Eritrea Warnings and Dangers

  • Traveling out of Asmara
    Traveling out of Asmara
    by georeiser
  • Near the government buildings
    Near the government buildings
    by georeiser
  • Eritrean youth in Asmara downtown
    Eritrean youth in Asmara downtown
    by georeiser

Eritrea Warnings and Dangers

  • General security warning

    It's said that the poverty is increasing in Eritrea and the country has a food security problem in case of poor rainfall, etc. There is no starvation in Eritrea today, but some poor people have only one meal a day (February 2009).Border with Ethiopia: It's not advised to travel to the disputed border area between Eritrea and Ethiopia, including the...

  • Don't talk about politics in Eritrea

    Eritrea is not a democracy, and there are no privately-owned news media in the country. It is not legal to speak bad about the government. Even if you see things can be different, or if you just want to give a kind-hearted advice. Eritreans are afraid of, or doesn't like to hear criticism from foreigners, so don't get into politics.

  • Money: look after your paperwork!

    Money - You can't take Nakfa into the country, and there are no ATMs, so theonly way of getting more money once in Eritrea is by Western Union transfer. So take as much as you need! Youhave to declare ALL currency and travellers' cheques on arrival at the airport.This is written on a piece of paper and stamped. Every time you change money,you must...

  • Being a Journalist = Crime

    I have reported all over Africa and I have to be totally honest, freedom of speech is hardly considered a basic human right. However, I have never encountered such harsh and offensive oppression of journalistic freedom than in Eritrea. A friend of mine is based in China, another highly censored state, we compared our experiences in the 2 countries...

  • Currency Declaration

    When you enter Asmara by airplane, you will be required to fill out a currency declaration. I did not see anyone checking if the declaration was correct or not. When you leave, you must also fill out a declaration. I personally did not have a problem, but I heard from a friend that wrote incorrect information on the declaration ended up having to...

  • The border conflict with Ethiopia (part...

    Cont'd....Ethiopia is loosing face at home over the ruling of the UN border commission, and turning it into a hopeless situation where Ethiopia now again is rumbling with her weapons and putting claims on getting Badame back despite the UN's view. It is plain irritation over loss of face on both parties, because Badame is nothing but a deserted...

  • The border conflict with Ethiopia (Part...

    This conflict is the world's most stupid. Basically, Ethiopia is dissatisfied with Eritrea's arrogance, and the blocking of Ethiopia's access to the sea (Assab). Eritrea is taking nothing from Ethiopia, and claims the moral high ground, posing a very arrogant stance. While the liberation of both Ethiopia from the Dergue regime and Eritrea from...

  • Censorship and political oppression

    After the liberation from Ethiopia there was such an opening up in Eritrea, such a happy nation. After two subsequent border wars with Ethiopia and tightening up of belts and mouths, the mood has changed 180 degrees. Now people are reluctant to speak their minds and in groups of more than five, there is a feeling there is bound to be a government...

  • Safety

    As for the chances of being robbed or pickpocketed on the streets, there is no need to worry - Eritrea is probably the safest country in Africa in terms of crime!However, a few areas of the country (mostly to the West) suffer from political instabilty and could be unsafe to visit. Nevertheless, you won't have the chance to stray into such...

  • Your captain's destroying live coral on...

    Make sure the captain doesn't throw the anchor straight on live coral when out on a sea excursion off the Eritrean coast. The captain will do so if you don't tell him not to...The boat crew obviously want to please and so take you to the nicest coral patches, and off the anchor goes without any consideration for the coral below. Find a sandy or...

  • Strong currents between the Dahlak...

    There are very strong currents in some of the best snorkelling spots around the Dahlak islands- several knots - so be careful, and perhaps trail a rope with a safety bouy to hold on to after the boat when snorkelling.

  • Sales of endangered species

    I noticed that a couple of souvenir shops on the main street in Asmara (in 2000) had sea turtle shells and leopard skins for sale. Both items are illegal sales objects according to the CITES treaty. Two of the skins that I saw were of very young, small leopards. Point 1) As they are endangered species, do not buy them, and object to their sales...

  • Beaches north of Massawa

    North of Massawa are some nice beaches and good swimming. Extremely hot, it can be, but that's why you want to cool off in the sea, no?This area has seen some fighting in the past (Ethiopia-Eritrea in the '80es), and I was advised there were still landmines and unexploded ordinance in the sand further inland from the road. So stay on the beach, and...

  • Eritrea is a malaria effected...

    Eritrea is a malaria effected area. Anywhere below 2000 meters ASL has a potential for malaria infection. Asmara is at an elevation of 2300 meters ASL. Eritrea and Ethiopia have been at war for several years, and the residual of the conflict is many unexploded ordnance items and landmines. This contamination is mostly localized to several areas,...

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