With a mean of 1 million vacationers arriving annually, tourism is Kenya’s primary business, and important to the nation’s economic system. Nevertheless, the “Darkish Continent” has a popularity: life is reasonable, violence is brutal and Kenya’s capital is usually known as “Nairobbery”. However how correct is that this image? What’s the actuality for extraordinary vacationers visiting the world’s premier safari vacation spot? This text examines the safety scenario in Kenya and suggests sensible measures you possibly can implement to remain secure throughout your go to.
Theft and mugging are the primary threats to vacationers whereas travelling in Kenya (or Africa typically). The common wage throughout the continent is about one US greenback per day. So even if you happen to think about 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 shouldn’t be malicious, slightly it’s opportunistic. So the best resolution is to not present the chance; don’t tempt folks by carelessly leaving issues round. Methods to do that embody:
· 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, international change workplace or store.
· When you prefer it, lock it. Inns usually have secure 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 will probably make you’re feeling uncomfortable and nervous. There’s a marketplace for younger African males to mainly 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 possibly 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 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 nonetheless, as the principles round promiscuity and constancy are a bit completely different throughout cultures). Strolling alone at night time is unquestionably to be prevented. At all times exit with two or three different folks and take a taxi after darkish.
Scams generally is a downside, whereby locals enchantment to the sympathetic hearts of well-meaning travellers. They might tackle the position of a political refugee and request cash for his or her household or they could faux to be college students accumulating contribution for his or her colleges. Use of frequent sense is your predominant weapon in opposition to such methods. When you’re undecided whether or not to consider it, you might be most likely proper and your cash is best in your pocket.
Violent crime will 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 desire – they simply want cash. A lot of the violence and hate is directed between the completely 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, specifically from the police. Kenyan policemen are poorly paid and thus very inclined to corruption and crime and extortion and bribery will not be 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 changing into a goal of corruption is to pay attention to the regulation and guarantee you aren’t doing something unlawful. Some Kenyan legal guidelines which may be completely different to your property nation embody:
· Gay acts are unlawful in Kenya.
· Penalties for drug offences will be extreme and embody prolonged jail phrases.
· Travellers will not be allowed to work in Kenya, even in a volunteer capability, with out a legitimate work allow. Offenders could also be fined, jailed or deported.
· Destroying Kenyan foreign money of any denomination is in opposition to the regulation.
· Smoking in public locations (together with whereas strolling on the road) is banned. Offenders caught smoking outdoors designated smoking areas face a considerable nice 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 photographs.
· Distributing non secular materials in public with out a licence is against the law.
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 often fails to be adhered to, and which frequently causes offence, is that of gown. There are conservative requirements of gown and behavior in Kenya, significantly in coastal and rural areas.
So is it secure 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 frequent sense, consciousness of your environment and a few avenue smarts, your go to to Kenya must be hassle 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 superb likelihood you should have an superior journey.
In my subsequent article I’ll study Kenya’s safety in mild of the March 2013 elections and the way it might have an effect on tourism subsequent yr. And remember to register with your property nation’s embassy or excessive fee in Kenya all through your go to. Which means if catastrophe does strike, they’ll know you might be there and may also help you. For Australian’s, http://www.smartraveller.gov.au is the web site to register your journey.