The safari experts
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We are always very keen to encourage our guests to engage with local people in a positive way. But travellers also need to be aware that they are likely to be the target of any number of what might be considered scams.

There is no doubt that serious corruption is endemic in most African countries, it is the background against which we are obliged to operate. Our suppliers ... the lodge owners and safari companies ... do their best to minimise your exposure to this kind of thing, but we cannot provide 100% protection. You may need to to have a certain amount of street savvy if you are to avoid being duped.

The first of the
to look out for is being picked up by the wrong person when you first arrive at the airport. Please make sure that your driver knows your name, who you have booked with and where you are headed. Ask these questions before letting him get sight of your paperwork. It is due to the prevalence of this scam that we do not offer branded baggage or suitcase tags to our guests, anything that identifies you with your operator or destination will increase your exposure .

Another common area where travellers end up getting scammed is when buying extras, especially outside of the lodge environment. There is no end to the number of imaginative ways in which you can get hustled. But if you use your common sense, you should not let this get in the way of normal interaction with locals. Remember that the vast majority of people are lovely, it is the guys who approach you who are more likely to carry a higher risk, so if in doubt go ask someone you think you can trust rather than wait for someone to offer help to you.

You can even get scammed by lodge staff, there is a pervasive culture of corruption in many areas and consequently a greying of the line between right and wrong. It is always worth checking your change or amounts that have been added to your bill, as well as keeping a close eye on your belongings, without getting too paranoid.

If you encounter any incidences of scams then please do report them back to us so that we can pass warnings on to other travellers, as well as helping our suppliers root out and prevent repeat occurrences.
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Jay Hanson
Jay Hanson, Senior Safari Consultant
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