Safest Countries to Travel for Citizens of Kenya

1. What is the current safety rating for Kenya according to international travel advisories?

As of September 2021, most international travel advisories rate Kenya as a level 3 or 4 on a four-point scale. Most advise exercising increased caution due to crime, terrorism, and health concerns. Some also recommend reconsidering travel due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are the current safety ratings for Kenya from major international travel advisories:

– The United States Department of State rates Kenya as a Level 3: Reconsider Travel due to crime, terrorism, and health concerns.
– The United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) rates Kenya as a level 3: Reconsider your need to travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic and potential for terrorism.
– Canada’s travel advisory for Kenya also recommends avoiding all non-essential travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic and potential for violent attacks.
– Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises travelers to exercise a high degree of caution in Kenya due to crime, civil unrest, and political tension.
– New Zealand’s SafeTravel website advises travelers to take precautions against petty crime and avoid public gatherings or demonstrations in Kenya.

2. Are there any specific safety concerns for citizens of Kenya when traveling abroad?

It is always important for citizens of any country to be aware of potential safety concerns when traveling abroad. Some specific safety concerns for citizens of Kenya when traveling abroad may include:

1. Political unrest: While Kenya has a relatively stable government, there have been occasional protests and demonstrations that can turn violent, especially in the capital city Nairobi. It is important to stay informed about current events and avoid large gatherings or protests.

2. Terrorism: Kenya has experienced several terrorist attacks in recent years, particularly in places frequented by tourists such as hotels and shopping malls. The most notable attack was the 2013 Westgate Mall shooting in Nairobi, which resulted in the deaths of over 60 people. As a precaution, it is recommended to avoid crowded areas and maintain a high level of situational awareness.

3. Crime: Petty crime such as pickpocketing and theft can be an issue in popular tourist areas, particularly in cities like Nairobi and Mombasa. It is important to keep valuables secure and avoid walking alone at night.

4. Road safety: Kenya has a high rate of road accidents, mainly due to poor infrastructure and reckless driving. It is recommended to only use reputable transportation services and avoid travelling after dark.

5. Health concerns: Travelers should take precautions against mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria when visiting certain areas of Kenya. It is also recommended to drink bottled water, avoid raw fruits and vegetables, and get necessary vaccinations before traveling.

In general, it is important for citizens of Kenya (or any other country) to research their destination thoroughly before traveling, take necessary precautions, and follow local laws and customs to ensure a safe trip abroad.

3. How do crime rates in Kenya compare to other popular tourist destinations?

Crime rates in Kenya vary depending on the specific location and type of crime. While Kenya has a relatively high overall crime rate compared to many popular tourist destinations, it is not uniformly high across the entire country.

In popular tourist destinations such as South Africa, Mexico, and Brazil, there are higher rates of violent crimes such as murder, robbery, and assault compared to Kenya. However, these countries also have larger populations and more developed tourism industries than Kenya.

On the other hand, countries with lower crime rates compared to Kenya include Japan, Norway, and Spain. These countries also have well-established tourism industries and may benefit from more stable political environments.

Overall, it is important for tourists to be aware of their surroundings and take necessary precautions when traveling to any destination.

4. Are there any known natural disasters or extreme weather events that could affect travelers in Kenya?

Yes, there are several natural disasters and extreme weather events that could potentially affect travelers in Kenya. These include:

1. Flooding: Kenya experiences heavy rainfall between March and May, which can cause widespread flooding in low-lying areas. This could make some roads impassable and disrupt travel plans. In addition, flash floods due to sudden heavy downpours can also occur throughout the year.

2. Drought: Kenya is prone to droughts, especially in the northern and eastern regions of the country. This can lead to water shortages and food insecurity, affecting travel plans and potentially causing safety concerns.

3. Earthquakes: Kenya lies on a major fault line, making it vulnerable to earthquakes. While major earthquakes are rare, smaller tremors have been reported in recent years.

4. Landslides: Heavy rains can also trigger landslides in mountainous areas of western Kenya, such as the Aberdare Range and Mount Elgon National Park.

5. Wildfires: During the dry season (June-September), wildfires can occur in parts of Kenya’s national parks and reserves. This may disrupt safari activities or result in temporary closures of certain areas.

6. Tropical cyclones: Although rare, tropical storms and cyclones may affect coastal regions of Kenya between April-November, bringing strong winds and heavy rain.

It is recommended that travelers monitor weather reports and follow any warnings or instructions from local authorities during their stay in Kenya to avoid potential risks or disruptions caused by these natural disasters and extreme weather events.

5. Is terrorism a major concern for tourists visiting Kenya?

Yes, terrorism is a major concern for tourists visiting Kenya. The country has seen several high-profile terrorist attacks in the past, including the 1998 bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi and the 2013 attack on Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi. In recent years, there have also been multiple smaller attacks targeting hotels and tourist areas.

The presence of terrorist organizations such as Al-Shabaab operating in neighboring Somalia also poses a risk for tourists visiting Kenya. Despite government efforts to improve security, these threats continue to impact the tourism industry in Kenya.

However, it is important to note that the majority of tourist destinations in Kenya are safe and do not experience any security issues. Most organized tours to popular national parks and safari destinations have well-trained guides who are responsible for ensuring the safety of tourists. Travelers are advised to stay informed about current security situations and take necessary precautions during their visit to Kenya.

6. Are there any regions or neighborhoods within Kenya that should be avoided by tourists due to safety concerns?

As with any destination, tourists should exercise caution and use common sense when visiting Kenya. Some regions or neighborhoods that may pose a higher risk of safety concerns include:

– Border areas: The Kenya-Somalia and Kenya-Ethiopia borders have experienced sporadic violence and border disputes. It is not recommended to travel to these areas unless absolutely necessary.

– Nairobi’s Eastlands area: This neighborhood has a higher crime rate compared to other parts of the city. It is best to avoid walking alone at night in this area.

– Coastal region: While popular tourist destinations such as Mombasa and Diani Beach are generally safe, there have been occasional incidents of violent crime targeting tourists in resort areas along the coast.

– Informal settlements/slushie areas: These are impoverished areas where basic services such as sanitation, power, and security can be lacking. It is best to visit these areas with a local guide or avoid them altogether.

It is always recommended to stay updated on current events and check for any travel advisories from your country’s government before planning a trip to Kenya.

7. How prevalent is street crime and pickpocketing in popular tourist areas of Kenya?

Street crime and pickpocketing can occur in popular tourist areas of Kenya, especially in highly populated or crowded areas such as markets, train stations, and bus stops. While the exact prevalence is difficult to gauge, it is always advisable for tourists to be cautious and aware of their surroundings when exploring these areas. Most incidents of street crime involve opportunistic theft, such as snatching purses or bags, but can also include more aggressive forms such as mugging. Tourists should take precautions to safeguard their valuables, such as keeping them close or hidden, not wearing expensive jewelry or carrying large amounts of cash, and being aware of suspicious individuals or situations. It is also recommended to travel with a group and avoid isolated or poorly lit areas at night. Overall, the risk of street crime and pickpocketing can be mitigated by exercising caution and being aware of potential dangers while visiting popular tourist spots in Kenya.

8. Are tourists targeted for scams or frauds in certain parts of Kenya?

As with any country, there is always a risk of being targeted for scams or frauds as a tourist in certain parts of Kenya. In popular tourist destinations such as Nairobi, Mombasa, and coastal towns like Malindi and Lamu, tourists may be targeted for pickpocketing, street scams, and overcharging for goods and services. It is important for tourists to use caution and be aware of their surroundings in these areas.

Some common scams targeting tourists in Kenya include:

1. Safari scams: Tourists may be approached by individuals claiming to offer cheap safari tours or selling fake tour packages. These scammers often ask for payment upfront and then disappear without providing the promised services.

2. Airport hustlers: Tourists arriving at airports in Kenya may encounter aggressive touts offering transportation or help with luggage. These individuals often charge exorbitant rates and may even steal from tourists’ luggage.

3. Fake money exchanges: Unofficial currency exchange shops may advertise better exchange rates but end up giving counterfeit money.

4. Overcharging: In popular tourist areas, vendors may overcharge tourists for goods and services such as taxi rides, souvenirs, and food.

5. Accommodation scams: Tourists looking for budget accommodation may fall prey to scammers offering low prices but providing poor quality accommodations or even stealing personal belongings.

To avoid being targeted by scams as a tourist in Kenya, it is advisable to use reputable tour companies recommended by your hotel or travel agent. It is also important to research local prices beforehand to avoid being overcharged. Additionally, keep valuables securely stored while exploring and avoid walking alone at night in unfamiliar areas.

9. Is public transportation safe and reliable for travelers in Kenya?

Public transportation in Kenya can be safe and reliable for travelers, but it is always important to exercise caution and take necessary precautions. Some tips for using public transportation in Kenya include:
– Use licensed taxis or ride-sharing services instead of hailing a random taxi from the street.
– Ask your hotel or host for recommendations on reputable taxi companies or drivers.
– Avoid traveling alone at night, especially on public buses or matatus (shared minibus taxis).
– Keep your belongings close to you and avoid displaying valuables.
– Be aware of potential scams or pickpocketing on crowded buses or trains.
– Follow any safety instructions given by the driver or conductor.
– Do some research beforehand to familiarize yourself with the different types of public transportation available, such as matatus, buses, trains, and ferries.
Overall, while there are risks associated with using public transportation in Kenya as with any country, taking reasonable precautions can help ensure a safe and reliable journey.

10. What emergency resources are available for tourists in case of an accident or health issue while traveling in Kenya?

In case of an accident or health issue while traveling in Kenya, tourists can access the following emergency resources:

1. Emergency Medical Services: In major cities like Nairobi and Mombasa, there are private ambulance services that provide emergency medical assistance. You can contact them by dialing 999.

2. Tourist Police Unit: The Kenyan government has a specialized unit known as the Tourist Police that is dedicated to assisting tourists with safety and security matters. They can be reached by dialing 112.

3. Medical Evacuation Services: In case of a serious medical emergency, tourists can contact private companies that offer air or ground evacuation services to transfer them to better-equipped hospitals for treatment.

4. Travel Health Insurance: It is recommended for tourists to purchase travel health insurance before visiting Kenya. This will cover any medical expenses incurred during their trip.

5. Hotel/Accommodation Assistance: Most hotels and accommodations in Kenya have their own designated doctors or medical teams who can provide immediate assistance in case of a medical emergency.

6. Embassy/Consulate Assistance: Tourists should always register with their country’s embassy or consulate when traveling in Kenya. In case of an emergency, they can seek assistance from embassy staff.

7. Pharmacies and Clinics: In most cities and towns, there are pharmacies and clinics where tourists can access basic medical care and medication for minor illnesses and injuries.

8. Mobile Apps: There are various mobile apps like “Kenya Red Cross” which provide information on nearby hospitals, clinics, police stations, and other emergency contacts that may be useful for tourists.

9. Local Emergency Numbers: It is always advisable to know the local emergency numbers beforehand, such as fire brigade (999), ambulance (999), police (999), etc., so that you can quickly reach out for help in case of an emergency.

10. Tour Operator/Hotel Concierge: If you are on a guided tour or staying in a hotel, they can also assist you in case of an emergency by providing necessary information and contacting local authorities.

11. Have there been any recent political tensions or civil unrest that could potentially impact the safety of travelers in Kenya?

There have been some political tensions and sporadic incidents of violence in Kenya in recent years, mainly related to local elections. In February 2020, there was a heightened risk of violence related to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) referendum on constitutional reform. However, this risk has since decreased with the postponement of the referendum and ongoing dialogue.

In general, the government and security forces have taken steps to prevent and address any potential unrest or violence, and most tourist areas are considered safe. It is always advisable to avoid large gatherings or demonstrations and be aware of your surroundings while traveling in Kenya. It’s also recommended to monitor local media for updates on any potential risks.

12. Does the government of Kenya provide support and assistance for its citizens traveling abroad?

Yes, the government of Kenya provides support and assistance for its citizens traveling abroad through various agencies and services. These include:

1. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for promoting and protecting the interests of Kenyans abroad. It has embassies and consulates in different countries that provide support and assistance to citizens in need.

2. Kenyan Embassies/Consulates: The Kenyan embassies/consulates in other countries are the first point of contact for Kenyan citizens who need assistance while abroad. They can help with issues such as lost passports, emergencies, repatriation, and other consular services.

3. Kenyan Missions’ Emergency Hotlines: Most Kenyan embassies have dedicated emergency hotlines that citizens can call in case of emergencies or when they need urgent assistance while travelling abroad.

4. Overseas Travel Advisories: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs regularly issues travel advisories to inform citizens about potential risks and dangers in foreign countries. This information helps them make informed decisions while planning their trips.

5. Consular Services: Kenya’s consulates abroad provide a range of consular services to citizens, including issuance/renewal of passports, registration of births and deaths, issuance of travel documents, among others.

6. Protection from Exploitation and Human Trafficking: The government has policies in place to protect its citizens from being trafficked or exploited while travelling abroad.

7. Assistance during Emergencies/Crises: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs works closely with the respective embassies/consulates to safeguard the welfare of its citizens during times of crisis or natural disasters in foreign countries.

8 . Online Registration: Through the eCitizen portal, Kenyan citizens can register themselves with their respective embassies before travelling abroad. This helps embassy officials contact them quickly in case of any emergencies.

9 . Travel Insurance Scheme (TIS): The government of Kenya has partnered with a private insurance company to provide Kenyan travelers with travel insurance cover. This helps in meeting medical and legal costs incurred when abroad.

10 . Kenya National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA): The NTSA provides support and assistance to Kenyans traveling by road abroad. They have established mutual arrangements/deals with countries like Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe to provide aid in case of an accident.

11 . Emergency Travel Documents: In case of lost or stolen passports while travelling abroad, Kenyan embassies/consulates can issue emergency travel documents that allow citizens to return home safely.

12 . Safe Travel Smart Registration (STSR): The Ministry of Foreign Affairs encourages all Kenyans travelling abroad for short periods to register voluntarily on the STSR platform so that they can be contacted quickly in case of emergency or crisis.

13. Are LGBTQ+ travelers generally safe and accepted in Kenya, or are there potential risks to consider?

Unfortunately, Kenya is not generally a safe or accepting place for LGBTQ+ travelers. Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya and comes with severe penalties, including imprisonment of up to 14 years. Same-sex couples should avoid any public displays of affection and be cautious about revealing their sexuality to others.

There have been reports of harassment and violence targeting LGBTQ+ individuals in Kenya, particularly in rural areas due to conservative attitudes towards homosexuality. Discrimination and bias against the LGBTQ+ community are also prevalent in society, making it challenging for travelers to feel accepted and safe.

It is recommended that LGBTQ+ travelers exercise caution while visiting Kenya and research the attitudes and laws of specific areas before traveling. Connecting with local LGBTQ+ organizations or seeking advice from other LGBTQ+ travelers can also help navigate potential risks.

14. Are vaccinations recommended or required for visitors to enter Kenya?

Yes, visitors are typically required to have certain vaccinations before entering Kenya. The recommended vaccinations include hepatitis A and B, typhoid, yellow fever (if traveling from a country with risk of transmission), and routine vaccinations such as measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), polio, and the flu shot. It is also recommended to take anti-malaria medication before and during your trip. Visitors should consult with their healthcare provider or a travel clinic for specific recommendations based on their travel plans and medical history. Proof of yellow fever vaccination may be required upon entry into Kenya.

15. How do laws and regulations regarding drugs and alcohol differ from those of the visitor’s home country while in Kenya?

Laws and regulations regarding drugs and alcohol in Kenya may differ from those of the visitor’s home country. Some key differences may include:

1. Legal drinking age: The legal drinking age in Kenya is 18 years old, while it may be higher or lower in the visitor’s home country.

2. Alcohol sales and consumption restrictions: In Kenya, alcohol cannot be sold or consumed in public places such as streets, parks, or common areas of hotels or restaurants. It also cannot be sold within 300 meters of a school or place of worship. Visitors should be aware of these restrictions and only consume alcohol in licensed establishments.

3. Drug laws: Possession, use, and trafficking of illegal drugs are strictly prohibited in Kenya and can result in severe penalties, including fines and imprisonment. The list of illegal drugs may also differ from the visitor’s home country.

4. Medical marijuana: While some countries have legalized medical marijuana, it is still illegal in Kenya for both medical and recreational use.

5. Prescription medication requirements: Visitors should carry a copy of their prescription when bringing any prescription medication into Kenya as authorities may request to see it at the airport. Narcotics, such as codeine-containing medications that are legal in some countries, may not be allowed into Kenya without proper documentation or approval.

6. DUI laws: Driving under the influence (DUI) laws vary by country but visitors should be aware that it is a serious offense in Kenya and can result in significant fines, jail time, or even deportation.

It is essential for visitors to familiarize themselves with the specific laws and regulations regarding drugs and alcohol before traveling to Kenya to avoid any potential legal issues or consequences.

16. Is it common for visitors to encounter discrimination based on race, religion, or nationality while in Kenya?

Unfortunately, discrimination is a global issue and can occur in any country, including Kenya. While many people do not encounter discrimination during their visit to Kenya, incidents of racism, religious intolerance, and ethnic or nationality-based prejudice can occur. It is important to be respectful and aware of cultural sensitivities while visiting any country, including Kenya. If you do experience discrimination, it is important to report it to local authorities or seek assistance from your embassy or consulate.

17. Are there certain cultural norms or customs that visitors should be aware of to ensure their safety while traveling through Kenya?

Yes, there are certain cultural norms and customs that visitors should be aware of to ensure their safety while traveling through Kenya. These include:

1. Dress Code: In Kenya, it is important to dress modestly, especially in more conservative areas. Revealing clothing may be seen as disrespectful and could potentially make you a target for harassment.

2. Greetings: It is important to greet people with a handshake, even if they are strangers. This is considered a sign of respect and can help build rapport with the locals.

3. Personal Space: While Kenyans are generally friendly and welcoming, it is important to respect personal space and avoid being too touchy-feely or invasive.

4. Show Respect for Elders: In Kenyan culture, respecting elders is highly valued. Be sure to show proper respect when interacting with older individuals.

5. Photography Etiquette: Before taking photos of people or their property, always ask for permission first. Some people may not want their picture taken, so it’s important to be respectful.

6. Avoid Public Displays of Affection: Public displays of affection are not culturally accepted in Kenya and can result in unwanted attention or even trouble with the law.

7. Be Aware of Local Customs: Research and understand local customs before visiting different regions in Kenya. For example, in some areas, it may be customary to remove your shoes before entering someone’s home.

8. Avoid Political Discussions: Political discussions can be sensitive topics in Kenya and it’s best to avoid these conversations unless you are well-informed on the subject.

9. Avoid Drawing Attention to Wealth: To minimize the risk of theft or robbery, try not to draw attention to your belongings or wealth while traveling in Kenya.

10 | Stay alert at night | Avoid walking alone at night, especially in major cities such as Nairobi where crime rates are higher after dark.

18. What precautions should solo female travelers take when visiting Kenya, if any?

1. Research and plan your trip carefully: Before traveling to Kenya, it is important to research the country’s culture, customs, and safety information. Plan your itinerary accordingly and make sure to have a backup plan in case of any unexpected events.

2. Dress conservatively: As a solo female traveler, it is important to dress modestly to respect the local customs and avoid unwanted attention. Make sure to cover your shoulders and knees, especially when visiting religious sites or rural areas.

3. Avoid walking alone at night: It is recommended to avoid walking alone at night in urban areas or secluded places. If you need to go out after dark, take an authorized taxi or organize transportation with your hotel.

4. Be cautious with valuables: Keep an eye on your belongings at all times and avoid carrying large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry with you while exploring the city.

5. Stay in safe accommodations: Choose reputable hotels or guesthouses located in safe and well-populated areas. Avoid staying in remote or isolated locations.

6. Use licensed taxis: When using taxis, make sure they are licensed by checking for identification cards and meters. Avoid getting into unmarked vehicles or accepting rides from strangers.

7. Be aware of scams: Be cautious of scams such as fake tour guides, people offering unsolicited help, or asking for money without a valid reason.

8.Handling unwanted attention: It is common for solo female travelers to receive unwanted attention in Kenya. Politely but firmly decline any offers that make you feel uncomfortable.

9.Let someone know about your whereabouts: Inform someone trustworthy about where you are going and when you expect to return. This can be a hotel staff member, friend, or family member back home.

10.Strictly follow COVID-19 safety measures: Kenya has implemented COVID-19 safety measures such as mandatory wearing of masks in public places and social distancing guidelines. Strictly adhere to these measures for your safety and that of others.

11. Join group tours: Consider joining group tours, especially when visiting remote areas or going on safari. This will provide additional safety and the company of other travelers.

12. Learn about local customs: Familiarize yourself with the local customs and avoid behaviors that may be considered offensive or disrespectful.

13. Trust your instincts: If a situation or person makes you feel uncomfortable, trust your instincts and remove yourself from that situation.

14. Use secure transportation options: When using public transportation, opt for reputable companies, such as buses or train services.

15. Avoid sharing personal information: Be cautious about sharing personal information with strangers, especially on social media platforms.

16. Keep emergency contacts handy: Have important contacts such as emergency services, hotel staff, and your embassy’s contact information readily available in case of any urgent situations.

17. Carry a cell phone: It is recommended to have a charged cell phone with roaming services for emergencies or contact with family/friends back home.

18.Be confident but cautious: Solo female travelers should always maintain confidence but also be cautious and aware of their surroundings at all times.

19. Do local authorities recommend any specific measures or precautions to take to ensure personal safety while visiting Kenya?

Yes, local authorities recommend the following measures and precautions to ensure personal safety while visiting Kenya:

1. Respect local customs and traditions: It is important to familiarize yourself with the local customs, dress code, and traditions before visiting Kenya. Show respect towards the locals and their way of life.

2. Stay alert in crowded areas: Pickpocketing and theft can occur in crowded areas such as markets and public transportation. Keep your valuables secure and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

3. Avoid walking alone at night: It is not advisable to walk alone on the streets at night, especially in urban areas. Use licensed taxis or a reputable ride-sharing service instead.

4. Carry a copy of your passport: Always carry a photocopy of your passport with you for identification purposes. Keep the original document stored safely in a secure location.

5. Be cautious of scams: Be wary of strangers offering unsolicited help or advice, as this could be a part of a scam to steal from you.

6. Follow weather updates: Kenya experiences heavy rains from March to May and October to December, which can cause flash floods and landslides. Stay informed about weather updates during these months.

7. Vaccinations: Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccinations before traveling to Kenya, as well as any recommended vaccinations for specific regions or activities you plan on doing.

8. Know emergency numbers: Save emergency numbers including those for police, fire department, and ambulance services in case of any emergencies.

9. Avoid political gatherings: Political gatherings or demonstrations can turn violent, so it is best to avoid them while visiting Kenya.

10. Take precautions against mosquito-borne illnesses: Malaria is prevalent in some parts of Kenya, so take necessary precautions such as using mosquito repellent and sleeping under mosquito nets when necessary.

11. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash: It is best not to carry large amounts of cash while traveling in Kenya. Use credit or debit cards for purchases when possible.

12. Stay updated on current events: Keep yourself updated on the current situation in Kenya, especially if there are any security concerns in certain areas.

By following these measures and taking necessary precautions, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to Kenya.

20. Are there any ongoing conflicts or tensions between Kenya and its neighboring countries that potential visitors should be aware of before traveling?

There are ongoing conflicts and tensions between Kenya and its neighboring countries, particularly Somalia and Ethiopia. The border between Kenya and Somalia is heavily contested, with frequent clashes between Kenyan forces and armed groups along the border. In addition, there have been attacks by Somali-based terrorist group Al-Shabaab in Kenya in the past, particularly targeting popular tourist destinations such as Nairobi and coastal areas.

There have also been border disputes between Kenya and Ethiopia over the ownership of certain territories, which have led to occasional skirmishes, but these tensions have not escalated into major conflicts.

Overall, tourists should exercise caution when traveling near the borders of Kenya’s neighboring countries and should stay informed about any potential security risks before planning their trip. It is recommended to follow advice from local authorities and avoid any areas that may be deemed unsafe for travel.