With a median of 1 million vacationers arriving every year, tourism is Kenya’s primary trade, and important to the nation’s economic system. Nevertheless, the “Darkish Continent” has a fame: life is reasonable, violence is brutal and Kenya’s capital is often known as “Nairobbery”. However how correct is that this image? What’s the actuality for odd vacationers visiting the world’s premier safari vacation spot? This text examines the safety state of affairs in Kenya and suggests sensible measures you may implement to remain protected throughout your go to.
Theft and mugging are the principle threats to vacationers whereas travelling in Kenya (or Africa usually). The typical wage throughout the continent is about one US greenback per day. So even in the event you take into account your self essentially the most budget-conscious, cash-strapped backpacker, your western possessions are sometimes irresistible to people who find themselves struggling to feed their households. Typically, theft just isn’t malicious, relatively it’s opportunistic. So the simplest answer is to not present the chance; don’t tempt folks by carelessly leaving issues round. Methods to do that embrace:
· Don’t put on jewelry (watches, necklaces, loop earring that may simply be grabbed)
· Make sure you examine your change and put all of your cash safely away earlier than stepping out of the financial institution, international alternate workplace or store.
· If you happen to prefer it, lock it. Lodges typically have protected containers to retailer your valuables. So if you do not want it for the day, retailer it securely.
Harassment is one other security concern, not since you are in bodily hazard essentially, however extra as a result of it might probably make you’re feeling uncomfortable and nervous. There’s a marketplace for younger African males to principally promote themselves to older international girls. The lady will fall in love with this charming, good-looking, charismatic man and shortly discover herself paying tuition charges, shopping for him a automobile, or perhaps even a ticket out of his life and into an elite Western life-style within the lady’s house nation. Typically it ends nicely (I will be as romantic as the following particular person!), however extra typically it ends in heartbreak. The upshot is that single white females are sometimes the goal of undesirable male consideration. Be well mannered, however agency. Inform him you could have a husband already (this doesn’t essentially deter him nevertheless, as the principles round promiscuity and constancy are a bit totally different throughout cultures). Strolling alone at night time is certainly to be prevented. At all times exit with two or three different folks and take a taxi after darkish.
Scams could be a drawback, whereby locals enchantment to the sympathetic hearts of well-meaning travellers. They could tackle the function of a political refugee and request cash for his or her household or they may faux to be college students amassing contribution for his or her colleges. Use of frequent sense is your principal weapon towards such methods. If you happen to’re unsure whether or not to imagine it, you might be in all probability proper and your cash is healthier in your pocket.
Violent crime will be prevented by merely complying with the calls for of the assailant. Nearly all of Kenyans don’t bear animosity in the direction of foreigners and so violence wouldn’t be their first choice – they only want cash. Many of the violence and hate is directed between the totally different tribes that share this nation, and that’s the place a lot of the brutal tales originate.
Lastly corruption is a matter that everybody within the nation (native and customer alike) should battle with on a regular basis, particularly from the police. Kenyan policemen are poorly paid and thus very prone to corruption and crime and extortion and bribery usually are not unusual practices. Site visitors police have been discovered to be essentially the most corrupt folks in Kenya. One of the simplest ways to keep away from turning into a goal of corruption is to concentrate on the legislation and guarantee you aren’t doing something unlawful. Some Kenyan legal guidelines which may be totally different to your property nation embrace:
· Gay acts are unlawful in Kenya.
· Penalties for drug offences will be extreme and embrace prolonged jail phrases.
· Travellers usually are not allowed to work in Kenya, even in a volunteer capability, and not using a legitimate work allow. Offenders could also be fined, jailed or deported.
· Destroying Kenyan forex of any denomination is towards the legislation.
· Smoking in public locations (together with whereas strolling on the road) is banned. Offenders caught smoking outdoors designated smoking areas face a considerable superb and/or jail for as much as six months.
· It’s unlawful to take images of some official buildings. If doubtful, search recommendation from an official earlier than taking any pictures.
· Distributing spiritual materials in public and not using a licence is against the law.
There are additionally native customs to concentrate on. By observing how locals are behaving you may simply slot in, however one customized that recurrently fails to be adhered to, and which frequently causes offence, is that of gown. There are conservative requirements of gown and behavior in Kenya, notably in coastal and rural areas.
So is it protected to journey to Kenya? The Australian authorities journey advisory says you must “train excessive warning” however you may nonetheless go. And that’s my conclusion additionally. With frequent sense, consciousness of your environment and a few road smarts, your go to to Kenya needs to be bother free. That’s not a promise although! There are not any ensures on this sport. All I’m suggesting is that not each customer to Kenya finds problem and there’s a superb probability you’ll have an superior journey.
In my subsequent article I’ll look at Kenya’s safety in mild of the March 2013 elections and the way it could have an effect on tourism subsequent yr. And remember to register with your property nation’s embassy or excessive fee in Kenya at some stage in your go to. Which means that if catastrophe does strike, they are going to know you might be there and might help you. For Australian’s, http://www.smartraveller.gov.au is the web site to register your journey.