The safari experts
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safety

safety

Safety in Africa
is of much less of a concern that it has been in years gone by, standards for international travellers are much improved.

Nevertheless. given the grossly inaccurate press that the continent continues to endure, it is hardly surprising that many people, particularly those who have not previously travelled in Africa, are concerned about safety.

Of course there are certain risks, but travellers who are suitably aware should be able to reduce these to more than acceptable levels ...


Sickness ...

International travellers to Africa who take suitable precautions rarely encounter serious health issues, but you really do need to take care and be aware. There are some very serious issues covered in our health section, most notably the need to have adequate vaccinations and to take prophylaxis pills against malaria.


Altitude sickness ...

This issues is specific to trekkers on Kilimanjaro, but is so serious that it features highly in this list. Of the 30,000 who trek Kilimanjaro each year, we estimate that between 5 to 10 people die each year from altitude sickness, which means that the chances of death are around 1 in 4500. Please refer to the Mount Kilimanjaro page for details.


Road accidents ...

We usually hear of around one fatal road crash every two years. We therefore estimate that the chances of being involved in such an incident are around 1 in 60,000. Read more in our section on road safety.


Large animals ...

We usually hear of around one fatal animal attack every two years. We therefore estimate that the chances of being involved in such an incident are around 1 in 70,000. Read more in our section on animal attacks.


Air accidents ...

We usually hear of around one fatal air crash every two years. We therefore estimate that the chances of being involved in such an incident are around 1 in 20,000. Read more in our section on air safety.


Snakes and insects ...

We are commonly asked what are the chances of being bitten by a venomous snake in Africa? The answer is extremely low. We usually hear of around one fatal snake bite every three to five years. We therefore estimate that the chances of being involved in such an incident are around 1 in 100,000. Read more in our section on snake bites.

On the other hand, the chances of getting bitten by insects is much higher and, if you do not take suitable precautions, the consequences can be just as serious.


Crime ...

Contrary to commonly held pre-conceptions, crime is no more of a problem in most of Africa than it is in many other parts of the world. But it is something of which you need to be aware and act accordingly. Read more in our crime section.

On the other hand, hustle is something you are likely to be exposed to at regular intervals on your trip, although this tends to be of such an non threatening and even positive and rather charming nature.


Getting lost ...

This risk is specific to desert areas, notably in Namibia, where self-drive travellers turn off the main routes, get lost or break down and end up dying of thirst. It sounds like a pretty extraordinary way to go, but we hear of such incidents about once every five years, which means that the risk of dying in this way is probably around 1 in 50,000.

The ways to reduce this risk are pretty obvious ... don't wander of the main roads without advising people exactly where you are going and when to expect you, only travel on the most remote routes in convoy and hire a satellite phone for emergency communication.
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Jay Hanson
Jay Hanson, Senior Safari Consultant
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