Safe Countries in Africa?


Apr 25th, 2008, 11:33 AM
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Safe Countries in Africa?

I am considering my first trip to Africa. It probably won't happen until 2010, but it cannot hurt to start thinking.

I understand normal safety precautions, etc., but given this, which countries are among the safest in Africa to visit? I am interested in seeing wildlife (i.e. safari).

I would also want to see Victoria Falls. I guess whether Zambia or Zimbabwe is safer will depend on the political situation in Zimbabwe then.

For those that have traveled to Africa, I look forward to your insights.

Thank you.

SLChicago is offline  
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Apr 25th, 2008, 11:39 AM
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If you're only doing a wildlife trip, I think almost anywhere is as safe.
I personally think Botswana is very safe as is South Africa, but in SA you have to be aware of the high rate of crime and make sure you plan and act accordingly. But if you are visiting just game reserves like I do usually, then you couldn't be safer.
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Apr 25th, 2008, 12:31 PM
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Thank you, napamatt.

I know about the reputation that South Africa gets, but does that apply to all of SA or primarily J'burg. I've wanted to go to Cape Town, but am a bit deterred by the high crime rates.
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Apr 25th, 2008, 12:54 PM
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Capetown is as safe as most major cities anywhere. Is there crime? Of course? Are tourists targeted? Maybe. But no more than elsewhere. If you stick to the tourist places, use taxis at night, don't flash money, jewelry or expensive camera equipment, you'll be fine.

As with travel anywhere, you pack your common sense along with your stuff!

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Apr 25th, 2008, 03:15 PM
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I'm thinking about 2010 travel too! Itís never too early.

You can post for a couple years in advance and get advice, give advice, and have some fun.

The first precaution I'd mention is the World Cup in South Africa. I believe it takes place mid to late June into July so I'd avoid travel to SA or anywhere that requires going through Johannesburg during that time frame +/- a month or two to avoid crowds and premium pricing.

Unless Zim really deteriorates (and everybody is hoping for the opposite) even Vic Falls in Zimbabwe should be fine.

For a safari in Southern Africa, which is where you'd probably go if you want to see Vic Falls, I'd put Botswana at the top of the safety list. Also at the top of the expensive list. But I think Zambia and South Africa are fine too. I'm going to both in July. By 2010, you can probably include Zimbabwe too.

With all these destinations being relatively safe if you use a reputable safari company, I'd choose based on wildlife and time of year you want to go. You can plug in Vic Falls in either the city of Vic Falls or Livingstone, Zambia much closer to departure.

Check this chart for best wildlife locations throughout the year and what animals may be seen where.

Please post again as questions arise and your itinerary takes shape.

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Apr 26th, 2008, 02:35 PM
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If you go 2010 avoid June 10 - July 10.
Prices will sky rocket, if you can book hotels at all.

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Apr 29th, 2008, 02:29 PM
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SLChicago is offline  
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Apr 30th, 2008, 09:54 AM
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Hie, Sl

Hope you doing good.Zimbabwe is the best including botswana. You can do a fly in from jbg to vicfalls and you are transfered from the airport to a hotel in vicfalls you will be on safari then after vicfalls you go to chobe ,okavango moremi makadikadi and this is one of the best tours you can do and its very safe .contact me then i can design a good itinerary for you. contact me on [email protected] .
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Apr 30th, 2008, 11:54 AM
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Apr 30th, 2008, 12:14 PM
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I'm in Africa for my first time right now. Overall, I'd say if you're on an overland safari with a reputable company, you should be pretty safe but should still take reasonable precautions for your belongings.

I just took a safari with Bundu/Wagon Trails and had a really good experience. Great/knowledgeable guide who knew much more about wildlife (including birds) than I expected...and great food, too.

However, I used another "reputable" safari company for the return trip from Victoria Falls to Johannesburg and definitely would NOT recommend them (if you'd like their name, e-mail me). They not only charge much more for booking online (it's in Euros as opposed to their locally published brochures in Rand...and not at equivalent exchange rates) but the guide was initially quite rude because the company did not send them my booking information. But as you're concerned about safety...they also had not planned the logistics of the trip properly, so we had to drive around Vic Falls for an hour for them to buy black-market diesel fuel. Then in Botswana they loaded the bus up with 20 locals standing on the side of the road. Clearly not the safest thing as even the guide checked his bag after they all got this company is quite popular, I have to believe these are not acceptable practices, but still...these things combined with other booking issues with them puts them far below Bundu, who went above and beyond when considering client safety and enjoyment.

If you're doing the trip on your own, though, I'd say that most countries outside of South Africa are at equal levels for personal safety (currently even including the Victoria Falls area of Zim) of belongings (including credit card fraud/theft) does seem to vary a bit more amongst the area's countries and their areas.

When it comes to Victoria Falls...I'd say you don't even have to worry about making a choice. The borders are so close, you can even walk across for a few hours. Go see the falls from both sides if the visa fees aren't a problem for you. Both felt incredibly safe this past weekend (well, unless you count the monkey who snatched my sandwich while I wasn't looking).

Hope that helps!

travels at
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Apr 30th, 2008, 01:12 PM
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have been travelling southern africa for more than 10 years: rental car, flying all over the places..visiting joburg, caoetown, durban in saa walking the streets....
use my common sense - i consider mysself of having such - and never ever happend anything to me.
my mother got pick pocketed in duesseldorf - i never experienced such a thing in africa.

i simply feel safe in africa and never think of extra precautions because of africa!

just avoid rough neighborhoods
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