Is it Safe to Travel Through Africa?

There is much information about Africa and people often do not realize that it is actually very big and is a continent that contains 54 countries. The media usually highlights and sensationalizes the negative attributes of a place and this is certainly the case for Africa. Media coverage of terrorist attacks by Al-Shabab in Kenya is but one example of this. Movies such as “Blood Diamonds” and “Black Hawk Down” have also perpetuated the stereotype that Africa is a very dangerous place to be.

Chose the Right Area

Of course there are regions in Africa that are very dangerous but there are also many areas that are safe to travel through. There are even countries in Africa such as Botswana, Malawi and Namibia that are actually considered safer than parts of the United States. If you are worried about safety, then you should research the country or countries that you are planning to visit. Chances are that if there is a concern about the safety of an area that your country’s state department will have a warning or travel advisory regarding the country that you are worried about. Another good idea is to see if any of your friends or colleagues at work have traveled to Africa before as they can also advise you and reassure you about the safety of the country you plan to visit.

Use A Tour

Another option if you are worried about safety is to go on a planned tour or safari adventure. These are well organized trips that arrange everything for you. You will also be in a group setting with tour guides who can advise and help you avoid getting into difficult and dangerous situations. Many people do not realize that Africa is more developed than is often portrayed by the media. You can find decent roads, buildings, computers and cell phones. Many people see Africa as a big forest or savannah with lions eating people; this is really just not true at all.

Be Smart

Once you decide to travel to Africa you should use common sense. Even in a very safe country you can have problems. There is no reason to become a crime victim if you keep some things in mind. These are the same common sense rules you should use traveling in any country on any continent, as there are criminals everywhere. First, do not flash large sums of money or wear very expensive jewelry. Be respectful of other cultures. There are many different cultures and tribes in Africa and they all have different social rules. You should keep this in mind and be respectful and polite to all people that you meet. It is a good idea to research the culture that you will encounter, if possible. If you use a travel agent, they may be able to help advice you, especially if they have traveled to Africa before. There is no reason you cannot safely travel through Africa. You simply need to do some research first to find out what areas are safe.