Is Africa Safe?

May 25th, 2004, 07:00 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Is Africa Safe?

Is it safe to travel to Africa these days. I have read recent warnings on East Africa. I planned to travel in September to Kenya & Tanzania but my husband is thinking about canceling the trip. Has anyone been there recently? Would we be better off changing our trip to Boswana, is it any safer? Or should be forget traveling to Africa at this time altogether?
Lucretia is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 07:41 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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We asked this very same question within the past few months. If you type in key words such as "Kenya Tanzania Safety" in the "search this forum" mode you will come up with the responses of many of the regulars. Overwhelmingly you will see that the general opinion is that it is safe (given that a little common sense is used as should always be the case).
We ended up choosing Botswana over Kenya /Tanzania but safety had little or nothing to do with it. Now, having enjoyed our trip to Botswana, we would take a trip to Kenya or Tanzania in a heart beat.
Good luck.
jeorgiagirl is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 09:34 AM
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My wife and I went to Tanzania in Sept 2002 and never once did we feel in any danger. We're already planning our next trip.
teresaandgreg is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 09:44 AM
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Go to Ghana. I just answered a post on Ghana here on Fodors, but go to and type in the country and click on Forum. They have tons of info on this subject and they are big Ghana enthusiast as I am. I was recently there and friends have been going since the 70s. VERY safe, Women can travel alone with no problems and crime is low.
Guenmai is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 12:01 PM
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If you are thinking it might not be safe then you should stay home,otherwise go and I am pretty sure you will be glad you did.
mgmargate is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 06:00 PM
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East Africa is as safe as anyplace these days. This questions has been asked since 9/11, then after the attempted attack on the El Al plane taking off from Mombasa, for the period of time at the beginning of the Iraw war when BA stopped flying into NBO (they are again, for over a year, back to flying into NBO with no incidents). I know that I, and others have encouraged people to continue with their plans and go to Kenya & Tanzania. Few have changed their plans; those that I know who did kicked themselves for doing so and soon after rebooked their trip. And for those who didn't, who went - they have had only wonderful experiences to report and tell of plans for future trips.

Nowadays, anyplace in the world is a possible terrorist target - there's no guarantee it won't be one's home country or elsewhere (Paris, London, Botswana, South Africa, Thailand, Australia).

Name a place, something can happen, but only you can determine your own personal comfort level. Read thru this board and you will find there are many who have or are planning travel to East Africa.
May 26th, 2004, 06:22 AM
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Let me answer this way: in fall, 2002, at MalaMala, I read about the sniper ... six dead already. Being in the midst of wild animals made me feel rather comfortable. I assume they'd have the guy by the time I got home. Bad assumption! I began to feel fear the second night home.
May 26th, 2004, 03:05 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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I felt safer in the bush than anywhere else in the world.
Clematis is offline  
May 26th, 2004, 04:46 PM
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We went to Kenya and Tanzania in July of 2003, only one month after the U.S. issued a terrorism warning for Kenya.

A lot of folks thought we should have postponed the trip but we decided to go anyway.

Outside of a fiasco with our tour operator, we never felt threatened or unsafe the whole time in either country. In fact, like Clematis, I feel much safer in the bush then I do in a big city probably 99% of the time.

It was a shame to see the camps we stayed at only one third or less full because of the warnings. In fact, at two of the camps, there was only one other couple there.

We returned to Africa (S.A.) in March of this year and I will go back to Africa without hesitation any time, any day and any chance I get.

Follow your instinct but don't let fear talk you out of a great opportunity.

divewop is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 06:14 AM
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I must agree with Clematis about feeling safer in the bush than anywhere else.

I write this from Florence, Italy, and I am just amazed at the amount of people that have been at every single destination on my guided tour of Italy. It is quite overwhelming, and where there are hordes of tourists, there are always those around that will try to take advantage. I have personally been tugged at by gypsies, worse than I ever have from a desperate person in Zimbabwe (and I have never had any bad experiences in Zambia or South Africa).

Our tour guide is continuously warning us against the gypsies and it is not fun when you have to check your pocket for your wallet every couple minutes or fear for even taking your wallet out of your pocket.

Personally, I cannot stand the crowds and eagerly await Zambia next week. If nothing else, I do not care for Italy and find Spain to be a much nicer country, although the Spanish cuisine does leave a lot to be desired.

If you are asking about the bush and better parts of Cape Town, then I would say that Africa is every bit as safe (or safer) than a major American or European city. I have no comment on travelling overland through various countries or in staying in any non-touristy cities in Africa, as that is not the Africa that I know and love.

I honestly need a vacation after spending seven days so far in Italy. Hopefully the last three days in Naples/Sorrento/Capri will not be as overwhelming as the first seven days of this trip has been so far. Seven nights in South Luangwa and four nights in the Lower Zambezi will be a slice of heaven.
Roccco is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 04:24 PM
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I agree with Rocco. The Gypsy situation in some parts of Italy can be a real pain. I am female and travel solo and had MANY attempted assaults and fights with Gypsies when I was in Italy several times in the 1980s. It's not my idea of a peaceful vacation.It was rougher than some parts of what we would call dangerous areas in big cities in the States.I guess it's good I have city lifeskills. I survived all the hassles and attacks, but it was tiring.
Guenmai is offline  

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