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Beware of robberies in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania!!

Calgary, Canada
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Beware of robberies in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania!!

I was robbed today in broad daylight (3pm) walking down Shanty Town Rd with 3 bystanders about half a block away from the incident. The thieves (2 men) had approached them first, riding double on a motorcycle (3 foreign women). I happen to be walking by the group as the women were trying to tell them to leave as they were being rude. They left down a side road, circled around and came back in my direction from behind. The man in the back, jumped off the bike, I turned around and he was pulling at my purse that was slung across my chest and holding a machete in the air in the other. I panicked and froze and started screaming. He used the machete to cut the purse off of me and cut my arm really bad in the process. I had a wound about 3/4'' deep almost went down to the bone. Went for stitches and a police report. It happened today and I am still pretty shaken up about it but wanted to share this with the community so that everyone is aware.

I have come to find out that there have been at least 5 robberies in the Shanty Town area in the last few weeks. I believe that most of them have targeted lone females. Usually in the evenings with the exception of me…Please be careful in the Moshi area. It is not even recommended to travel in groups at night here.

Kikuletwa Hotsprings
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Ascend Tanzania
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Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: Beware of robberies in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania!!

Sorry this has happened to you. As you may know, despite its name, Shantytown is where the expats live and is near where many volunteers work and live thus making it a tempting place for theft.

Please be careful and try to travel with others.

I hope your tetanus shot is up to date.

Milwaukee
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2. Re: Beware of robberies in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania!!

I'm so sorry this happened to you. I'm traveling alone next September and a little nervous about things like this, I don't think I'll leave the hotel unless I'm with the guide.

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: Beware of robberies in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania!!

Kim, I expect the OP is a volunteer in Moshi, and these things don't happen in Arusha, nor will you be going to Shantytown.

I volunteered a month in Moshi travelling three hours a day return trip to my project, walking and taking local transport. I understand your concern, but this is not a usual incident for safari travellers.

Use common sense and travel practice. No backpacks.....they might lead to a snatch and grab with no one to watch your back. Put a small amount of money in your pocket, and wear nothing austentatious and consider adopting their modest dress code. Cover shoulders, knees and cleavage. You will be fine. My first trip, I was nervous too, but it was unfounded, and your comfort will grow as the trip goes along.

Milwaukee
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4. Re: Beware of robberies in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania!!

Thank you for the additional info/advice quiltingmamma.

Calgary, Canada
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5. Re: Beware of robberies in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania!!

My intention was not to instil fear in people I just want everyone to be aware that this is a problem here. Quiltingmama, I had taken those precautions, no backpack, dressing modestly with the exception of walking alone, but it happened regardless. I would never put myself in this situation at night but it was in the middle of the day! And came as a surprise to many locals / expats living in the area. You mentioned that this never happens in Arusha but Arusha is actually suppose to be even worse for theft. Shantytown is located on the outskirts of town. A very pretty area and a tempting respite to get away from the traffic of the city. I was going for a Sunday walk. It also has less people on the streets which is why I was an easy target. Moshi city centre would be safe to walk in daylight as well as taking local transport. Beware of taxis. There has been many incidences of robberies with them as well, use a driver recommended by your hotel if you can. And always leave your passport and credit cards in your hotel's safe! (I am so thankful I did this) Please don't let this scare you Kim. Like quilting mama said use common sense, take precautions and you'll be fine.

Edited: 24 February 2014, 03:41
Arusha
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6. Re: Beware of robberies in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania!!

Wow, pole sana. Even in Arusha I am hearing about thefts more often nowadays.. specially of the Piki Piki (motorcycle) and Panga (machete) combination.

Ottawa, Canada
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7. Re: Beware of robberies in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania!!

My time in Moshi was more than a year ago and times change and I know that theft happens in Arusha, but in the regular tourist areas, not so much. Shantytown is not where the average tourist is in Moshi. This tendency to target expat residences is a common practice worldwide, but it is where the money is. Knowing that Kim is in town for a limited time and a tourist, is why I tried to reduce her fears.

The pangas are disconcerting for sure, and the thought that we women cannot walk alone is frustrating and alienating.

uk
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8. Re: Beware of robberies in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania!!

Think I might cancel my trip

Ottawa, Canada
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9. Re: Beware of robberies in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania!!

Carlosthedog, does nothing bad happen in your hometown? It is a concern when there is violence in our vacation spots, but we are not immune to violence in our own towns either. Who would have thought London subways would be targeted for bombings, or that soccer games would end in stadium deaths. You don't have to go to Shantytown alone when in Moshi....or is that where you planned to stay? There are options.

Bristol
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10. Re: Beware of robberies in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania!!

Yes I agree with QM. I am returning to Moshi tomorrow for 3 weeks and have no major worries. This sort of incident can (unfortunately) happen all over the world. I experienced an attempted robbery in Barcelona a couple of years ago but this wouldn't put me off going back there.....if it did I wouldn't travel anywhere. You just need to be careful wherever you are, at home or abroad.