Zimbabwe - Is it safe now?

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Jun 20th, 2000, 05:29 AM
  #1
Shirley
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Zimbabwe - Is it safe now?

Going to Zimbabwe at the end of August. With all the trouble there is it safe to go? Will there be restrictions on travelling around while there? Any advise would be welcome
 
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Jun 20th, 2000, 08:39 AM
  #2
Rudy
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Check the Usenet news group:
"soc.culture.zimbabwe" You will get opinions plus just about everything that appears about the Zimbabwe political situation in the papers in the English speaking world. Right now, it is a very dangerous place for white people. The president is playing the race card and anti-Bristish anti-American sentiment in a desparate attempt to hold on to power. There will be an election this coming weekend. The picture will be clearer after it. This time there is a viable opposition to Robert Mugabe's ZANU party, but ZANU has intimidated the population to such an extent that there is strong doubt that the results will be fair. Some of the ZANU people are saying, that no matter what, they will not reliquish power. It is extremely volatile. What will happen if ZANU loses? What will happen if ZANU steals the election? The country may become even more dangerous after the election. In addition, there are serious petrol shortages, rampant inflation, and an impending shortage of food stuffs. It's so sad to see this happen to such a beautiful country, to such wonderful warm people.
 
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Jun 20th, 2000, 02:37 PM
  #3
Bert
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An associate of mine was in Zimbabwe two weeks ago and reported as follows: “The airport at Victoria Falls and all the officials there couldn’t have been more relaxed and helpful. Formalities were soon completed and Pete Jones met us for the transfer. The Falls are looking great at the moment with the river full and lots of water going over. There were fewer people in the town than normal and it reminded me of the early eighties before rafting became popular. The border formalities crossing into Zambia were a breeze and we were soon linked up with the boat for the cruise down to the lodge.

...Everyone we met in Zimbabwe greeted us warmly and there was no sign at all of the unrest, which has been so much in the news recently. Travelling through
Zimbabwe’s parks and Victoria Falls was interesting. Had I not seen the TV
stories beforehand, I would never have guessed that Zimbabwe was in electioneering mode. All was calm and very peaceful throughout and there were no fuel shortages”.

Zimbabwe is a big country and your relative safety depends entirely on where you are and whom you are with. A game drive on a private concession inside Hwange Game Reserve cannot be compared with attending a political rally in Harare, for example.

People who blithely state that ‘Zimbabwe is a very dangerous place’, may be well-intentioned but it does not make the statement any less of an incorrect generalization. If I may repeat myself, it depends entirely on WHERE you are in the country.

There are many exceedingly dangerous places within 20 minutes drive from where I live here in Houston, but most of us don’t go there for fear of getting shot (you have an excellent chance of that happening to you in any of a number of bars and clubs around here). Does that make Houston 'a very dangerous place?' Of course not, unless you're a damn fool looking for trouble.

Some of the other dangerous places we have no way of avoiding, such as driving on the Katy Freeway, which I would rate right up there with attending a political rally in Harare, in terms of a 'danger potential'. Talk about fatalities, there’s someone getting seriously maimed or killed on the flea-bitten Katy Freeway or on the Southwest Freeway practically every other day...

So what do we do? Stop driving? Of course not. We strap on our seatbelts, make sure our tires are in good shape, and we certainly don't drive up one-way streets.

The exact same scenario is applicable to traveling to countries such as Zimbabwe or Kenya or South Africa or any number of countries in Africa and elsewhere. Just be selective where you go and with whom (obviously better with a local company/guide than on your own)and you should be just fine.

It is very easy to become alarmist when the topic is abductions (or worse) of foreign tourists. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that you are MUCH more likely to get hurt or killed this year or next by putting up Christmas ornaments or being involved in a car accident with a deer (not just a regular 2-car accident, they are much too common!) than being involved in any kind of terroristic or political incident in Zimbabwe, or anywhere else on this whole wide world in which we live.

Happy safe travels to you.
 
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Jun 20th, 2000, 03:35 PM
  #4
Bert
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REPOSTING THIS MESSAGE, PREVIOUS ATTEMPT DID NOT APPEAR TO 'TAKE'...

An associate of mine was in Zimbabwe two weeks ago and reported as follows: “The airport at Victoria Falls and all the officials there couldn’t have been more relaxed and helpful. Formalities were soon completed and Pete Jones met us for the transfer. The Falls are looking great at the moment with the river full and lots of water going over. There were fewer people in the town than normal and it reminded me of the early eighties before rafting became popular. The border formalities crossing into Zambia were a breeze and we were soon linked up with the boat for the cruise down to the lodge.

...Everyone we met in Zimbabwe greeted us warmly and there was no sign at all of the unrest, which has been so much in the news recently. Travelling through
Zimbabwe’s parks and Victoria Falls was interesting. Had I not seen the TV
stories beforehand, I would never have guessed that Zimbabwe was in electioneering mode. All was calm and very peaceful throughout and there were no fuel shortages”.

Zimbabwe is a big country and your relative safety depends entirely on where you are and whom you are with. A game drive on a private concession inside Hwange Game Reserve cannot be compared with attending a political rally in Harare, for example.

People who blithely state that ‘Zimbabwe is a very dangerous place’, may be well-intentioned but it does not make the statement any less of an incorrect generalization. If I may repeat myself, it depends entirely on WHERE you are in the country.

There are many exceedingly dangerous places within 20 minutes drive from where I live here in Houston, but most of us don’t go there for fear of getting shot (you have an excellent chance of that happening to you in any of a number of bars and clubs around here). Does that make Houston 'a very dangerous place?' Of course not, unless you're a damn fool looking for trouble.

Some of the other dangerous places we have no way of avoiding, such as driving on the Katy Freeway, which I would rate right up there with attending a political rally in Harare, in terms of a 'danger potential'. Talk about fatalities, there’s someone getting seriously maimed or killed on the flea-bitten Katy Freeway or on the Southwest Freeway practically every other day...

So what do we do? Stop driving? Of course not. We strap on our seatbelts, make sure our tires are in good shape, and we certainly don't drive up one-way streets.

The exact same scenario is applicable to traveling to countries such as Zimbabwe or Kenya or South Africa or any number of countries in Africa and elsewhere. Just be selective where you go and with whom (obviously better with a local company/guide than on your own)and you should be just fine.

It is very easy to become alarmist when the topic is abductions (or worse) of foreign tourists. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that you are MUCH more likely to get hurt or killed this year or next by putting up Christmas ornaments or being involved in a car accident with a deer (not just a regular 2-car accident, they are much too common!) than being involved in any kind of terroristic or political incident in Zimbabwe, or anywhere else on this whole wide world in which we live.

Happy safe travels to you.
 
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