Travelling Africa 17th January 2019

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. The latest attack was on 15 January 2109 when at least 14 people were killed in an Al Shabab attack on the DusitD2 hotel in Nairobi.Travellers are reminded to be vigilant and to avoid crowded areas. 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. Whilst terrorism grabs the headlines, Kenya is a well developed country with a good level of education and many opportunites for young travellers to explore and get some part time work. The rainy season has started, it typically runs March to May and in 2018 flooding has occurred in some areas.

Visitors to Zimbabwe can expect months of power cuts due to supply and now worsening financial situation. The Zimbabwean economy has been in trouble for many years under the leadership of Robert Mugabe but hopefully it will now improve due to the changed political situation.  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. New presidential elections were held on 30th July 2018 and President Mnangagwa was re-elected. In September 2018 an outbreak of Cholera has occurred in Harare, over 20 dead and some movement restrictions have been imposed. The economic situation remains very fragile with basic supplies in shortage and confidence low. The new president will need to turn the situation around or further political unrest is likely.

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. However the winter rains have arrived and the situation is improving. In November 2017 Cyril Ramaphosa was elected the new president of the ANC and became president on 15 Feb 2018 when Zuma finally resigned. 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 improved the situation. Oppposition to the president is rising, unrest continues and a state of emergency was declared on 17 July 17.

Visits to Uganda, Nambia, Botswana are generally safe but health conditions should be researched. 

Travellers to most of west, central and east Africa will be asked to produce a Yellow Fever certificate on arrival.

Due to an outbreak of Ebola in DRC in May 2018 many countries are imposing stricter border controls. These Ghana, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania. The WHO is working fast to contain the outbreak in western DRC. The outbreak seems to have been contained and by July 2018 the number of cases had dropped off significantly and the outbreak has been declared over.

Senegal is experiencing an outbreak of Dengue fever, over 1100 cases confirmed in Oct 2018

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