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10 Africa Travel Safety Tips for Dummiesby Tania Wheeler

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You have booked the ticket and are heading to deep dark Africa for your adventure holiday. How safe will it be? Will I be attacked? Can I carry my laptop? Should I get travel insurance? All are valid worries that plague every traveller before taking a leap of faith and heading to an unknown destination. However, the same rules apply in any African city that apply in a European city. If you are vigilant and practice common sense you should have a worry free holiday without any nasty surprises. It’s like a switch that flips to 'leave brain at home' when some people go on holiday in another country. No it’s not safe to walk with a lens the length of your arm and think you won’t get mugged. And there is nothing common about common sense either...

So, here are 10 Africa travel safety tips to help keep you safe:

1.   Do not accept help from anyone at an ATM. If you are being hassled take your card and leave and rather go inside a bank where someone can assist you.

2.   Do not walk around in deserted parts of cities or after business hours when parts of the city has almost nobody around.

3.   Never wear anything that projects affluence. No gold chains, expensive watches and rings, luggage, or other paraphernalia should be in easy view. Better yet: leave your jewelry at home.

4.   Do not use unmarked taxi cabs.

5.   Do not discuss travel plans, your room number or any other personal information in public within earshot of strangers.

6.   Bring along a very basic first aid kit if you must. We have doctors here too you know.

7.   Never flash your money in public. Exchange funds with reputable and recognized exchangers only.

8.   Watch for scams on the street. Children working with adults are notorious as pickpockets.

9.   Make copies of your passport and use them instead of carrying around the original which you can lock in a safe at your hotel or hostel.

10.   Purchase travel insurance before travelling making sure it covers medical evacuation, repatriation, cancellation, and all the adventure activities you might choose to do. For Africa travel advice and overland trips throughout the continent contact OverlandingAfrica.com or post your comments below.

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