Safety is always a concern for travellers no matter where they’re visiting in the world. And it’s no wonder questions on safety pop up almost first and foremost – the world itself is a crime infested place and danger is all around us. Travellers especially are concerned about their safety as they are entering into unfamiliar territory and of course, the more they know, the more they can prepare themselves.
While safety is of course a concern for males; females are a lot more vulnerable, especially when we consider crimes/rings which label females in particular as soft targets.
Here at African Overland Tours, a great percentage of our travellers are females, and we frequently get asked questions related to safety in Africa, and their safety on our tours, which is why we’d like to address the subject, answer your questions, offer our advice and hopefully put your mind at ease. And men – you can take note too!
Firstly, Africa is not a scary, crime infested continent like you may have heard. Yes, there is extreme poverty which is synonymous with crime; yes there are places which require you to be extra vigilant, and yes there are even some places you ought to stay away from for your own safety. However, the chances of you finding yourself in a bad situation is highly unlikely, especially while on one of our overland tours. Here’s why:
-Our highly trained guides come with extensive experience which is sure to make your trip memorable, fascinating, fun and of course safe. They know the places to avoid, they are aware of their surroundings, and can quickly tell if danger is near – and they know exactly what to do to make sure their team of explorers are safe.
-Yes, Africa does experience malicious crime too, but this is often confined to certain areas; areas which either experience extreme poverty, or areas ruled by gangs. African Overland Tours does not offer tours to these areas, instead our mission is to give travellers the opportunity to see the more raw, real and nature filled areas of the continent – (the Africa you have come to know and love on wildlife documentaries!)
-The places which we travel through/to are incredibly safe as they’re hardly ever near large communities. We take the roads less travelled – off the beaten track, giving you an authentic African experience.
-The ‘touristy’ places in Africa are incredibly safe as most of these areas are in protected national parks.
-Travelling in a group especially, is much safer as everyone looks out for one another; and the nature of the most popular crimes in Africa usually target those who are travelling alone, or in smaller groups.
All in all, Africa is a great place for female travellers, but just like anywhere, it’s important you remain vigilant and stick to the safety guidelines. Here are just a few very important considerations that are sure to keep you out of harm’s way:
I can hear you asking ‘what are the most popular crimes in Africa? Well, the most popular crimes are, in fact, petty crime such as mugging and pick-pocketing. Yes, there are some cases in which the criminal is armed, however this is usually a way of scaring their victim and is not usually used to harm – unless the victim puts up a fight. Which is why, if you do come into contact with crime, it’s recommended one rather hand over their belongings than put up a fight and risk being harmed.
It’s also important not to flaunt your valuables – rather keep them out of eyesight so as not to draw attention.
Walk around in groups – this is a great deterrent. If you’re alone or travelling in a small group, the better the chances of you being a target.
Make lifelong memories in Africa; a place filled with wonder, awe, warmth and immense beauty. Let’s take the journey together!