Travelling Africa 15th January 2018

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 Travel Advice website as the FCO advises against travel to many areas or to certain countries. At the end of July 2017 the FCO downgraded its travel advice regarding Tunisia, Tunis and the beach areas are now back in bound.  

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 attacks 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 situations within Kenya are 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. 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. Having said that many people visit Kenya and have a wonderful and safe time, research is just necessary to ensure the destination is appropriate.  On 8 August 2017 president Kenyatta was re-elected, the election was generally violence free although the main opposition party made a legal challenge to the result and on 1 Sept the result was annulled in the Supreme Court and a second election was held on 29 October 17 October. The opposion did not contect the election and Kenyatta was delcared president on 31 October 2017. Continued political unrest will remain a threat.

Visitors to Zimbabwe can expect months of power cuts due to supply and now worsening financial situation. Once again the Zimbabwean economy is in trouble, in July 2016 the government was unable to pay civil servants due to lack of funds and in early October 2017 the situation has worsened with cash and fuel shortages. On 15 October 2017 the Army intervened and removed President Mugabe as his wife Grace moved to line herself up to succeed him. Mugabe is currently under house arrest and on 24 Nov Mugabe's deputy and long time ally Emmerson Mngangagwa was sworn in promising a economic era.  In South Africa high levels of crime are an issue in urban areas, especaily in Joburg. Travellers going through OT Tambo airport should be aware that there have been numberous incident of hold baggage being stolen from so expensive items should not be place in hold luggage.  Much of South Africa, but especially Cape Town are suffering from water shortages, rationing (50L per person per day) has been imposed in the Cape Town area. 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 innoculation on arrival. Burundi has reported over 1.5m cases of malaria since the beginning of 2017 with nearly 800 deaths.   

 

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