Travel in Africa is always adventurous and exciting. People who still regard it as the Dark Continent will be blown away by the level of luxury, not to mention the incredible sights, cultures and landscapes they’ll encounter here. However, as with anywhere you travel to, there are some points you would do well to be aware of before you leave for your vacation or safari.
If you’re on a guided tour, your chances of encountering problems are minimal – tour operators make it their business to know the areas they travel to, so you are never at any unnecessary risk.
If you’re traveling alone, keep up to date with local news so you know about potential hot spots. News from Africa carries top stories from most of Africa’s local newspapers, and is updated daily.
Get a local perspective – ask someone where you’re staying to give you a run-down on any unsafe areas, dress codes and behaviour. It’s also a good idea to ask your travel consultant about these things before you go on holiday.
As with anywhere in the world, when you’re in a city err on the side of caution: don’t carry valuables openly, and if you must carry your passport and money then keep them in a buttoned-down pocket or well concealed on your person.
Driving in Africa can often be an adventurous undertaking. In many countries, and particularly in rural areas, roads and vehicles are often poorly maintained and it’s not unusual to come across large domestic animals such as sheep and cattle. The best advice: stay alert, buckle up and avoid travelling at night.
Avoid deserted areas, particularly at night. If you’re in a car, park in well-lit, populated areas; always keep it locked – even when you’re in it; and don’t leave valuables where they can be seen.
If you’re thinking of hitchhiking, you’ll need to understand the high risks involved. It is often exciting, always potentially dangerous – particularly in urban centres or after dark. We don’t advise it.
The best advice for security when you travel: simply stay aware of what’s going on around you. If you do this, you have a good chance of enjoying a problem-free holiday.