11 Ways to Keep Safe on a Trip to Africa
Are you a first time traveler or repeat visitor and you aren’t sure how safe it is to take a trip to Africa? Well, when it comes to African safaris, visitors are interested in knowing how safe it is to travel to Africa for a vacation despite its beauty. Visitor safety is a significant factor when it comes to any safari in a destination and so it is a case with trips to Africa. Imagine the time to plan for your vacation, the hours you spend traveling or the money you invest on your safari holiday and when you land into a destination, you find it is full of starving children, gunshots, poverty stricken community and others. Africa like any destination has got some challenges, most of which can be even worse or better of compared to what you may encounter in other parts of the world. Just like any safari, being a tourist usually you become a potential target and this needs you to pay keen attention on precautions that can help you stay safe.
Be careful with scams
Expect scams in Africa just like it is a case with the rest of the continents and for those of you, who have not yet fallen culprits, don’t ever think of transferring your bank details otherwise there are some elements that always want to take chances to become rich. This category usually uses just few tricks to steal others and the common one is credit card fraud. Be keen and keep your pin number and only withdraw money from recognized banks. The other frequent ones include providing goods or services for free even safaris and at end things turn the other way round. Calculating a taxi fare at the end of the journey, this means that you must come agree on the cost prior getting in the taxi. Take note of fake products including tickets; purchase your bus tickets at a recognized agency. Additional payments for storing luggage on bus rides don’t pay for this a fact that the ticket covers all costs for baggage. Providing to carry your luggage at airports or bus depots, prior insisting on huge tip; take note of those who confine themselves as refugees, orphans or students as well as other costs while crossing the border area even the health assessments, fake documents or faster services. Above all, common sense must apply if you are to stay safe in Africa and if you are to have the most enjoyable vacation in life.
Hire Tour Guide
While it is easier for you to travel alone in countries like America, things are different with Africa. You will need a guide to help direct you to areas of your interest a fact that local guides are aware of every corner where most of the attractions are located and which areas to visit or not to be visited. Most countries like Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania need you to hire a professional tour guide from recognized tour company and Maranatha Tours and Travel is one of the leading travel companies in East Africa that you should book your safari with and you won’t regret in life.
Never get near wild animals
A fact that most African safaris are conducted in the wilderness areas like Kruger National Park, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Amboseli National Park, Tsavo National Park, Serengeti National Park, Selous Game Reserve, Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and others, it means that you are a foreigner in the habitat of wild animals. This also denotes that it is illegal for you to get out of your safari car while at the national park. This precaution applies mainly for those of you who are interested in game drives where you come across lions, leopards, buffaloes, elephants, cheetahs and others. Most of these savanna grassland wildlife species aren’t habituated like it is a case to primate species such as chimpanzees and gorillas and even those that have been habituated, when they are irritated, they can still cause injuries to you. Undertaking a tour to most of the African parks, require a park ranger. Don’t provoke wild animals or clap hands otherwise you will be irritating them and they can pose danger to you. Whereas most visitors opt Botswana for holiday because they allow off road driving and opportunity to sleep out in the open with only a tent, this isn’t 100 percent safer like it is a case of safari goers in some African states.
Don’t go swimming any how
If you love swimming know which areas to go to. Note that there are reasons why locals themselves are not swimming in specific areas. Despite many water bodies in Africa, most of them have crocodiles and hippos.
Avoid walking in and around the camp on barefoot
Be on socks and shoes each time you are walking around your camp. A fact that you are in the bush, expect snakes and scorpions that can strike once they are threatened.
Get travel insurance
Regardless of efforts and adequate planning, things can still go a stray and once they get out of hand, finding that you never had travel insurance for safari, higher chances are that you will be in debts or lack medical cover. There are several insurance companies in Africa that offer travel insurance cover and this is for your own safety while on safari in Africa.
Take tap water and eat food
A fact that water is life; don’t hesitate to drink tap water while on safari in Africa especially in Namibia or South Africa unlike the further north that may require you to drink boiled water. For those of you who want to eat food, there are classic restaurants and hotels that serve highly quality food which may not cause problems in your life. However, be careful with what you eat especially in rural areas where it is very challenging to preserve food a fact that most remote areas don’t have electricity. Try to avoid food poisoning as much as you can and where possible you can come along with acidophilus/pepto bismol. Remember prevention is better than cure!
Be aware of your area
While on safari in Africa, make sure that you understand your surrounding area well. Ask yourself whether you know Uganda from Congo or Namibia from Somalia and any risks that might accrue when you pay a visit to any of the country in Africa a fact that safety differs from one state to another or even from one town to another, from region to region. That said, adequate research must be conducted prior undertaking the actual trip to any new destination. Whereas most South African states are said to be more developed and absolutely safe for tourism provided that you do not go astray or walk at night alone, some central and the northern African states still face political challenges. To be on safer side, it is advisable that you first cross check with government travel advisory warnings and even guide books prior taking actual trip.
Be aware that whether you are a hassling student or broke but a fact that you can take a trip to Africa or any destination, chances are locals can regard you as a big earner and yet this may not be the case. Avoid showing your luxury cameras or clothes, wallets and live a modest life. To be on safer side, put on money belt or carry what you can spend for the day, know what is around you while withdrawing money at the ATM, keep jewelry back at home, avoid walking on the streets at night, as you drive, make sure that you have left adequate space between you and the vehicle that is a head of you, be aware of pickpockets, never leave anything valuable/visible in the vehicle and others.
Never get malaria
A fact that there is no one who wishes to become ill while on safari, becoming sick in the remotest African destination is not only barrier to someone’s travel plans but also it is generally dangerous. Take note that, health services differ from country to country in Africa especially in remote area where life is a struggle unlike in those developed states. To remain healthy while on safari in Africa, maximum attention must paid prior leaving the airport. Nearly all countries in Africa may need a proof of yellow fever vaccination especially for typhoid, meningococcal meningitis, Hepatitis A, Rabies and others. That said, you will need to have medical kit packed with anti malarials, antibiotics, painkillers, antihistamine, insect repellents especially DEET and others.
Be careful while on Africa’s roads
Most African destinations are located in the remotest areas and the nature of roads that connect up to these areas are not of high standard and they are characterized by potholes and at times you find cattle and people. This means that you must avoid driving at night as it is challenging to identify what is a head of you when it is dark otherwise you must have better and functioning headlights and brake lights. In case you hire a vehicle for your trip, make sure that all doors and windows are locked as you drive along big towns.
In conclusion, in case you are planning for your next trip to Africa, always be keen on government travel warnings and get in touch with your tour operator for more up to date information. With the above tips, we believe that you will have the safest and most enjoyable safari in your life in Africa.