With a mean of 1 million vacationers arriving every year, tourism is Kenya’s primary business, and very important to the nation’s economic system. Nonetheless, the “Darkish Continent” has a repute: 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 strange vacationers visiting the world’s premier safari vacation spot? This text examines the safety state of affairs in Kenya and suggests sensible measures you possibly can implement to remain protected throughout your go to.
Theft and mugging are the principle threats to vacationers whereas travelling in Kenya (or Africa typically). The typical wage throughout the continent is about one US greenback per day. So even for those who 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 is just not malicious, slightly it’s opportunistic. So the simplest resolution is to not present the chance; don’t tempt individuals 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 test your change and put all of your cash safely away earlier than stepping out of the financial institution, overseas alternate workplace or store.
· In the event you prefer it, lock it. Inns usually 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 are feeling uncomfortable and nervous. There’s a marketplace for younger African males to principally promote themselves to older overseas 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 automotive, or possibly even a ticket out of his life and into an elite Western life-style within the lady’s house nation. Generally it ends effectively (I could be as romantic as the following particular person!), however extra usually 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 have got a husband already (this doesn’t essentially deter him nevertheless, as the foundations round promiscuity and constancy are a bit completely different throughout cultures). Strolling alone at night time is certainly to be prevented. At all times exit with two or three different individuals and take a taxi after darkish.
Scams is usually a drawback, whereby locals attraction to the sympathetic hearts of well-meaning travellers. They could tackle the position of a political refugee and request cash for his or her household or they could fake to be college students gathering contribution for his or her colleges. Use of widespread sense is your primary weapon towards such methods. In the event you’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 could be prevented by merely complying with the calls for of the assailant. The vast majority of Kenyans don’t bear animosity in the direction of foreigners and so violence wouldn’t be their first choice – they simply want cash. Many of the violence and hate is directed between the completely different tribes that share this nation, and that’s the place many 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 inclined to corruption and crime and extortion and bribery are usually not unusual practices. Visitors police have been discovered to be essentially the most corrupt individuals in Kenya. One of the best ways to keep away from changing into a goal of corruption is to pay attention to the legislation and guarantee you aren’t doing something unlawful. Some Kenyan legal guidelines that could be completely different to your house nation embrace:
· Gay acts are unlawful in Kenya.
· Penalties for drug offences could be extreme and embrace prolonged jail phrases.
· Travellers are usually not allowed to work in Kenya, even in a volunteer capability, with no 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 advantageous and/or jail for as much as six months.
· It’s unlawful to take pictures of some official buildings. If doubtful, search recommendation from an official earlier than taking any images.
· Distributing spiritual materials in public with no licence is prohibited.
There are additionally native customs to pay attention to. By observing how locals are behaving you possibly can simply slot in, however one customized that frequently fails to be adhered to, and which regularly causes offence, is that of costume. There are conservative requirements of costume and behavior in Kenya, significantly in coastal and rural areas.
So is it protected to journey to Kenya? The Australian authorities journey advisory says it is best to “train excessive warning” however you possibly can nonetheless go. And that’s my conclusion additionally. With widespread sense, consciousness of your environment and a few road smarts, your go to to Kenya must be bother free. That isn’t a promise although! There aren’t any ensures on this recreation. All I’m suggesting is that not each customer to Kenya finds problem and there’s a excellent probability you should have an superior journey.
In my subsequent article I’ll study Kenya’s safety in gentle of the March 2013 elections and the way it could have an effect on tourism subsequent yr. And remember to register with your house nation’s embassy or excessive fee in Kenya all through your go to. Which means if catastrophe does strike, they are going to know you might be there and may help you. For Australian’s, http://www.smartraveller.gov.au is the web site to register your journey.
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