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Travel Concerns 2014

Brisbane, Australia
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10 posts
4 reviews
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Travel Concerns 2014

Hi All,

My fiance and I are travelling to Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda in September of this year for 3 weeks, we are both super excited and I am already counting down.

The past few weeks we have been wondering to ourselves whether it is actually worth the visit to Africa with all of the recent terror attacks and civil unrest which are being reported in the near by countries and also in some of the cities we are staying at. Majority of our time is being spent in either lodges or camps. We are spending 2 nights in Sarova Stanley in Nairobi which was one of the main things I was concerned about as well the gorilla trekking in Volcans National Park Rwanda being its so close to the boarder of the DRC. Any recent expieriences or advice would be highly appreciated as its a little worrying with the reports that are being shown here in Oz. I should also mention we have gone through a reputable safari agency for the entire time we are travelling.

Ukunda, Coast, Kenya
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998 posts
6 reviews
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51. Re: Travel Concerns 2014

Thanks. I don't believe in unsupervised "community moderation" because of the abuses it inevitably leads to. I think every request for removal should be reviewed by an administrator.

I was knocked off the Daily Nation's forum over a year ago and have never managed to have a comment pass the "moderator" since then. I was told (by a columnist who writes for it) that it is community moderated. On another news site (Nairobi Star) there was a discussion about this by a large group of people who were banned from the Nation. The feeling was that the Nation is being trolled by ultra-nationalists who report as "abuse" anything they don't agree with. The comments on the Nation are mostly anti-West, anti-British, anti-gay, anti-CORD, etc, so it doesn't take much imagination to guess which party these trollers identify with.

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
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52. Re: Travel Concerns 2014

Just for info, posts deleted by the moderators usually start

'TripAdvisor staff removed this post because....'

Posts deleted by members using the report button start

'This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed'

manchester, United...
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1,198 posts
93 reviews
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53. Re: Travel Concerns 2014

But why on earth would the community find Richard's posts inappropriate? He is one of the most knowledgeable and useful posters to these pages. (As are you Doffcocker and Christopher)

Hythe, United...
Destination Expert
for Kenya
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2,380 posts
118 reviews
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54. Re: Travel Concerns 2014

Nothing wrong with Richards posts as always they were balanced, informative and added another dimension to the topic, i cant see why they are deemed inappropriate something just doesn't add up.

Washington
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69 posts
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55. Re: Travel Concerns 2014

Hello All,

I have been following this thread because we are traveling to Kenya at the end of April. Just want to have as much info as possible before we get on the plane!

I decided to post because of the mystery disappearing posts. I had something similar happen to my posts in a thread awhile back( in the Tahiti area). I rewrote the post 3 times trying to make it acceptable by looking at posts that remained. In this case, I had a good idea who was protesting my posts... and was able to have an offline dialog with him.

What returned my posts to the board though, was notifying TA and pointing out to them that my posts were not breaking any rules and were in line with other posts. I also mentioned that they were in danger of having their reliability questioned if certain DE were able to manipulate the board so easily. Meaning, the forum loses its value if certain people are allowed to control the info.

This person assumed I was a paid shill for a travel agent, even though my history on TA showed no indication of that....eventually TA restored my posts.

The only things I saw in some earlier posts were links to someone's business in their signature line? I agree that his posts were giving fair and impartial info. Anywho, long story short, suggest that Richard(?) send an inquiry to the TA staff and ask why his posts were removed. It is possible that they will be restored?! Be prepared for it to take a little bit of time to either be responded to or see the posts reinstated.

Keeping fingers crossed that things stay somewhat peaceful, really looking forward to our trip!!

kristy

Oklahoma City...
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68 posts
183 reviews
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56. Re: Travel Concerns 2014

I just got back from Kenya/Tanzania two weeks ago. I traveled alone from the United States and met up with a tour group in Nairobi. As long as you don't do anything stupid, you'll be fine. In Nairobi, there was extra security that you had to go through before entering grocery stores or malls. I asked my cab driver to take me to an ATM. We stopped at a mall nearby to use the bank of ATMs in the lobby. Our cab got searched for bombs at the entrance to the parking lot. Then, after parking, my cab driver and I both got searched individually before entering the mall. I also got my bags searched when entering a grocery store the next day. I didn't mind the extra security checks because it just meant that they were trying to be extra cautious with people entering crowded spaces.

The only place where I got a little nervous was at the Kenya/Tanzania border. We were crossing the border and some people in my group got held up and our guide told me to go ahead and cross and wait for them on the other side. Some of our group was already over there. Being alone, I should have waited for someone to cross with me instead of walking alone. Some guys surrounded me and tried to demand that I give them $50 for a "visa". I kept insisting that I already had a visa, but they kept demanding the money. I was very confused because the guide told us it didn't cost any money and told us not to take any money off the bus. Since I didn't have any money with me, I kept telling them no and that I didn't have any money. They kept arguing with me and finally I said I was going back to get my guide and suddenly they told me to just go ahead and cross.

Other than that, I did not have a single concern about safety on this trip. I plan to go back to Africa again sometime soon. The only thing I would do differently is make sure I have a buddy walking with me when I cross the border!

Have a great trip!

Ukunda, Coast, Kenya
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998 posts
6 reviews
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57. Re: Travel Concerns 2014

trailblazer,

Can you fill in a few gaps in your story? Which border crossing did this happen at and which direction were you traveling? Did your tour leader take your passport to the immigration office so he could buy your visas for you?

What about the men harassing you for money? Did they look like money changers? Did they have any kind of uniform? (At the Lunga Lunga border crossing, for example, the money changers are now required to wear green golf shirts.)

As for money, for the benefit of others here I would definitely never leave it inside luggage on an unattended vehicle. It could go missing during the customs inspection process, and I wouldn't even assume that your driver and tour escorts are beyond temptation. The inter-border zone is one area where you won't get mugged, so keep your wallet on you.

Birmingham, United...
11 posts
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58. Re: Travel Concerns 2014

I certainly didn't deem Richard's posts inappropriate. A system that deletes posts based on a certain number of people pressing the button is open to abuse. It's very easy for one person who has it in for another to switch IP addresses, thus appearing to be a group of people requesting deletion.

Killenaule...
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129 posts
3 reviews
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59. Re: Travel Concerns 2014

i was on border from kenya to uganda a few years ago i was so scared between money changers and lack of id. no demarkations . golden rule is never get seperated from your money or passport it can happen so easy with persuasive guys posing as custom/agents of one kind or another. hope its better nowdays,.cheers,.

UK
Destination Expert
for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
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4,724 posts
9 reviews
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60. Re: Travel Concerns 2014

I'm sitting at Gate 10 at NBO waiting to fly back to London and just reviewing this thread after several amazing days pretty much incommunicado in southern Kenya (not my choice, but still quite refreshing!). I'm as perplexed as everyone else about my (and David E's) disappearing posts, so I've dropped a note to a TA moderator and will see what comes of it.

I'm all for frank and open debate, and complete transparency. After two weeks in Kenya, I think we all need that more than ever. Anyway, I'll let people know what comes of it.

Safari njema to all those travelling soon!

Richard Trillo

Author: The Rough Guide to Kenya

Kenya Programme Manager: Expert Africa