Staying safe in far off destinations

Holidaymakers who enjoy heading to far-flung destinations often find themselves in areas where tourism is an unusual industry. Many of these regions are poor, crime can often be a problem and tour operators may even advise you to stay safely inside the walls of the hotel complex for your whole two-week stay.

However, if you take sensible precautions there is no reason why you should not be able to explore some of the local sites of interest, whether cultural or historical, or areas of natural beauty. After all, there is little point in travelling for thousands of miles only to end up not interacting with local communities.

On a more serious note, spending time with the local people is one way to make sure that some of your precious tourist pounds find their way to helping the communities where you are spending your trip. If you do choose to spend two weeks lying by the pool, eating in the hotel restaurant and taking part in the sanctioned day trips, the staff will receive their minimum wages but local businesses will miss out on your essential custom.

Tanzania is one of those destinations where visitors will often be advised not to stray too far from tourist areas. Yet this amazing and vibrant country has so much to offer holidaymakers who are willing to step off the beaten track for a few hours. The Usamabara mountains in particular, famous for their stunning viewpoints and challenging climbs, are well worth some quality time away from the resort.

Hire a local guide, not only to give something back to the welcoming people of Tanzania but also to enjoy the best sights, and head to Mate at the western edge of the mountains. Here you can enjoy a view across the plains to Mount Kilimanjaro, nearly 250 kilometres away but still clearly visible on a good day.