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Lonely Planet’s View of The Former War Zones…

The former war zones might be up and coming tourist destinations but as I mentioned at the end of my post – be aware of the possible problems and check the situation before you rush off and book your holiday.

Following on this thought, I thought I would just check out Lonely Planet’s alerts on the four destinations, and here they are.

El Salvador

Travel Warning and Crime Warning:

Roads and highways can be subject to criminal activity; travelers should exercise caution, particularly on public buses. Avoid any travel at night.

Travel to regions bordering Guatemala can be risky, due to local drug turf wars. While foreigners are not targeted, they may be unlucky enough to caught up in the violence.

severity: Mid-level alert

Sierra Leone

Travel Warning – some Caution Required:

While peace now reigns in Sierra Leone, and conditions have improved substantially, travellers should exercise caution on the roads outside of Freetown, and avoid the area bordering Liberia and Guinea, where rebel and military activity continue.

severity: Mid-level alert

Laos

Travel Warning – Security Issues:

Unexploded ordnance (UXO) and incidents of banditry in rural areas are issues travellers should be aware of in Laos. For more information go to Safe Travel or check out the Thorn Tree travel forum for some good advice from travellers.Check local information regarding the security of travel through the western portion of Rte 7 in Xieng Khuang Province between Muang Phu Khun and Phonsavan, and Rte 13 between Vang Vieng north to Muang Phu Khun through to south of Luang Prabang. Though the Saisom Special Zone is slowly opening up, the ‘secret city’ of Long Cheng remains off limits.

severity: Mid-level alert

Rwanda

Border Alerts:

Although Rwanda’s security situation has improved over the last couple of years, travellers are advised to steer clear of the borders of Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo due to outbreaks of armed rebel conflict.

And finally, although it doesn’t really fit into the catagory yet… Zimbabwe

Travel Warning: Post-Election Tension – Country in Turmoil

The results of Zimbabwe’s parliamentary, presidential and municipal elections have finally been announced over a month after they took place, and a presidential run-off is now needed. The situation in the country remains volatile; travellers are advised to remain vigilant and steer clear of any public protests. There is an increased security force presence across the country, and demonstrations are being met with increasing violence by the police.

The national economy remains in crisis, with food and fuel shortages common. Travellers to Zimbabwe should use common sense to bypass obvious dangers and respect any local advice regarding safety. Avoid solo travel and remote areas. Be particularly wary in the Victoria Falls area where thieves have targeted tourists.

Monitor news services for any developments and check traveller warning services for advice. Try Safe Travel the New Zealand Govt warning site or check the Thorn Tree travel forum for the latest advice from travellers.

severity: High-level alert

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