Kenya receives over a million tourists visiting on holiday per year. This thus makes tourism a vital part of its economy. It is for this reason that the Kenyan government has stepped up vigilance in ensuring maximum security for all the tourists visiting the country. This is in an effort to alleviate the negative perception that is accorded to Africa, “the dark continent” and its security. This article seeks to examine the different safety and security issues in Kenya as a holiday and vacation destination.
It is an irrefutable fact that most countries in Africa are plagued by theft and mugging. This is due to the third world conditions of the countries in Africa and their high poverty levels that have seen most of the people on the continent live on less than a dollar per day. Theft in the continent is therefore opportunistic rather than malicious as visitors appear as irresistible targets for numerous people who are only trying to feed their families.
There are however minimal, if any cases of violent crime against tourists on holiday in Kenya. Apart from some rare muggings cases, it is very difficult to hear of an attack on a tourist in Kenya. As in any region of the world, each place has its scammers and fraudsters who prey on unsuspecting visitors in order to make a quick buck. Visitors are hence advised to be wary of beggars and contribution seekers who disguise themselves as either refugees looking for aid or scholars raising fees.
When vacationing in Kenya, it is very advisable not to tempt any potential muggers by either leaving your possessions carelessly around or wearing and carrying around too much jewelry or valuables. Many hotels have safety boxes in which visitors can store their valuables while staying in the hotels and hence a good advice is to lock whatever is most valuable or leave it when going for your vacation.
Another safety concern can be attributed to harassment by some local young men and women looking for money in exchange for sexual favors. This activity is however not native to Kenya as it is also common in numerous other holiday destinations around the world. It is however worthy to note that if you ignore these solicitors, they quickly lose interest in you and go looking for other visitors to prey on.
Lastly, some visitors have complained of some few policemen who may ask for some kick back from the visitors. This however only happens if they find you on the wrong side of the law. It is hence important to be aware of some of the different laws in Kenya that may land you on the opposite side of the law. These include public practicing of homosexuality, destroying of Kenyan currency, smoking in public, soliciting for sex or being caught in a drug offence.
Apart from these isolated cases of safety and insecurity, it is worth noting that Kenya is a fairly safe destination for visitors from all over the world. The important thing is only to be aware of the different laws and culture for example mode of dressing and adhere to them. You can enjoy your African Safari, pristine beaches like Diani beach Kenya, the great people and the wildlife with guaranteed safety!