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Africa Warnings

go girl

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  • Added on: July 6th, 2006
We just talked to a young man from South AFrica who said that it is now the murder capital of the world. He has lost at least 10 family members to murder, including a young 13 yo female cousin, who was raped and murdered last year. The family told this man to not come home for the funeral because it is unsafe. I'm thinking, "Wow, this happens to people who know where to go to stay safe, and where to avoid, so what hope is there for a dumb tourist?", but then I'm also thinking that maybe it's worse for the whites who live there, and they leave tourists alone? We dithered about S. Africa, but I'm thinking we'll avoid that this time around.
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  • Added on: July 7th, 2006
I think the guy might have been exagerating I have been to south africa several times in the last seven years. Yes there are a lot of murders and rapes but there are in USA and UK would you not take a trip there
itu matengu

Capt Steve

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  • Added on: July 7th, 2006
I'd be curious to know where the man from SA lived exactly, and other pertinent information about him.

Here is the US State Department's Consular Information Sheet for South Africa.

I see nothing about a murder problem. The closest related comment I find is this:

"In the Western Cape, police resources have been strained by continuing gang conflicts and vigilante violence in the Cape Flats area of Cape Town. Travelers may wish to contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate before embarking on trips to these particular areas."

Sounds more like inter-gang violence than random violence againsts tourists.

Consular Info sheets may read a bit grim, but a lot of it is standard precautions for tourists anywhere, with additional information on known local problems.

For some perspective, read the Consular Info Sheet for a country you know well. It'll probably sound much more dangerous than life there as you know it. Find any country's Consular info sheet here.

I'm not belittling the risks -- of course you want to be careful when traveling and well informed, just try to keep it all in perspective.

For example, which of these excerpts do you think is from the UK Info Sheet, and which is from the South African one?

(1) "crime, including violent crime, has increased over the last few years, especially in [the capital city]. Incidents include pick pocketing; mugging; “snatch and grab” theft of mobile phones, watches and jewelry; and theft of unattended bags, especially at airports and from cars parked at restaurants, hotels and resorts."

(2) "violent crimes such as armed robbery, carjacking, mugging , "smash and grab" attacks on vehicles, and other incidents are regularly reported by visitors and resident Americans.

((1 = UK, 2 = South Africa))


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  • Added on: August 7th, 2006
Travelling through the Congo: You have chances of robbery and machine guns kissing you on the lips. A friend had some troubles with crazy rebels in skirts. Luckily he had uploaded his photos before they took everything he owned.


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  • Added on: August 23rd, 2006
Dont put anything of value in your bags.They steal at the jomo kenyatta airport in kenya.My friend had a bad experience there.


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  • Added on: November 30th, 2006
Rwanda -Tanzania
Rusumo border

I would like to notify you about a dangerous area in Tanzania. We crossed the border at Rusumo coming from Rwanda and going to Tanzania on November 27 2006. The Rwanda side was quite safe but on the Tanzania side, we felt very threatened. We passed through a very dangerous zone through a refugee camp close to the Burundi border. There had been an ambush the previous day and three people were killed. Even though we were in a convoy, locals were terrified. Amubushes happen frequently on this road. (From Bennacco to Kahama)

We had visited the Tazanian Embassy in Kigali and specifically asked about the safety of this road and we were told it was safe. The custom's officer at the border said the same. We had also searched the internet for this information and did not find any sings of danger.

Also, on the train from Mwanza to Dodoma we had a bag stolen while we were sleeping in our first class cabin. The thief came from the top of the train and entered our small window opening to pick our stuff. Even if it's really hot, keep that window shut and locked at night.


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  • Added on: April 6th, 2007

This may sound familiar to many people as I am sure it happens in other countries, but I thought I would add it. On my first day in Sousse I stopped in the street for a moment to take a photograph, within 2 seconds of stopping a man walked up to me and said "don't you recognise me? I work in your hotel". I was unconvinced and just ignored him. Apparently if you respond they invite you for a drink then later ask you for money.

The same scam was tried on me about 4 times within 2 days at Sousse. The first time it annoyed me, but after I had heard it so many times it was just funny.


I went to a mini-restaurant just outside the colosseum (the first one on the right hand side as you exit and walk up the steps). I had a pizza and some coffee. When I was finishing the waiter came over to show me some souvenirs - including postcards, some bags of cooking herbs and a tourist map. He offered them to me, but I said no thanks. He said he would just leave them on the table for me to have a look. When I came to pay he at first tried to include them in the price, I had to repeat to him quite clearly that I didn't want them.
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Saricie K

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  • Added on: April 6th, 2007
Originally posted by Craze_b0i:

This may sound familiar to many people as I am sure it happens in other countries, but I thought I would add it. On my first day in Sousse I stopped in the street for a moment to take a photograph, within 2 seconds of stopping a man walked up to me and said "don't you recognise me? I work in your hotel". I was unconvinced and just ignored him. Apparently if you respond they invite you for a drink then later ask you for money.

I am reading the Bradt Guide to Ethiopia. According to the book, it obviously also happens in Addis Ababa quite often...
Visit my bilingual website at http://travel.saricie.com/index_en.html


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  • Added on: May 11th, 2007
That's so scary. People have to remember to be smart when they travel. Thanks for the warning.


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  • Added on: June 22nd, 2007
I think a handy carry on with your valuables is the answer if that is happening at the airport. This is verry unfortunate could someone please forward this thread to the KAA officials?


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  • Added on: July 29th, 2007

Taking pictures of any of the presidents residences is illegal and you stand a very high chance of being shot on sight. This has happened to clueless tourists in the past! Driving past the official residence is illegal as well. When the presidents official motorcade drives past if you do not force your vehicle off the road as much as is possible you will be shot. Beware of changing money on the black market as many changers on the street are undercover policemen.


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  • Added on: August 1st, 2007
Returned a couple of weeks ago from climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and a safari in the Serengeti. Climb and safari was incredible! However, our trip was soured by the touring company that we hired, Black Mamba, which is based out of Arusha. Long story short, when we got to the base of Mt. Kili to start our climb after driving 2 hours to get there our guide tells us the owner Leonard Lomayani did not give him enough money can he have $300 from myself and my friend. We thought it was a bit shady, but we were at base camp with few options and Leonard said he would pay us back. Long story short, not only did we not get our money but the same thing happened at two of the parks we went to for the safari. Each of us ended up having to give him an extra $385 in order to do what we had already paid him up front for. Leonard and Black Mamba are extremely manipulative, lying crooks. Beware! Do not want this to happen to anyone else

Stephen Mattison

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  • Added on: August 20th, 2007
Tell them to go fuck themselves.


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  • Added on: August 31st, 2007
As to theft from bags, Johannesburg International Aipot is bad for that too.

As far as crime in SA goes, you can read an insiders view of Cape Town crime.

Unfortunately, hiking on Table Mountain and Lions Head is to be avoided at the moment due to increasing problems there. Cable car rides are still fine.


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  • Added on: September 30th, 2007
I was staying at the hotel across from Koutoubia and simply asked for a cup of hot water for tea. I fell asleep suddenly at 9pm, had two vivid dreams of being shaken (but I come from earthquake country, so I interpreted them that way) ... and then a terrible nightmare about a man having pinned me from behind and reaching down into my groin. Perhaps I was choked at that point because I was struggling, trying to peel his fingers backward, but I have no more memory from that point onward. I woke up suddenly at midnite from this "dream" and found myself bruised around the arms and backs of my legs -- and someone had urinated on the bed.

GHB is common, easy to make, tasteless and lasts about three hours, lowering dopamine so that one does not have the usual alertness for self-preservation panics ... so victims sometimes wonder if it was just a dream. I had the bruises, and in fact since someone had knelt on the back of my knee I still have a limp. BE CAREFUL ABOUT TAKING LIQUIDS FROM ROOM SERVICE OR ANYONE ELSE! If my wallet had not been in my pillow I would have been robbed as well.

I am a gray-haired grandma so I was not on my guard. Now I am waiting for tests for AIDS, hepatitis and the rest. I wish all other travelers to avoid this experience. I simply could not believe it happened to me -- a crime of opportunity, not sexual attraction, and perhaps just a foiled robbery where the thief or thieves took it out on me (a bellboy had earlier demanded a bigger tip and I had refused to change a bill to give it). IT HAPPENED, so don't let it happen to you. Two Chinese girls were drugged on the coast so you don't have to be a solo traveler to be a target.


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