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December 08, 2008

Is Zimbabwe Travel-Safe These Days?

Daily Traveler reader dsales says: "We're planning a trip to southern Africa in January, and we plan to visit Victoria Falls. Our travel agent says it's safe to stay at the Victoria Falls Hotel in Zimbabwe. With the current troubles in that country, we'd like a second opinion about safety."

The U.S. State Department's Web site states the following under country-specific information: "Because the political situation in Zimbabwe remains fluid and subject to change at a moment's notice, American citizens should carefully evaluate the need to travel to Zimbabwe at this time."

Given the above, Premier Tours consultant and top travel specialist Julian Harrison says:

"I personally believe that the Zimbabwe side of Victoria Falls is relatively safe at this time as it is not caught up in the same political turmoil taking place in other major cities.  To date, it is also free of the cholera outbreak plaguing the country. However it is important to note that high unemployment has left the people of Zimbabwe desperate for survival, and this invariably leads to an escalation in crime.  Also, the excessively high rate of inflation is playing havoc with pricing of goods and services.  In addition, the dire economic situation has generally resulted in a lack of adequate health care facilities, which can pose a serious problem should emergency treatment be required."

We hope this helps, dsales. Have more questions, anyone? Please comment below.

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