security on the road in West Africa
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Oct 18, 2012 3:43 PM Last Post By: lonelymechanic
Oct 17, 2012 10:04 AM
security on the road in West AfricaI tried to get some answers on this topic previously but was verbally abused by some ladies, with more courage than myself; so I dropped it. But in my desperation to find some definitive answers I shall brave derision, debasement and derogation again. It's that important to me. A little background, I am not a debutante, I have traveled a lot. A real lot. This trip I am taking in November is slated to last 4 months bopping around West Africa. In my past I have sat in a beach chair looking out at some beautiful blue surf wanting to go jump in but, I have my money belt strapped on me. I sleep with it strapped on, I take it to the shower with me. I travel solo so there is no one I can hand it to and go jump in the water. Well I did travel with another guy once. After a night on the town, I came back to our room and he had left with all my money and passport. I was stranded in the third world with 50 usd. When I went to the hotel desk and told them that guy ran off with all my money they said "No money, Get Out!" But I'm going a bit long here. How much luck do folks have leaving their valuables at the hotel desk? I have bought a "Pac Safe" its an armored bag that can be locked to bed posts or whatever and it can't be easily cut open. Well I practically told my life story here. What I am after is how do smart people travel care free and get back home with passport and money still in your pocket? BTW my passport was removed from me on my very first trip abroad in 1973 I have never lost it again but I missed out on a lot of swimming and snorkeling.May I please have some creative security suggestions? Please don't holler at me.
Oct 17, 2012 6:44 PM
1You take a while to get to the point and maybe that's what set people off before. Anyway, I keep most of my money in the bank and use a bank card. I also have a waterproof case that can fit a wallet, my credit cards and some cash that I put my valuables into so that I can go swimming and enjoy myself.
Oct 17, 2012 7:01 PM
2I've traveled and worked in 40 African countries including all the West African nations (outside of Liberia), always traveling alone and always with a substantial amount of cash (usually around $3000). I've never left my cash with anybody and never had any issues pertaining to theft of my valuables (of which I have very little outside of the cash).
I've always left my stuff in my hotel room when out and about. Cash and passport certainly not in my pocket when I'm running the streets whatever city I'm in. My carry-on suitcase has a few sneaky little zippers that are not detectable and I often slip my banknotes in there along with passport. In a few locations where the hotel security seemed pretty soft (Pointe Noire for example), I've sometimes put money into a pair of socks and thrown that in with my dirty laundry bag. Lovely stuff.
I also trust and assume that all will be well and that outside of certain touristy spots, the late night boozy bars, and the odd heroin addict you might encounter, theivery I believe is less in West Africa than it might be in North America. After 13 years of doing this, I've never had any problems at all.
Oct 18, 2012 1:44 PM
3Hi, Just buy a waterproof bag, the type you put your stuff in, roll the top over a few times and clip it shut. Keep your camera in it when it rains use it to take all your stuff in the sea, as it's got trapped air in it it floats.
One of the smaller ones from here ought to do it, they roll up to almost nothing when empty
Oct 18, 2012 3:43 PM
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