Is this once in a lifetime trip too dangerous? Watch

EmEternal2
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So here's the thing. My aunt wants to take me (and my sister) to Africa after my exams in the summer. (We're 19, and have been to Australia and other places before so we're used to travelling)
It would obviously be an amazing experience.
She wants to go to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia. (They're the most southerly).
However, I'm kind of stuck in the middle of a crisis.
My aunt and sister clearly want to go - saying how amazing it will be at Victoria falls, and on the safaris, and cape town etc.
But:
My mum absolutely hates the idea. That's probably an understatement even.
She believes it's far too dangerous to go to Africa. And she's completely set upon that idea. I know that there's risk wherever in the world you go, but I'm torn, as I have to ask myself how selfish I'm going to be.
My mum is getting really stressed about it and saying how there's not only trouble higher in the continent, but also problems with poachers etc (we're going out on safaris and visiting villages).

Frankly, I'm struggling to make a decision. We've had many arguments in my house about it. I know that if I don't go, I'll regret it and feel like I've missed out, but if I do go, I know my mum will stress out completely for the month I'm out there.

Anyone have any advice, ideas or help? I have to decide soon as my aunt is going to book it this weekend and also have vaccinations etc to think about too.

Thanks
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Bern Herkins
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Id go. You wont remember the time you stayed at home. You will remember your epic experiences.

My grandparents travelled all over the world and every time I visit them they always have a new story to tell. They were taken hostage on a train in malaysia. The whole airport held up somewhere in asia, they had no way of contacting us at home for weeks! They make good stories.
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stefano865
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I'm no expert but do have some family in South Africa.

The countries you have mentioned are mostly fine. I know people who have taken a road trip through Namibia and Botswana on their own.

Cape Town is very nice. Western tourists on Safari are very well looked after. No reason to worry about poachers.

Not so sure about Zimbabwe. Will do a bit of research.

Clearly you have to be sensible. There is great poverty and human life is not valued in the same way as it is over here.

Don't look wealthy and never go into a 'shanty town', village etc without people who know what they are doing.
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CCC75
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The media have done a good job of making Africa seem like a desolate and dangerous place. The majority of areas are not like this at all. Why would your aunt or any tour guides look to take you to any dangerous places? If trouble arises in any districts where trips were initially planned, I am sure they will be cancelled well in advance.

I would go and enjoy the tourist experience. Keep your wits about you, as you would anywhere which you are not familiar with, and be aware of basic self/party safety measures.
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stefano865
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A few things.

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/15/travel/zimbabwe-now/

http://matadornetwork.com/trips/6-th...1-i-had-right/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-...b_1634535.html

https://www.quora.com/Which-parts-of...t-as-a-tourist
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Supersaps
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Go!

Africa has so much to offer, it's such a great insight. Not all of Africa is poor, there are many countries that are stable with wealthy areas too!

I absolutely loved my time in Kenya in Nairobi and in the outlying countryside and villages.


Decide on a case-by-case basis, though. Not all African countries are born equal.


SS
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stefano865
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(Original post by EmEternal2)
So here's the thing. My aunt wants to take me (and my sister) to Africa after my exams in the summer. (We're 19, and have been to Australia and other places before so we're used to travelling)
It would obviously be an amazing experience.
She wants to go to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia. (They're the most southerly).
However, I'm kind of stuck in the middle of a crisis.
My aunt and sister clearly want to go - saying how amazing it will be at Victoria falls, and on the safaris, and cape town etc.
But:
My mum absolutely hates the idea. That's probably an understatement even.
She believes it's far too dangerous to go to Africa. And she's completely set upon that idea. I know that there's risk wherever in the world you go, but I'm torn, as I have to ask myself how selfish I'm going to be.
My mum is getting really stressed about it and saying how there's not only trouble higher in the continent, but also problems with poachers etc (we're going out on safaris and visiting villages).

Frankly, I'm struggling to make a decision. We've had many arguments in my house about it. I know that if I don't go, I'll regret it and feel like I've missed out, but if I do go, I know my mum will stress out completely for the month I'm out there.

Anyone have any advice, ideas or help? I have to decide soon as my aunt is going to book it this weekend and also have vaccinations etc to think about too.

Thanks


Zimbabwe also looks fine.

I think our impression of much of Africa has been influenced by negative media coverage.

You will face the same problems in much of Latin America and other parts of the world besides Africa.

Do your homework and make sure you know everything you need to know. I've heard Lonely Planet guides are good.

I had a great time on Safari and in Cape Town.

If you go I hope you also have an amazing time.
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EmEternal2
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Bern Herkins True, It is certainly going to be an experience if I go! I suppose anything that does happen just makes it more interesting and makes better stories to tell the grandkids


stefano865 Yes, I agree with you there. I think I would worry most about Zimbabwe out of all of them. We would be going in a group of around 20 (it’s a tour type thing). Thanks for the links, they have given me a much better understanding,and I’ll be sure to do my homework! Thanks for all your help!


CCC75 True, I get your point. I expect everything will be fine, but I suppose I’ll always have to ebb on the side of caution in the more unfamiliar areas.



Supersaps Nairobi looks amazing too! I think I will definitely look forward to going. And I think you have all convinced me!
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e aí rapaz
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(Original post by CCC75)
The media have done a good job of making Africa seem like a desolate and dangerous place. The majority of areas are not like this at all.
This.

OP, don't let the media myth put you off. My missus's parents did almost this exact trip last year (South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Botswana - Safari and Niagara falls, lots of cross-country driving) and they loved it.

And they're both in their mid-late 60s.
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EmEternal2
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(Original post by e aí rapaz)
This.

OP, don't let the media myth put you off. My missus's parents did almost this exact trip last year (South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Botswana - Safari and Niagara falls, lots of cross-country driving) and they loved it.

And they're both in their mid-late 60s.
Yes, I see what you mean. I suppose it's very difficult to know what the places are like without actually visiting them or knowing someone who has.
That sounds very similar to my trip! It's great to know they had a good time.
I'm pretty sure I'll go now, thank you for the advice
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standreams
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Your main (only) real worry should be the small risk of crime in urban areas, notably in South Africa.

Zimbabwe can be a dangerous place for political opponents of the government but is by all accounts a safe country for foreign tourists.

None of these countries are on the whole particularly 'unsafe' for tourists.
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doodle_333
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You will obviously have to be careful in terms of where you go and what you do but this is the case in a lot of places. You will be fine.
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DW1994
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I've been twice, I've been to Cape Town and then also local townships about an hour or so away from Cape Town, I've stayed at the townships and I've got to say they are some of the best experiences in my life, I absolutely loved it and the people are so friendly, and so grateful for you to be there.

Yes its a dangerous country, but so is every other country really, my mum was exactly the same, she refused for me to go to South Africa, but eventually once its was all confirmed, she came round to the idea.

As for the Safaris, there not that dangerous really, they're organised by the companies and are often very safe, I recommend going to Aquila, which was a safari I went on, it was an amazing experience and the accommodation there is basically a hut which was such a unique experience.

I'd say go for it, its a lifetime experience that should not be missed if the opportunity presents itself.
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