The question on many people’s lips when they start thinking about travelling to the very diverse continent of Africa is, “is it safe?” We’re here to let you know that for the destinations we send our clients to the answer is always a definite yes, within reason, and with precaution. We’ve brought hundreds of thousands of travelers to different parts of Africa for over 25 years without incident - the trick is simply knowing the do’s and don’ts both geographically and logistically. Here are some valuable safety tips for travel in Africa.
Safety Tips for Travel in Africa: Where to travel to and where to avoid?
Booking your vacation to Africa through a travel company such as Safari.com provides reassurance that you will be looked after during your trip.Like many other continents in the world, there are some countries that are legitimately unsafe for travelers. It is always recommended that at the time of planning any trip, that you check with your African safari expert on the current political climate or general state of affairs in the country you are thinking of visiting. Rest assured we will never assist you in planning a vacation to a destination we wouldn’t visit ourselves - most of the time we’re just outright jealous!It is important to know that nearly all tourist attractions in Africa are far from conflict zones such as Somalia, Libya, Sudan and the Central Africa Republic. The large majority of travelers to Africa return home without encountering any problems whatsoever, and more often than not will describe their experience as the “trip of a lifetime”.
Safety Tips for Travel in Africa: What are Travel Advisories?
Travel insurance is essential for all travel and should ideally be purchased when booking your trip. One thing that many travellers refer to when thinking of planning a trip is their local travel advisories.A travel advisory is an official statement issued by a government agency to provide information about the relative safety of travelling to or visiting one or more specific foreign countries or destinations. The purpose is to enable travelers to make an informed decision about a particular travel destination, and to help travelers prepare adequately for what may be encountered on their trip. In the United States, travel warnings are issued by the Department of State and are often called warden messages. Travel advisories are released for a variety of reasons, including terrorism, natural disasters, political unrest, wars, health emergencies and outbreaks of crime. Each country in the world is given a Travel Advisory Level Status as listed below:
Level 1 - Exercise normal precautions
Level 2 - Exercise increased caution
Level 3 - Reconsider travel
Level 4 - Do not travel
Africa’s most popular tourist destinations are currently labelled by the US Department of State as Level 1 or Level 2 travel destinations. This ultimately means that travelers are not steered away from travel in Africa but rather advised to exercise caution during their stay. This is advisable when traveling to any unknown destination in the world. To put this into perspective, if you were to travel to the gorgeous shores of Italy or the United Kingdom, their current travel advisory status is at Level 2, with the recommendation that travelers exercise increased caution in these countries due to possible terrorist attacks.These travel advisories should be taken into consideration when planning any trip, but a government travel warning doesn't necessarily mean that it's a bad idea to plan a trip to a particular destination. After reading an advisory, we recommend you chat about this information with your dedicated travel consultant who will assist you in gaining an understanding of what it’s actually like on the ground in the destination you’re thinking of visiting - one of the many benefits of booking your safari vacation with an Africa based operator.
Travel Advisories for Popular Tourist Destinations in Africa:
South Africa - Level 2
Botswana - Level 1
Tanzania - Level 2
Kenya - Level 2
Zambia - Level 1
Zimbabwe - Level 2
Namibia - Level 2
Mozambique - Level 1
Rwanda - Level 1
So now that you know that African companies are of relative safety to traveling to Italy or the United Kingdom, let’s look at some safety pointers for your time in Africa.
Safety Tips for Travel in Africa
From the time you arrive in Africa, you will be looked after by a team of professionals.No matter where you travel in the world, there are certain safety precautions one should always take. Incident-free travel has a lot to do with savvy decision making. Reading up on your destination of choice is always a good start, along with these ten very important safety tips.
- Know where you’re going before you set off, particularly at night.
- Don’t walk alone in dark quiet areas. Rather use the services of a taxi or a transfer organised by your safari expert.
- Avoid visiting informal settlement areas unless you are with a guided tour offered by a reputable company.
- Do not display cash or valuables.
- Pay special attention while seated at restaurants and café terraces, when you are withdrawing money from ATMs or walking around tourist attractions.
- Drive with doors locked and windows closed.
- Don’t wear expensive jewelry in an ostentatious way.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Safeguard your personal belongings at all times, especially your passport, which should be locked up in the hotel room safe. Ensure that your hotel room is always locked.
- Be aware of scammers - if it sounds too good to be true then it generally is.
It is important to note that the majority of these safety guidelines apply primarily to your time in African cities - our luxury lodges are incredibly safe due to their remote locations and limited access of ordinary citizens onto the reserves and onto the lodge property.Africa, like any other continent, has its flaws but it is a diverse continent with endless possibilities for adventure. It is hard to overlook a continent that oozes beautiful landscapes and warm hospitality. The continent boasts over 3,000 protected wildlife areas, 198 marine protected areas, 50 biosphere reserves and 80 wetlands reserves. It’s undeniable that travelers seeking an authentic safari experience look no further than Africa. Should a safari in Africa be on your travel bucket list then we recommend that you contact our Africa Experts who will gladly help you find the perfect African adventure.