Safety

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  1. Avoid ostentatious displays of wealth – cameras swinging from your neck, cell phones in your back pocket, leaving your backpack lying around with your wallet and other valuables, wads of cash visible, etc…
  2. Exchange money only at reputable establishments like a foreign exchange or your hotel or lodge.
  3. Be vigilant when withdrawing money from an ATM. Do not allow anybody to assist you at an ATM and if possible endeavour not to withdraw large sums of cash. Always carry lower denominations with you for ease of transactions.
  4. If paying by credit card or debit card, ensure you can see the point of sale machine so that the server does not skim your card.
  5. Keep copies of your travel documentation online where they can be accessed if your documents are stolen.
  6. Be cautious at night and avoid any areas that your travel professional, hotel or host has deemed as dangerous. These include remote areas, some townships and known crime hotspots.
  7. Don’t take photographs of anybody without their permission, or of government or military installations.
  8. If you happen to be requiring transport, make use of registered public transport and licenced taxis. Uber is available in certain urban areas, but check prior to travel if you are relying on this for transport as  not every urban area offers Uber services.
  9. Enter and save any important emergency numbers into your phone prior to departing home. This will eliminate the hassle of trying to find numbers in the event of an emergency.
  10. Be aware of touts and scammers who try to swindle you out of money or look for bribes, e.g. traffic police who claim you will be arrested if you don’t pay a bribe, youngsters seeking ‘sports sponsorships’ for their cricket club, touts selling bus tickets, etc.
  11. Be aware of smash and grabs in traffic. Keep your handbag in the trunk of the car and not on the seat next to the window which criminals can ‘smash’.
  12. Don’t stand about with a map and the air of someone who’s lost. Walk with purpose and if you are lost, find a safe place like a hotel lobby to duck into, to consult a concierge or a map to get you back on track.
  13. Ensure your valuables are locked up in your hotel or lodge safe.
  14. Always carry a whistle so that you can draw quick attention if there’s an emergency.
  15. Keep a few separate sets of cash so that you have ‘decoy’ cash on hand if you are mugged and don’t need to display a wad of cash when you’re buying something.
  16. Understand that even comprehensive personal insurance does often not cover unscheduled flights and risky activities, much the same way that ski insurance does not cover skiiers on black category slopes. Know the limitations of your policy.
  17. Take note of the unique cultural norms of the destination and try not to be intrusive. Cultural norms differ from country to country <hyperlink country with following URLs:

Angola: http://www.angola.org/index.php?page=culture

Botswana: http://www.botswanatourism.co.bw/customs

Kenya: http://www.kenyaembassy.com/aboutkenyaculture.html

Lesotho: http://www.lesotholondon.org.uk/people

Malawi: http://www.malawitourism.com/pages/attractions/attraction.asp?Attraction=Cultural+%2F+People

Mozambique: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Mozambique

South Africa: http://www.southafrica.net/za/en/articles/entry/article-southafrica.net-heritage-and-culture

Swaziland: http://www.thekingdomofswaziland.com/pages/attractions/attraction.asp?Attraction=Culture%2FPeople

Tanzania: http://tanzaniaembassy-us.org/?page_id=100

Zambia: http://www.zambiatourism.com/about-zambia/people/culture

Zimbabwe: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Zimbabwe[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]