As a general rule you are as safe, if not safer, in East Africa as you would be at home. However, when out and about, don’t look as though you’re loaded with money - for some it could be just too tempting. Most of the bigger African cities have a bad reputation for muggings although these mostly happen when people ignore advice. There are certainly specific places that should be avoided and wandering around after dark is asking for trouble. In general: don’t leave valuables unattended anywhere, keep shoulder bags across the shoulder and the bag part to the front of you, limit the amount of jewellery you wear and don’t go out after dark unless in a taxi.

Begging & Cons
You may be approached by beggars - just politely say you haven’t any money etc. Do not be tempted into giving anyone money. If you feel you want to help disadvantaged people, do it formally through a charity. Well dressed students and adults may engage you in conversations that lead to very plausible requests for help with their education, etc. Again it is best to politely decline.

A camera is an essential and most people vastly underestimate the quantity of pictures they will take so make sure you have plenty of memory cards and batteries with you. Taking pictures of people is a sensitive issue. For example, the stallholders in the markets might not like their pictures being taken. You should always ask permission to take photographs of people in these environments. Within schools it is acceptable, and normally expected, to take pictures of the school and the children. 

Water Supply
Everywhere you are staying will have hot and cold running water. Having said that it is not unusual for the supply to fail and you may find there are times when it is not totally reliable.

The electricity sockets are the same as in the UK. There will be power points in your hotel rooms but not when on safari. Lengthy power failures are quite common, even in the biggest cities.

Internet cafes exist in most places although connection speeds can be very slow. Most hotels offer internet access.

Most hotels have phones available but these can be expensive. The mobile phone network is very reliable and you will be able to use your mobile virtually anywhere. Calls can be expensive and you should check with your provider on rates before travelling so you don’t come home to any nasty surprises. Buying a local SIM card is generally a cheaper way of contacting home.

It will be warm to hot during your stay (15-20° C at night to 25-30° C during the day). It can be quite chilly in the evenings and short, violent storms are quite common at the end of the day.

Handshakes are the norm, soft rather than firm, and can involve thumb shakes.  You may also find people want to lead you by the hand. This is common even amongst men.  Kissing however is not a common form of greeting.

The local language is Kiswahili although you will find a good level of English spoken in hotels and most shops. All your drivers, guides, hotel and camp staff will all have a good command of English.
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