Is it safe to travel in Africa?
Most countries in Southern and East Africa;South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya are usually safe to visit.
Self Drive Adventures recommend you visit the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website, Smartraveller, to satisfy yourself that you are willing to travel to one or more of these countries based on their travel advice. As at the time of this blog publication, the Smartraveller warnings for Namibia and Botswana state “exercise normal safety precautions”. This is the lowest level of alert and applies to other western countries such as the UK and USA.
Common sense needs to prevail wherever you are in the world: do not carry valuables in plain sight, keep cameras hidden, do not walk alone at night, stay on well lit streets and make use of safe accommodation.
Always get local advice of what you should not do or places you should not go. Have your windows wound up and doors locked in crowded areas where people are milling in the streets to avoid opportunistic theft (this is rare as we stay away from crowded places, busy towns and cities where possible).
Travelers in groups such as ours, with qualified and registered tour operators, are the least at risk. However, when travelling by car make sure the doors are locked at all times in villages, towns and cities and at fuel stations. Make sure that no valuables such as bags, purses or cameras are left on passenger seats. In the bush the only danger you should encounter are wild animals. Here ensure you have satisfied yourself that you know what you can and can’t do, talk to your guide about this if you are still unsure after he/she has briefed your group.
Over the years we have only had two minor incidents which could have been avoided if the above had been adhered to. Clients who travel with us on our guided self-drive adventures are fully briefed on the safety precautions to take in each of our destinations, including common tourist scams.