Here's what might be a touchy subject for a question.

Cliffy

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How "often or prevalent" are reports of safari clients running into street crime issues while in Africa whether during, before or after their hunt? By "street crime" I mean robberies, car jackings, assaults, etc. My contention is that it is very rare for the clients to have problems. Is my assumption correct?
 

gi jane

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For me, having gone to Zim four times and Kenya once, so far so good. Oh and SA, but just overnight a couple of times at the airport and at a guest house. Last time I went to Zim I went by myself and met-up with my PH in Harare. This is just me though. I'll go just about anywhere.

Hope you can get more answers from others. Could be I was always just very lucky.

Jane
 

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Gone to Zim twice through South Africa but no overnights until Harare. No problems at all but every time we stopped for fuel, or snacks or to look at a roadside vendor I was uneasy. I would go back anytime but would not bring my wife. Don't want to look after anyone else but me.
 

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K-man

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In general, multiple people converging on the vehicle without a reason to be there. I didn't mind at all people showing there wares, etc. but the extra groups of people walking around the back of the car, made you feel like anything not locked up was fair game. Kind of like being in a large American city in not the best neighborhood. That is not to offend anyone, so don't take it personal, but just to explain.
 

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k-man if its not secured it is fairgame in any african town/village just how it is. mostly they are just being nosy as to what you have or what you are up to, and no reason to get worried. same as most countries some places are worse than others, but in general in the main hunting countries you are pretty safe as long as you take the same precautions you would at home when in the main cities/towns before or after your hunt.
 

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I have never felt any more uncomfortable in Africa than in Seattle, in fact less so. One must be in condition yellow if not red at all times wherever you are. I remember once walking around the streets of London waiting for my flight to Botswana. I was looking for a place to eat, carrying a big camera/carry on bag loaded with all my camera gear. Something felt wrong to me and being half deaf I tend to try to stay alert. I turned around just as a couple of young toughs were approaching quickly from behind. When I made them, they split off and went two different directions. Did I foil their plans? I will never know but others I have told this to say yes. Stay alert wherever you are, street crime is rampant everywhere now and its only going to get worse.
 

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i managed to get many groups of clients through trips to Kenya (not hunting trips) without any victims from crime. it was always a bunch of hard work for me, though. most visitors don't quite grasp how the risks work and they are usually much too careless. i think a lot of the problems you read about in the papers start by visitors doing some pretty stupid things. if you stick with the safe public places, and keep your money/valuables well out of sight (and protected) you are on your way to having a good trip.

cheers,
Upepo
 

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Five hunts in RSA, in four different areas, not a single problem. In fact I have found the locals friendly.
 

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Same here, 5 trips and no problems. Just want more info for my seminar at DSC Please keep it coming and I hope some outfitters chime in.
 

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Had two guys get close to me at an atm in Omaruru, Namibia and they were able to electronically scan my card (electronic warfare is everywhere now). They made me suspicious, so I called and cancelled the card. Five hrs later they tried to use it at Walvis Bay and failed. Kind of thing I would have been super alert to in any big city, but they slipped up on me in the "metropolis" of Omaruru. Otherwise, never a problem. Warn your audience that all they have to do is get a hand within a few inches of an exposed card. Credit cards are much safer than atm or check cards because they allow no access to one's checking account and typically have liability limits. I have never had a problem using a credit card at a shop.
 

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I've had my card scanned in my home town, but never overseas.

I have hitch hiked through Zim, RSA and Botswana in 85, 88 and with my new wife in 92. Had no issues. Took the family and kids to RSA and Zim in 2008 when Zim was at its lowest. We borrowed our South African PH's Kombi and self drove around RSA. Even ended up in a township in Cape Town lost, but got directions from the locals on how to get back on the expressway. The Aussie accent helped, I'm sure of it.

We took that Kombi across the border at Beitbridge with the correct paper work, however it broke down and we had to return. The Zim border police helped us get the vehicle back to the crossing station and some young missionaries gave us a jump start. Then flew Jo'Burg to Bulawayo in Air Zim and borrowed a cruiser from friends I'd made in Bulawayo in '84. I drove the family to Ivory Lodge, around Hwange, Vic Falls and back to Bull'ers.

WE took the normal precautions we would take at home. However we didn't drive at night and had a travel plan left with friends.

We have found a smile and non confrontational attitude gets you everywhere in Africa. If you go around demanding things be done for you, talking in a loud voice and wearing attire like a Zebra skin hat band, you will just attract attention and the scum will follow.
 

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Hey Cliffy sounds like a good subject, I know I've been to RSA 3 times and traveled all over the East Cape and never a problem. Had a friend and her husband from Ontario fly in to JBerg rent a car and sightsee all over RSA from Jberg to Tarkastad then took the Garden Route going back never had a problem and said they would do it again next time. I know you hear alot about the farmers being killed and things like that but really take a look at the news from Flint Michigan or Huntsville Alabama or swing a little west to Memphis Tennessee if there aren't 3 or 4 shot and murdered every night then they've had a slow day.
 

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Cliffy

The only places in Africa that made me uneasy were:
1: Joberg airport with everyone having there hand out and everyone trying to give you a hand when you do not need one.
2. In Dar in Tanzania walking near the motel made one uneasy when you spotted all the armed guards at businesses. I did not have any issues and most seemed to be friendly and helpful. Later i was told you should never walk along the coast due to it being a high crime area. i guess i just walked to the boundary area of this area.
 

Upepo

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the comment about Omaruru was interesting. I wouldn't have anticipated that level of crime in a rural area of Namibia either. Red Leg - you did a very good job with spotting the problem and staying ahead of trouble.

it is noticeable that criminals in Africa are evolving quickly. they are learning fast. fraud, robbery and (to a lesser extent) kidnapping are expanding. in Kenya it has been noticeable how the local prostitutes have caught onto the idea of slipping knockout drugs in guys' drinks, and then robbing them. this means of operation is probably netting them more money than selling sexual services. of course, it's hardly a new thing by world standards. but the African women are picking it up quickly. i think what we are really seeing is a larger move by organized crime syndicates into local crime rings ... so they are now influenced by high-level methods more.

as far as airports go - yes JoBurg is a bit annoying with the number of random guys offering to carry your bags. Nairobi also has this, bu not on the scale of JoBurg :) You cjust have to keep your eyes on your stuff and say NO pretty agressively many times. Hahahaha!

the moral is - just be really alert out there. watch yourself and your valuables a lot - especially around town and in tourist areas.

Upepo
 

BRICKBURN

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1) I purchased some "minutes" "top up" at a store in Otavi at the gas station one evening.
The machine was located within arms reach of the door. Literally.

As I was putting the money into the machine I was surrounded. I wondered why I had gained two close friends that wanted to be within shoulder rubbing distance.

Seemed a little weird, until it dawned on me. The PH and security guard were blocking the view to the machine and any potential long armed crooks.


2) I drove around a garbage strike "protest", just like I'd do at home. The only stressful part was driving off route in a town I did not know.
No issues really, four blocks and back to the highway.


3) We walked around back of a mall, looking for the entrance. A security guard noticed our direction and followed us and then asked "what we were looking for?".
I stated the case and we were redirected. He was more concerned about our safety than we were.

4) Driving myself at night has me more concerned than anything in Africa. Unknown roads, animals crossing and drunk drivers and crazy taxi drivers. Never thought once about being robbed.

Statistically, the short term Safari hunter is in and out and usually has a local with them (PH).
Flint Michigan Highest murder rate in USA in 2012. 18.7/100,000
Johannesburg 30.6/100,000



I have only heard of a few stories of "crooks" entering camps and hassling hunters. None of those in RSA or Namibia.


I'd be more concerned about being "fleeced" after the hunting is done and you are trying to get your trophies home and when you go to settle up with car rental companies.

A source for some useful tips:

69 Tips on Johannesburg Warnings or Dangers - Stay Safe!
 

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I've been stopped, while en route on different trips w/ PH in his vehicle, for various "traffic stops" in Zim, Moz, & Namibia. Never hassled or shook down for $$. I think most PH outfits are seen as positive by these various "cops & soldiers" @ their impromptu checkpoints. Disconcerting to see all those SKS rifles, though.
 

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Brickburn- I read the entire post interesting,

I have been stopped twice by road blocks but I didn't feel intimidated as all they wanted to see was my gun papers and if the driver was drinking and we were on our way. Young kids with automatic weapons but I guess they had an assignment to do and they did it. No big deal in my book. Just a minor inconvenience to the trip. The PHs got more upset than me but they have to deal with it all the time.
 

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In Tambo, a couple of guys punched the buttons in the elevator "for us". Fortunately, we had a meet and greet with us who said no and pushed the correct floor. He speculated that they were going to take us to the basement and rob us of our stuff.

I was uncomfortable w/o our PHs with us and couldn't wait to get the heck out of Joberg. Everything was surrounded by walls topped w/ barbed wire/razor wire. Plus guys were just laying on the curbs eyeing us as we were stopped at red-lights. Being in a foreign place, unarmed, it made me a bit uneasy. When we were out in the smaller towns and/or returning from hunts, I kept my gun on my lap but felt much less threatened there.

BTW, look forward to your appearance at DSC.
 

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The most uncomfortable I've ever felt was in Atlanta, in some bar/restaurant called Jimney Crickets.

Let's just say I was the only white guy in there an when I walked in everyone turned and looked at me. never had that in Africa.

When you are with your PH in the bush your fine, in the towns etc just be vigilant , don't be a victim. I gave never in 10yrs of hunting had any problems.
Regards
Dave
 

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