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Africa Warnings

ayagomba

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  • Added on: February 20th, 2008
quote:
Originally posted by Laura M:
someone I know was in Kenya and said it's not really safe at night, and that there are carjackings going on. This is Nairobi she's talking about. how true it is I can't say, but this is according to her.


Actually, that is not entirely true. Yes there are carjackings from time to time, but not at the rate your friend it trying to imply. Some areas are definitely no go zones at night e.g. Kibera, Eastleigh. However, in areas like Westlands, Karen. Runda, you can literally leave your keys in the car without a worry all night.
andrew yagomba bsc
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www.madukhatravel.com

Fun In The Sun

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  • Added on: May 11th, 2008
The following is a common Tanzania safari scam. It happened to a few other travellers I met too.

I paid for a 4 day safari which included 2 days in the Serengeti. On the 3rd day of our safari, we were left at the gate of the Serengeti from early morning until about 3pm, so the company could save 1 day's entry fees to the park. We then had to leave the park on day 4 by 3pm. It turned out, all of us in the group had booked through different companies, that had sold us all onto a guy named Abraham Shaidi . I had also paid my tour company for 2 night's hotel accommodation. The night after the safari was never paid for, and I had to pay for it again. The Arusha tour companies used for the safari were;
Angus Brothers (Moshi)
Great Masai Adventures (Arusha)
Crown Eagle (Arusha)
Kindoroko (Arusha)
Sandland Tours (Arusha)
These companies will sell your business onto a third party. Perhaps you get a good safari and guide, or perhaps you will have issues like I did. Either way, they are a gamble to go with.

seraphim

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  • Added on: December 12th, 2008
quote:
sub Saharan Africa in general:
Try to avoid taking pictures within cities. This is simply asking for trouble.


Could you explain this a bit further? What kind of trouble?
Karlien
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CarlosAlbert

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  • Added on: January 27th, 2009
I am South African living in South Africa. Security around the stadiums will be high.We had to world cup cricket here and the world cup rugby I am sure if they thought it would be to dangerous they would never have had this major tournaments in South Africa. One word don't go sitting in a pub somewhere and criticize the country then maybe the locals will not take friendly to that. By the way the local people in Cape Town are normally very friendly with tourists. Trust yourself and you instinct. Hope you have a good time here.
If you need information regarding a Chile wine tour PM me.

betsyp

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  • Added on: July 6th, 2009
Beware of a man named Titus Tossy who is based in Arusha, Tanzania. He runs "volunteer" opportunities that are a scam. After he scammed me, I tried to get some of his listings on idealist.org and other sites pulled, but the name of his "company" change frequently as he has a background in computers and just builds new websites. Just wish I could have gotten the word out before others had the similar experiences. PM me if you need more information.

Carl24

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  • Added on: September 19th, 2009
Morocco:

I found that hostels and restaurants who hired people (or goons) to harass you on the street to get you to go to specific hostels or restaurants were actually, some of the worst restaurants and hostels in whatever city I was in. I learned quickly, the best hostels and even budget hostels, and restaurants don't need to resort to this. In Tangier, the people were the worst, and even aggressive! If people walk up to you in Tangier for a hostel, don't do business with them, they are very shady. I know from experience, they will follow you around, much more than other cities! One guy kept coming up to me saying "Where you staying my friend." and even said "That hostel doesn't exist anymore, I checked online." Interesting, since I was there that night. But also SHADY!!

Also, many times, a Moroccan who seems friendly, will walk up to you if you look lost and, without fail, he will say these exact words "Where are you going my friend?" or "Where do you want to go my friend." Always "my friend." I fell for this two or three times because I give strangers the benefit of the doubt when there is little risk of anything bad happening. One such story and the LAST: I said I was looking for an internet cafe and the guy said he would lead me to one, "with pleasure". We had a nice talk and I mentioned that I was a poor student, in the conversation, it came up naturally. As I entered the internet cafe he said "10 dirham please." I refused and he insisted. I said, "what, you can't do a good deed for five minutes, for free." He asked again. I said, "look man, this is my last day in Morocco and I have very little dirham left (true) and I told you, I am a poor student (true). He said, "I am not leaving until you give me ten dirham" and followed me to my computer and proceeded to watch me until I stopped what I was doing. I refused again and said "Give me some privacy." It got to the point where he said "You make me want to do bad things to you." I said "I will call the cops!" A lady must have understood what was going on and thankfully, started yelling at him in Arabic! He glared at me and said "I'll be waiting for you outside." Spooky. So for the rest of the day, if a Moroccan came up to me, and was the least bit persistent, I was extremely rude. So sorry to the legit people I must have hurt, I was scared. Sadly, you have to be careful with whom you ask for directions, and who you choose to lead you. Another boy in Marrakesh asked for ten dirham as well for a short walk and got pretty pissed when I offered 2 dirham. I guess the best response to "where you going." is to say where and say, but I am poor and have no money to offer. Than they can decide if they still want to help you. Sad, but it will help you avoid my story perhaps.

Anyways, one guy I was rude to in Tangier saw me later and stepped in front of me, "Friend, you ignored me earlier, I just want to talk." I said "look, I had an awful experience, just leave." He ended up being persistent in a peaceful way, that struck me just right. He ended up taking me for tea and we had an awesome talk and he said he was deeply embarrassed in regards to how some of the hostel workers in Tangier operate. He totally understood my intial reaction to him and he said "F---ing hostel workers sometimes" and offered to take me to the police to complain.

So be careful for shady businesses and people offering help! Some people will try anything to extort even a few dirham from you and WILL resort to aggressiveness if you don't give in.

One guy tried to charge me ten dirham for using the bathroom. But I took a walk in, one look at the shit stained walls and floor and got out right away. Poor even by third world standards and I am tolerant of nasty bathrooms. I said, I was in there a second, and you know it, and left when I saw the condition of the bathroom. He tried to insist, but sometimes, you have to remain firm in your stance and he finally gave up. 10 dirham even for a nice bathroom in Morocco is insane!

On the whole, Morocco is a safe country. Don't get me wrong, those are just a few warnings.

seraphim

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  • Added on: October 17th, 2009
Be careful in Ouagadougou at night. If possible, don't take a bag, and ask the locals if a certain neighbourhood is safe to walk around at night. If not, take a taxi. My bf and I were riding a moped near the Hotel les Palmiers, when we saw a man trying to steel a white woman's purse (or actually my bf saw, I didn't notice anything until he started screaming - it was quite dark and we didn't have a headlight). When he didn't manage to grab the bag, he stabbed the woman and her Burkinabe companion, then ran off when we intervened. We accompanied them to the hospital, and a local there said he had been attacked in the same area a couple of years earlier.

I don't want to alarm anyone, or disuade them from going to Burkina Faso (rather the opposite, go go go!), but as I said it's best to always ask the locals if a certain area is safe, first, and always be alert at night.
Karlien
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shubh

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  • Added on: November 2nd, 2009
This is an area in which South Africa needs to improve on. Generally speaking many accommodation providers have wheelchair ramps and bathroom facilities for the disabled. Most public buildings cater for wheelchair access and most sports stadiums have areas accessible to wheelchairs. Malaria is endemic to certain areas of Africa and all visitors should take precautions against Malaria. Anti malaria medication should be taken prior to arrival, during the stay and after departure. Comfortable clothing is recommended. On Safari, lightweight cotton trousers, skirts or culottes are recommended. A cotton bush jacket or golf jacket with pockets will be useful.

ZiaraSafaris

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  • Added on: June 28th, 2010
The golden rule I live by in Africa is to arrange any total costs before committing to buy a product or use a service (e.g. taxi, safari, excursion). This not only gives you room to haggle if you need to, but also ensures that you will not be put in the uncomfortable position of having to pay over the odds because you have already committed.

Don't forget this rule travellers - it is absolutely invaluable!
Ziara Safaris specialise in customisable and private Kenya and Tanzania Safaris. If you would like more information on vacationing in East Africa, then just ask! :)

Travel_Bugger

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  • Added on: June 30th, 2011
You shouldn't face any more danger in Africa than you would in any other part of the world. Theft is probably the biggest trouble you'll ever run into, but that could be true for any traveler visiting any other country.

If you must, avoid Dakar, Nairobi and Johannesburg. I've heard they have the brunt of the violent crimes that occur in Africa, but everywhere else should be generally safe.

ALAandy

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  • Added on: July 6th, 2011
seraphim wrote:quote:sub Saharan Africa in general:Try to avoid taking pictures within cities. This is simply asking for trouble. Could you explain this a bit further? What kind of trouble?


What I found when taking pictures in cities in Namibia, is that people always either want money or are angry you took their picture. I got quite a few middle fingers while taking pictures in cities. But in the villages all they asked was to see the picture and they loved that.

I believe someone mentioned it earlier, but taking pictures of police or government officials can land you in some trouble. I usually avoid that unless I ask first, many times I was told they didn't wan their picture taken.

I felt very safe in Namibia for the most part, the most safe in the villages rather than in the cities. My father and I did go to Zimbabwe and you could sense the corruption, but the people were friendly for the most part. I never felt the threat of being mugged anywhere, but I chalk this up to the fact that I am 6'5 and a college football player, and my dad is 6'0 and a pretty big guy as well.

The only place I felt uncomfortable was in Zimbabwe at an open air craft market for tourists near Victoria Falls. The problem came from their were near 100 vendors and my father and I were the only tourists there at the time. We were constantly surrounded and I had to continuously check to make sure my wallet was still in my pocket. I did get some great crafts for a great price though.
Andy Austin
Austin Lehman Adventures
Voted one of the best adventure vacation companies

willw9

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  • Added on: July 7th, 2011
I plan to fly to Kenya in January, and spend 6 weeks hanging out in Kenya, Tanzania, possibly Uganda, possibly Zanzibar, and possibly wherever else I end up wandering off to. I am 5'11, male, and have played ice hockey all my life. I've done a bunch of solo travel in the past, but I will readily swallow my pride and admit that I am a bit nervous for this trip. Should I be? Why? Advice? How many other backpackers do you anticipate I'll meet? I should also mention that I do plan to climb Kili around day 10-15, so I'll certainly meet some ppl during this time.

Any and all help appreciated,

Will

christine86

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  • Added on: August 25th, 2011
yes I heard that too. Taking pictures of government offices is something that you should avoid while in Africa.
Have Pleasant Stay @ Hotel Near RDS

TravellerSami

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  • Added on: September 3rd, 2011
Do not just cross the road on the ¨green man¨ on pedestrian crossings in South Africa - they are unreliable. Also watch out for the lights - they go from red for the drivers to green, with no warning amber in-between.

BuildingMyBento

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  • Added on: December 29th, 2012
Carl24 wrote:Morocco:

I found that hostels and restaurants who hired people (or goons) to harass you on the street to get you to go to specific hostels or restaurants were actually, some of the worst restaurants and hostels in whatever city I was in. I learned quickly, the best hostels and even budget hostels, and restaurants don't need to resort to this. In Tangier, the people were the worst, and even aggressive! If people walk up to you in Tangier for a hostel, don't do business with them, they are very shady. I know from experience, they will follow you around, much more than other cities! One guy kept coming up to me saying "Where you staying my friend." and even said "That hostel doesn't exist anymore, I checked online." Interesting, since I was there that night. But also SHADY!!



My visit to Tangier was marred by one of the aforementioned shysters following me around for about an hour- even after going into a hotel/restaurant to lose him.

On the other hand, my visit to Marrakech and Casablanca were virtually free of this gunk. Marrakech is a big tourist center, but that sometimes translates to more scams. In any event, that city was a good time.
I travel, I eat, I find umeboshi, I blog, I am chuffed: http://buildingmybento.wordpress.com/


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