Travelling Africa 18th July 2017

Southern and Eastern Africa are popular destinations and are certainly safer than much of north and Central Africa. Its essential to check the FCO country Travle Advice website as the FCO advises against travel to many ares or whole countries.  

The risk of further terrorist attacks in Kenya is currently assessed as high. The Somali islamist terror group Al-Shabalab has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks within Kenya and further attack are likely, especially in Nairobi on western interests. On 21 Sept 2013 Al Shabaab killed over 40 people in an attack on the Westgate shopping center in downtown Nairobi and 150 students were killed in a co-ordinated attack on Garissa University on 3 April 2015. Travellers are reminded to be vigilant and to avoid crowded areas. Crime levels are rising and general security situation within Kenya is worsening. On 01 Jan 2017 a system of water rationing was introduced in Nairobi and may last several months. Much of Kenya is suffering from a severe drought. Presidential elections are scheduled for 8th August 2017. The situation is likely to be tense in the run up to the elections with increaed security as previous election have resulted in violence, especailly post the 2007 December election. The 10 week electioneering period started on 28 May.  In May 2017 there has been a outbreak of Cholera, over 300 cases, some of them in Nairobi. Cholera is linked to poor sanitation and tourist areas are generally not affected. That all said, many people visit Kenya and have a wonderful and safe time, research is just necessary to ensure the destination is approapriate.   

Visitors to Zimbabwe can expect months of power cuts due to supply and now worsening financial situation. Since the beginning of 2013 there has been a significant rise in case of express kidnapping in Zimbabwe due to bogus taxi drivers. Once again the Zimbabwean economy is in deep trouble, in July 2016 the government was unable to pay civil servants due to lack of funds. Pressure continues to mount of President Mugabe to stand down and in Nov 2016 there was an increase in demonstrations and civil unrest. However in December 2016 Mugabe announced that he would stand again in the 2018 Presidential elections. In South Africa high levels of crime are an issue in urban areas, especaily in Joburg. The country had been suffering from lack of rainfall for a number of years but heavy rain in Jan & Feb 2017 improved the situation but also caused floodeing in Kwa-Zulu Natal.  The Ebola outbreak of  2014/15  killed over 10500 in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The epidmic has now passed, travel restrictions have been listed but further isolated cases are expected. Zambia has also been suffering from power cuts due to less electricity coming from hydro due to the prolonged drought but heavy rains at the beginniing of 2017 should be improving the situation. Oppposition to the president is rising, unrest continues and a state of emergency was declared on 17 July 17. In Angola there was a Yellow Fever outbreak in 2016 in which over 400 peopel have been killed. Of note visitors to Uganda at Xmas 2016 were asked to show proof of Yellow Fever innoculaton on arrival. Burundi has reported over 1.5m cases of malaria since the beginning of 2017 with nearly 800 deaths.   

In 2017 there are elections in Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, The DRC and Liberia.

 

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