If you are not feeling safe, get out of there.
- One does need at all time to be vigilant when travelling around.
- When going out at night, always try not to travel alone, keep to small groups and go where the hotel suggests you go.
- Always read the local news and keep up to date on current happenings in and around the areas you are currently staying or going to in the next few days.
- Always use licensed taxi companies, your hotel will know which ones are good.
- Let the hotel know approximately what time to expect you back and your contact details.
- Lock your car/ taxi doors when on the move.
- Never keep your original travel documents on you, that is what the hotel safe is for (keeping a certified copy of your travel documents on you is a must).
Safety Tips For When Walking Around Africa
- The larger cities do have a criminal element that preys on unwary tourists (as in any city in the World)!
- Do not walk alone in apparently deserted places (especially at night); wherever possible walk with a group.
- Be on the lookout for pickpockets and bag snatchers.
- Do not carry more cash than required.
- Do not wear your finest jewellery.
- Wear a money belt that fits under your clothes.
- Don't carry a lot of camera equipment especially in the major cities.
- Keep a photocopy of your passport, visa and air tickets and itinerary separately from the original documents (or copy them to a DropBox.com, Google Drive or Itunes account so that they are accessible anywhere, anytime).
Safety Tips When Driving In Africa
- Drive carefully and slowly (speed kills).
- Stick to the speed limits; 120 kph on highways and a maximum of 80kpm when travelling on gravel roads.
- Let the road conditions and common sense dictate your speed.
- Never drink and drive, African jails are not known for their hospitality.
- Always fill up with fuel when you get the chance, Africa is a big continent and distances are vast.
- Always have your drivers license on you at all times.
- Never try to bribe an officer of the law, no matter what they say.
- Always be polite, friendly and respectful when dealing with police officials, do this and everything will come right. Never ever argue and disrespect police officials, it simply is not worth the hours you will lose while they search your vehicle and make your life rather difficult. Remember a smile and a good laugh can change the World.
- Try your best not to drive at night, animals and humans can cross the road at any time (quite often just in front of you).
- Stay alert as rural roads are often poorly maintained and potholes can be found.
- Always wear your seat belts.
- Keep the doors and windows of your vehicle locked while driving in the major cities.
- Stay aware of what's going on around you and you have a very good chance of enjoying a problem-free safari!