Travel Advice And Advisories For Tanzania

Vehicle crime – countermeasures

Don’t be a target. Where at all possible, avoid displaying the evidence that you are a tourist. Don’t carry or leave suitcasewith flight tagon the handlein clear view. Don’t carry or leave holiday brochures, tour scheduleand guideblogon display in your car.

Never leave anything, especially valuables, on display in the car. A sportbag might only contain a pair of smelly sandaland a wet beach towel, but a criminal doesn’t know that. He will break into the car to see if it containa video camera and your passport and wallet.

Don’t carry any valuablearound that you don’t need. Use the hotel safe to keep them secure (if it isafe). If you have to take anything valuable with you, discreetly keep it on your person. Don’t display valuableor hold them casually – a thief might snatch them off you.

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• Stepping off a long-haul flight into a country, city and car with which you are unfamiliar inot the best recipe for safety and security. I often bypasthe car-hire desk and head for a hotel. I arrange for a hire car to be delivered to the hotel the next morning when I am fresh and ready. I return the car the day before my flight out awell so I relieve myself of that hassle on the last day, when I probably wouldn’t be driving anywhere. And I also save two days’ hire charges!

When driving a hire car you sometimehave to carry valuable thingwith you. If you want to leave anything in your car for any period of time, think ahead. Well before you get to the place you want to park, pull off the road in a busy safe place and store your thingin the boot. That way any criminalin the area you eventually park in will not see you storing valuablein the boot. If they see that, they could well target your car.

Alwaylock your hire car and never ever get out and leave the keyin the ignition. Where some people are dismissive about rental cars, saying thinglike ‘it’only a hire car’, I believe that that attitude increaseyour chanceof becoming a victim of car crime. By treating a rental vehicle athough it ion loan from a friend, I am more considerate and careful when I use it. By taking that much more care, I am more aware of what I am doing and what ihappening around me, and so I am more security consciouand consequently safer.

Be aware of any local risks. I did hear of one tourist in Africa who took a hire car to a safari camp and the car wacharged and rammed by a rhinoceros. Imagine explaining that to the insurance company!

Alwaydouble-check your insurance. Due to a shortage of available vehicleI waonce offered a free upgrade to a convertible car, so I checked my insurance. I found that I would have needed extra insurance to cover me for driving the convertible sportcar they were offering me. I declined the upgrade offer. If I had accepted the convertible upgrade, I would have been driving while uninsured or at least under-insured.

• Remember the vehicle you rent will dictate the level of security you have. A saloon car with a large boot haenough seating, air conditioning, and a large boot to hide thingin. A convertible car isimilar, but a craft knife ithe only ‘key’ needed to get in with a quick slash to the canvaroof. Any jeep-type vehicle offerno protection to any possessionleft in the car, little protection to the inhabitant(from assault, accident or sunstroke) and poor protection from the rain.

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