Here are some important tips that will help to keep you safe on your tours. Don’t be afraid of by this long list of tips. Many of these apply to other destinations around the world, too.
On the flight as well as at the airport
• Don’t ever pack valuables in checked luggage. Avoid keeping your passport in your back pocket or accessible jacket pocket. Keep it in the inside pocket or travel wallet.
• Be attentive at the airport. Keep your stuff in sight. Don’t just loiter around. Do follow official direction signs and avoid asking random people for directions.
• Do not carry valuables in the backpack or any bag or pocket that is simply accessible. Don’t opt for taxis that have been suggested to you by strangers at the airport.
• Avoid carrying large amounts of cash with you, or exchanging a large amount of foreign currency at the airport.
At an ATM
Removing Cash from an ATM
• ATM’s or cash machines are available almost universally. Few are in safe locations whereas others are not. The safest ones are those placed inside a bank or shopping mall and not out on the street. Avoid drawing large sums of cash at a time.
• Be attentive. Never take help from a stranger. Shield the keypad while typing in your pin. Never reveal your pin to anyone no matter what the situation is.
• If your card gets stuck in the machine, and a stranger comes to help you, it is mostly a scam. Wait at the machine, don’t enter your code again, call in your bank and cancel your card instantly. It is better to save your bank’s contact number on your phone before your trip, so it is easy to cancel your card if required. And make sure that you enable international dialing on your phone.
• Do not keep valuables on the passenger seat or backseat of the car. Ensure phones, handbags, laptop bags and any other valuables are kept out of sight. If possible, keep your wallet, phone as well as a passport with yourself rather than somewhere in the car. A hidden money belt can be helpful.
• Use a GPS, but also inquire directions to your destination before your trip, and plan your route in advance.
• Stick to the speed limit and obey each and every traffic rules. If a traffic light is not working, assume it as a 4-way stop. If you get pulled over, be friendly and polite, but be alert that a small minority of traffic cops can be corrupt. If you are asked to head towards the police station, agree to go, be firm on a written ticket showing the infringement and the officer’s name, as well as a receipt for the fine you have paid.
• While locking your car, listen for the click of the lock or check your doors to ensure they are locked properly. In several areas, remote jammers are active.
At a hotel or at restaurants
• Avoid leaving your bags unattended. Keep them closed and within your sight.
• All credit card transactions should be completed when you are there at that specific place. Avoid giving your credit card to anyone and don’t let them go out of sight, where it may be cloned.
• Make use of the lockers of your room. Don’t leave valuables in your suitcase or anywhere in the room.
On foot and in public areas
• Stand near areas that are well lit and frequently visited by tourists. Don’t walk on empty side streets or alleyways. Avoid dodgy-looking places.
• Don’t roam around aimlessly. Know where you are heading. If you want directions, don’t ask strangers on the street prefer going into a hotel or shop.
• Don’t show valuables or too much of jewelry. Try to blend in, rather than trying to stand out as a rich tourist.
• Be careful when people approach you or try and distract you. Walk inside a nearby shop if you feel uncomfortable.
• It is not at all wise to carry large sums of money with you. Credit cards are widely accepted as well as much safer.
Most importantly, do not let the fear of crime spoil your trip or stop you from enjoying your tour or safari!