Most East African countries are relatively safe and you’ll not have too many security threats during your stay. However, due to the past security threats in the region, it is advisable to check the security status of the country you intend to visit before embarking on your journey. The truth is, no country is exempted from security threats and anyone, local or a visitor can become a victim.
You need to remain conscious of what is happening around you to avoid losing your possessions to muggers or even suffering from physical injuries as a result of an attack. Most of the attacks happen where western tourist frequent and you, therefore, need to remain alert especially in crowded areas.
Here are some safety precautions you need to observe when traveling in East Africa:
- Carry your items to your front: though it is easier to carry your luggage on your backpack, it is important that you do not lose sight of your luggage. It is easier for a mugger to snatch your backpack than it is to get a bag you are carrying to your front.
- When you get to a hotel, do not hang your bag on your chair, keep it on the floor or even place it on the sidewalk. It is likely that you’ll get distracted and if someone is interested in your bag, he will use the opportunity to get away with it. If possible, keep your bag on your laps, on the floor with the strap tied around your legs or anywhere else where you’ll feel whenever anyone tries to take it.
- Check around you before you leave: if you are in a hotel or other public places, make it a habit to look back before you leave. You may discover that you were leaving behind an important item such as a shopping bag or even a purse.
- Reserve your expensive jewelry for when you return home: wearing expensive jewelry is one way of attracting unnecessary attention from people that would want to steal from you. Keeping it simple when in East Africa will may you to blend well with the locals who will be a form of security during your stay. If you have an expensive camera to capture the moments, keep it safe when not in use.
- Avoid accepting food or drinks from unknown people when traveling: there are many instances where tourists have been drugged and on regaining their consciousness, they discover that all their valuables are missing. To avoid this, only take your food in restaurants where your safety is a primary concern and where you have a guarantee that the food you’ll be taking is safe.
- Do not fight with muggers: in the event that a mugger attacks you with an aim of stealing from you, do not fight back. It is possible that he is armed and will not hesitate to harm you if you don’t give him what he wants. To be safe, give him what he wants and he’ll leave you alone! You still have a great life ahead of you where you can get even better possessions compared to what he’ll take from you.