Is Uganda/ Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, DRC Safe?
Uganda is located in East Africa, perched in African Great Lakes region. It is also bordered by Kenya in the east, South Sudan in the north, Democratic Republic of the Congo in the west,
Rwanda in the south-west, and Tanzania in the south. This is where the biggest lake in Africa and second largest in the world, Lake Victoria that is shared with Kenya and Tanzania. Uganda is also the source of the longest river in Africa and second largest in the world, R. Nile. It has generally modified equatorial climate which is favorable.
Uganda has quite a number of attractions which pull tourists in the country to explore these range from National Park, game reserves, historical, cultural and historical sites, forests, rivers just to mention but a few.
Uganda has experienced a remarkable progress in its security, it is stable, safe and secure. The visitors and the tourists that come to Uganda are guaranteed safety and security. However they also expected to play their part by following some security, safety rules as well instructions in the places they visit.
The tourism destinations which are found upcountry like national parks which are mostly visited by tourists are safe. The Uganda Wildlife Authority has well military trained park rangers who ensure regular patrols around the park.
Kampala the capital city where city tours are done is also marked safe for tourists, there has been no reports anywhere in any local newspaper that any visitor got any safety problems during their stay in Uganda. Common crimes like credit card scamming, theft, over charging can also be controlled and avoided by choosing the right tour company Engagi Safaris is always at your service. The security personals stationed at hotels, guest houses, lodges, as well as the back packers ensure that the guests/tourists feel safe. Visitors are strongly advised to review their personal safety and security posture and beware of unattended baggage or packages left in any location. As well as limit the amount of cash they carry and leave valuables, such as passports, jewelry, and airline tickets in a hotel safe or another secure place.
The Ugandan Police Force (UPF) is working tirelessly to ensure security is a priority. Police officers on the streets of Kampala to cub violent crimes which are common in the city. The threat of civil unrest, public protests, strikes, demonstrations, and political violence is currently rated at the medium level for Uganda. Nevertheless, politically or economically motivated demonstrations can surface sporadically with little to no warning. Several demonstrations since were rallied against economic issues like power outages, levies on taxis and interest rates and will likely continue.
The roads country has good roads: the Entebbe Southern bypass construction was completed in 2019, there is an ongoing reconstruction on the northern bypass and other roads upcountry have been tarmacked. The lighting in larger cities has been improved to tackle road accidents concern.
It is noted that in the early 1990’ Uganda faced a civil war led by the Joseph Kony of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), many people lost their loved ones. The good news is that in 2006, the Ugandan military managed to defeat the LRA and they fled into Southern Sudan, and then into eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The LRA has not been heard of ever since, the security in the region has greatly improved and stability in the region. Most recently readjusted to order following 23 years of insurgency at the hands of the LRA.
The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) is listed as a terrorist organization in western Uganda were defeated after the arrest of their leader Jamil Mukulu. They also fled eastern DRC. Demonstrations occasionally take place in Kampala and other Ugandan cities in response to world events or local conditions.
Government management of infectious disease outbreaks has been impressive the previous year, travelers are advised to get yellow fever vaccine shots before travelling to Uganda as well being up to date with their childhood immunizations like; measles, Diphtheria, tetanus just to mention but a few.
Kenya is situated in East Africa and the world’s 48th largest country. Kenya’s capital and largest city is Nairobi while its oldest city and first capital is the coastal city of Mombasa. Kenya shares part of the largest Lake in Africa with Uganda; Lake Victoria. Its strategic location on the Indian Ocean coast provided historically significant ports which acted as entry for goods from Arabian and Asian traders have entered for many centuries. Kenya is endowed with incredible scenic landscapes, vast wildlife national parks and reserves, cultural diversity, the beautiful coast worth visiting and many others.
Tourism in Kenya has seen steady growth since independence. Many travelers who visit Kenya are safari-bound tourists who come to visit the various tourist attractions in the country. It is one of East Africa’s most eye catching countries, and thousands of travelers visit every year without incident. However, the country’s unstable political situation there are international travel warning to tourists who plan a trip there. With careful planning and a bit of common sense, it is still possible to safely enjoy the many incredible things that Kenya has to offer.
If you are planning an imminent trip to Kenya, you are advised to check out the government travel warnings and talk to a prominent tour company in this case Engagi Safaris is at your service to get a genuine current situation in the country. Endeavor to take out comprehensive travel insurance.
Kenya’s authorities are dealing with the international terror threats since the late 2011 Alshabab attack a militant group based in neighboring Somalia. In the last few years, this group has carried out attacks in Garissa, Mombasa and Nairobi. There is tight security at airports thorough checkups are done before at the entrances and exits. Noticeable policing in public places like shopping malls and outdoor markets. The military is very active along the eastern border with Somalia because of the ongoing civil war Somalia. The country recently experienced a political, economic, and humanitarian crisis after elections in 2007 however it was centered in Nairobi, quite far from the country’s outstanding safari areas such as : Masai Mara, Amboseli, Samburu or Lewa and Laikipia just to mention but a few.
Safaris are generally very well run, the lodging is superb and the wildlife is fantastic. Best of all, being in the bush means being away from the crime that plagues the larger cities. If you’re worried about dangerous animals, follow the instructions given to you by your guides, drivers and lodge staff and you shouldn’t have any issues.
The area in western Kenya is so stable and peaceful to the extent that the national border separating Kenya’s Masai Mara from Tanzania’s Serengeti is marked by minor column stones. You can see from the Mara into the Serengeti and this is where the famous annual wildebeest migration takes place.
Tourists are advised to keep their passports and luggage safely especially when they are in the city. Don’t display expensive jewelry or camera equipment, and carry limited cash in a money belt concealed beneath your clothes. Many of Kenya’s largest cities have a poor reputation of common crimes including: muggings, vehicle break-ins, armed robberies and carjacking. Certain parts of the Kenyan coast (including Lamu County and the area of Kilifi County north of Malindi).The good news is that there are high chances of reducing the chances of becoming a victim.
Safety in Tanzania
Tanzania if located in East Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It is famous for Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain in the eastern part of the country and the deepest lake in Africa, Lake Tanganyika. Tanzania borders Uganda on the north; Kenya in northeast; Comoro Islands at the Indian Ocean on the east; Mozambique and Malawi on the south; Zambia on the southwest; and Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the west.
Undeniably Tanzania has popular attractions, the Big Five consist of the lion, buffalo, elephant, leopard and rhino. Almost all of these are easy to spot in any one of the country’s amazing wildlife parks and reserves, rivers, lakes, Zanzibar Island which has beautiful beaches not forgetting the cultural diversity and historical sites.
All the above make Tanzania to stand out as a remarkable tour destination any tourist would choose on their travel bucket list. However many questions have been asked IS TANZANIA SAFE FOR A TRAVEL/SAFARI? Below are some of the responses to this ongoing questions.
Tanzania in over all a safe, hassle-free country, the chances to have a bad experience if your visit is an organized safari are little. This is even more so if your visit is primarily an organized safari like Engagi Safaris Ltd.
Never pay any money for a safari or trek in advance until you’ve thoroughly checked out the company, and never pay any money at all outside the company’s office. Almost a million tourists visit Tanzania every year, and most visits are trouble-free.
Also, bear in mind there are scammers impersonating police and authority, trying to extort money from you while flashing “immigration papers” at you.
Keep in mind that real officers mostly wear uniforms.
There have been several terrorist attacks in the past, but the last one – where a hotel was bombed – was in 2002. That said, you do need to take the usual precautions and keep up with government travel advisories. Violent and petty crime are common throughout the country. Exercise a high degree of caution, particularly in public places and popular tourist areas in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, such as: beaches, hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and cinemas shopping centres.
Avoid walking around at night While Tanzania isn‘t as bad as some other African countries, it still pays to be alert and take steps to protect yourself and belongings as you would traveling anywhere else.
When planning to travel to Tanzania, it is highly recommended to take up travel insurance covering theft, loss and medical problems.
About Health, as long as you stay up-to-date with your vaccinations and take basic preventive measures, you’re unlikely to resist most of the possible health hazards. Tanzania lies within yellow fever zone so a yellow fever Vaccination card is required before entering the country.
SAFETY IN RWANDA
Rwanda is located in Central part of Africa, it is a landlocked country also the smallest in African mainland. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rwanda is also in the African Great Lakes region, mountainous in the west and savanna to the east, with several lakes throughout the country. Rwanda has a pleasant tropical highland climate, temperatures vary considerably from region to region because of the variations in altitude.
There has been a trending question of whether Rwanda is safe for tourists?!
Rwanda is often described as safe for tourists and they are warmly welcomed in Rwanda. The country is relatively safe and traveling there will make for a great experience.
There are so many spectacular tourist spots in Rwanda it was awarded for its leadership in tourism and economic competitiveness by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
Rwanda has much history and natural beauty, besides Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National park, Rwanda has 2 other national parks; The Akagera National Park offers a range of wildlife, such as elephants, hippos, giraffes, zebra, The Nyungwe Forest National Park has a large tract of mountain forest and is rich in biodiversity. Guided walks and chimpanzee tracking is offered. Tourists groups are led by an experienced guide who specialize in teaching others about the landscape and wildlife of Rwanda.
Rwanda’s government has made sure that maintenance of a peaceful atmosphere and look after the security and safety of the citizens and visitors of the country. Police training in Rwanda is provided to nationals. The National Rwanda Police officers hold an important position in the system of the law and order in the country.
Government travel advisories indicate that the border crossings between Rwanda and the DRC can close without notice, so travelers are advised not to rely on them. Always seek information from a reliable tour operator (ENGAGI SAFARIS LTD) before travelling.
Currently there is some political turmoil in Rwanda as the Congo-based Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda rebel group still operates along Rwanda’s western border and has been linked to grenade attacks throughout Rwanda, including Kigali. The Rwanda Security body is working tirelessly to safe guard the border.
In October 2019 there was an attack near Volcanoes National Park in Kinigi, Security forces killed 19 rebels and some fled back to Congo. The park rangers are working hand in hand with other Rwanda officers to carry out operations near the border with DRC so as to cub such attacks
Crime is relatively low, with visitors sometimes experiencing petty crime, and locals are welcoming, friendly and hospitable. Pickpockets are active in crowded places, such as markets, and hire cars may be broken into for valuables. The socio-economic factors in Rwanda are slowly improving, so such cases are rare.
Tourists who are interested in city Night life, do not find yourself in dark or deserted streets or poorly lit areas, don’t roam around at night unaccompanied and avoid strangers in bars and clubs altogether.
Careless drivers in Rwanda ignoring safe driving procedures and signs and taking unnecessary risks while on the road. The traffic police department has been able to identify such drivers and they face the law. Most of them are fined other are prisoned.
By Rwandan law, anyone traveling in the country must have health insurance. If you arrive into the country without it, you have 30 days to sort it out.
Just like any other East African Country, Rwanda lies with the yellow fever zone so travelers are required to show their Yellow Fever Vaccine card the airports and any other entry points to Rwanda. They are also cautioned about other tropical diseases like Malaria and also ensure that they are up to date with their childhood vaccinations.
Safety in Congo.
Democratic Republic of Congo is located in the Central part of Africa the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, second largest after Algeria and 11 largest in the world. It is also referred to as Zaire, DRC, DROC, and Congo- Kisansha, originally a French colony.
Congo has for too long been famous as the ‘heart of darkness’, However courageous travellers have been rewarded with beautiful sceneries and some of the continent’s most exciting unforgettable Mountain and lowland gorilla treks in Virunga and Kahunzi Biega national Park. Gorilla trekking is the most trending tourism activity which pulls tourist to the beautiful Congo.
However, there are other destinations which are eye catching. Since there is about 80% of the entire country that is covered in nothing by nature, namely the dense Congo Rainforest, many tourists rush here to enjoy touring the rivers the common River Congo second largest in the world after Amazon River in South America, the wildlife and rapids somewhere between the vivid riverside villages, restaurants, hotels and the country’s capital Brazzaville.
Tourists to explore the breathtaking nature of the Republic of the Congo in arranged motorized and traditional boats and this experience is as unique as it is mesmerizing.
Congo also has a rich culture there are quite a number of language spoken such as: Lingala, Kiswahili, Kikongo, Tshiluba, French, are the common languages used. The unique Bambuti tribe in Ituri forests. Congo is known for it is a vast country with immense economic resources ranging subsistence hunting and agriculture, forestry an industrial sector based largely based on extraction of minerals such as gold, diamonds, copper, oil just to mention but a few.
Congo has suffered grievous times and has had an extremely violent disturbed history. Currently, tourists are scared for their lives the existence of armed troupes puts off tourists to visit DRC. The accommodation facilities for tourism are also very limited, people fear to start up developments in such a place of uncertainty.
Due to the insecurity in Congo, tourists are advised to plan their tours with trustworthy tour companies who are well informed about the country’s security trends. This to a large extent will guarantee safety of the tourists. The eastern region of the DRC is the pioneer and thriving tourism area of the Country it is where Virunga is located is still troubled by armed rebel groups, so tour operators (Engagi Safaris Ltd) will arrange armed escorts to accompany travelers in case of changes in the safety.
Tourists are also advised to carry their passports in the luggage in case of any threat it easier to shove off.
There is a threat of petty crime tourists are advised to stay wide awake and take all possible precaution measures in order to minimize the risk of getting stolen from. . Pickpockets occur every day, so you should be extremely careful when handling your valuables and never carry your money in a purse or a pocket. Never carry all your money in the same place, and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Transport in Congo tends to become hard during the rainy season that lasts from September to December and from February to May makes any non-primary roads outside of the capital basically unusable. Tourists are advised to plan their travel in the dry season for easy movement.
Congo also faces some natural threats such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, flooding, and droughts. There is also extreme weather and climate variability due to rainy seasons that last from September to December and from February to May. Your tour operator (ENGAGI SAFARIS LTD) will keep you update with all this information in order to plan a successful tour.
Ensure to negotiate everything in advance with your tout operator. Be aware of trick start, and always ask for identifications of the people who approach you as officials.
There is a tendency of locals bullying women travelers, note that women travelers in this country may experience unwanted attention or even verbal harassment from men. Though it’s not that common, restrain from drinks offered by strangers.
They are also greater targets for petty theft since they are perceived as not being able to defend themselves such as young children, the lame etc.
Beached are completely out of bounds at night they are popular for pickpocketing since the lighting and security is insufficient.
We recommend getting travel insurance just like anywhere else so Congo is no exception, it covers not only the costs medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables with this you will feel safe and guaranteed compensation.
However, most insurance companies refute from providing this kind of insurance to countries/ areas under a travel warning and Congo is one of them. You are advised to check with your insurance company in case you have the policy, check if it’s valid in the DRC before you go. The commonest company is AMREF, it gives air ambulance evacuation services across the African continent, and Battlefield, who provide comprehensive travel and medical insurance for the region.
Evidence of yellow fever vaccination are required for entry and tourists are also advised to be up to date with their childhood immunizations against the following hepatitis A , hepatitis B , typhoid , yellow fever , rabies , meningitis, polio , measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ,
- When is the best time to visit Uganda, Kenya/Tanzania/DRC?
- Is Uganda /Rwanda/Kenya /Tanzania safe for homo sexuals?