Yemen Warnings and Dangers

    by DAO
  • Sana'a October 2010
    Sana'a October 2010
    by bisbj
  • Warnings and Dangers
    by erikute3534

Yemen Warnings and Dangers


    Some lowland places in Yemen are in the Malarial Zone. If you visit such an area - PLEASE PREPARE! Malaria can sometimes be fatal and at best may make you regret that you survived. Medicines must be taken weeks BEFORE you come here. There are 4 different species of Malaria and humans can get them all from the bite of an infected female Anopheles...

  • al-Qaeda bombs Queen of Sheba temple in...

    This was just report on July 2nd 2007 by Associated Press Writer" SAN'A, Yemen — An al-Qaida suicide bomber drove into a convoy of Spanish tourists visiting an ancient Yemeni temple, officials said, killing seven Spaniards and two Yemenis less than two weeks after a U.S. terror warning about the area. Witnesses said the bomber drove a car through...

  • Safety Issue - Updated (June 2009)

    Yemen has been labeled a "dangerous" destination; travel warnings do exist. The main reason so far were kidnappings of tourists/expats on a regular basis with a peak in the mid-nineties. Unruly tribes tried to gain concessions from the central government with hostages as leverage. The number of kidnappings is on the decrease since then. In the last...


    The receptionist in my Sana’a hotel saw me taking photos of women walking by from well inside the lobby entrance. He said “They will kill you” in a mixture of resignation and friendly concern. I am not sure how accurate he may have been and I suggest you do not try and find out. Women are always in the veil here. If you want to take photos, then do...

  • yemen travel

    Hi Thanks for the post really interesting,I am from the UK been living in dubai for 7 years although its a great place for trade and business its lost the magic of arabia become too modern and european. I am planning to take a long trip to yemen and see the old sites part of old arabia maybe have a chance to visit the empty quarter, my only...

  • Wires Spoiling that Perfect Shot

    Many of the very picturesque highland villages in Yemen, have wires and cables hanging down across the front of the old houses spoiling the "traditional hundreds of years old house" photograph. It's very irritating - just when you get a glimpse of the perfect shot of a village you have to take it from another angle to try and minimise the wires in...

  • So Many Steps!

    Yemen is not suitable for the Traveller who has trouble walking up steps. Apart from the coastal towns of Aden, Mukalla and Zabid all towns, villages, palaces and most dwellings and museums have many steps to climb. Due to the age of the places most of the steps are worn and crumbling, as are the paths in and up to the villages. You have to be very...


    Travelling to Yemen? Hope you are not afraid of needles! You need some immunizations before you go. At the least I would recommend these for travel in Yemen:Hepatitis A Hepatitis B – for longer journeysTetanus TyphoidThe full list is here of every possibility worldwide, but includes some immunizations you should have had as a...

  • Traffic and Driving

    If there are any rules of the road in Yemen, they are ignored by the vast majority of drivers, making the traffic and driving in the country some of the most chaotic I have ever seen. Drivers aggressively tailgate cars ahead of them, coming to within mere inches, and constantly sound their horns (or flash their headlights at night), in order to try...

  • The Dangers of Desert Travel

    Off-road desert adventures are an activity that is becoming more popular among visitors to Yemen, especially in the sandy Empty Quarter. There are sand dunes, mountains, wadis, and pools and waterfalls to explore. Because of the dangers of desert travel, anyone wishing to participate in an off-road trip should go with an experienced guide....

  • Traffic Caos

    People say that the traffic caos is caused by the fact that there are no road rules. This in part is true, though I would like to point out that many Yemanis simply cant drive! Some really are completely useless! Watch someone try to park and dont be surprised if they just drive into a wall. At traffic junctions cars just shunt into each other....

  • Photographs

    Never photograph women. NEVER photograph security checkpoints or soldiers. People have been beaten for it. The security checkpoints outside the cities can be intimidating - especially in the afternoon when the soldiers are 'on' Qat. Paperwork and bribes are the name-of-the-game. Leave it up to your driver to sort it out. You may have to take an...

  • Travel Warnings

    If you start reading these you are probably going to worry yourself for no reason such as I did.The US State Department writes these thing to cover their ass in case something does happen. I'm 6' 3" blonde hair/blue eyes...I glow in the dark in most of the world and I felt perfectly safe here even walking around Sanaa at night. People will tell you...

  • Got Gat?

    Ok so you want to be like the locals and crew gat? You pack a golf ball size wad in your cheek and wait an hour for it to hit you catch a buzz and great you are living like the locals..pretty cool huh? Wrong Answer!!!!!!!!If you hate Yemen and want to contribute to the demise of this place than it's probably the way to go. Here's the deal..... Most...

  • Pharmacies a warning

    If you do need something here talk to your embassy or check out the US Embassy's web site as they list some reputable local Drs. and pharmacies. They do sell conterfeit drugs here so you need to watch where you go.


    Also know as the long drop. At some point you are going to have to face up to this challenge. I suggest that you do 2 things. The first is practice. The second is plan in advance. There is a very good chance there is no toilet paper and water all over the floor already. The locals clean themselves with a small water hose or a cup from a bucket...

  • Health

    As one more member of VT and also doctor "Hydroneta" saysstay healthy to Yemen.Clean your hands everytime you eat something.Sounds like parent's words, but have this in mind, as is not the "must" tourist visit to the local medicine services.

  • Police Escorts

    Some places in Yemen require a police escort and they usually charge about 2000 to 3000 YR. The Sana'a to Ma'rib road as well as Sa'da require them but Shaharah no longer requires them. Aden to al Mukalla also requires the assistance of the police. You can check with any travel agent or with your embassy for information. Generally speaking, these...

  • Travel Permits

    Because of tribal tensions in certain areas as well as kidnappings in the past, a travel permit is needed to travel to most places other than Wadi Dhahr and Sana'a. The travel permits dont cost anything and they can be arranged by your hotel in most cases. Independent travel is not possible (according to the hotels) and it doesnt look like it will...

  • Environmental concern... still largely absent among the population. And for the most part it's not a great concern to the authorities either. Desertification is setting in as the groundwater table sinks. In the Sana'a basin water is being pumped up from the fourth (and last) aquifer, up to 1000 metres of depth. In other areas agriculture has knocked itself out...

  • Traffic Rules

    Yemeni traffic is chaotic. Yemeni drivers disregard any traffic rule ever invented, and even though, somehow the traffic flows. It is common to disregard lanes, it is absolutely necessary to use the horn, and even when it gets dark don`t count on a Yemeni driver to turn on the lights (even if he is driving in the wrong direction). Crossroads are...

  • Begging

    In Yemen - though a poor country - begging is not as visible or usual as in other third world - countries. In the outskirts of Sanaa or at traffic crossings, sometimes veiled women or children will approach you and beg for money. In some villages the children sometimes beg for pencils, sweets or money (especially in Shibam/Hadramaut or...

  • Rubbish

    The only thing that really put me off in Yemen was the custom to throw away any rubbish on the street just where you stand (even if it is your own house door, or your neighbours). Sanaa though is pretty clean, yet the villages around Sanaa are virtual rubbish dumps. Especially the villages on the way to Manackha/Hajjara are very dirty. The villages...

  • Kidnappings

    A spate of kidnappings in the second half of the nineties gave Yemen a very bad name. What's worse, after a lull from 2002 to the summer of 2005 kidnappings resumed. The last one was in September 2006. Although they were all resolved peacefully and various kidnapped travelers simply continued their travels in Yemen as if nothing had happened, one...

  • Traffic in Yemen: is it really that bad?

    Yes and no. Death toll is staggering (2500 per annum, compared to less than 800 in the Netherlands). Everything that's probably officially not allowed is to be expected: igoring red lights, driving on the wrong side of a dual carriage way, horrendous speeding, bad lighting both on the cars and on the streets, overall appalling state of maintenace...

  • Local Travel

    Canadian Government Warning about local travelLOCAL TRAVELDriving habits, poorly maintained vehicles, unclear and unheeded traffic laws, excessive speed, roaming animals, and pedestrians pose hazards. For security reasons, travelling along routes outside cities should be avoided. Should you need to do so, you should drive in convoy and during...

  • A typical Governments warning

    Canadian Government WarningSAFETY AND SECURITYThere exists heightened tensions in Yemen, together with increased threats globally from terrorism. Since April 2005, there have been a number of grenade attacks in Sana'a against Yemeni government forces. On September 15, 2006, two oil installations near Ma’rib and al-Mukalla were attacked in...

  • Stay healthy!

    Staying healthy should be one of your major concerns as it can spoil the pleasure of your journey. So take care of the following:1. Tap water is not generally drinkable even by locals. We were told that probably only Seiyun has good quality water. Luckily bottled water is readily available everywhere so as beverages. As for tea, water is boiled 2....

  • Yemen: A land of plastic bag!

    Not a danger but a warning:Yemen is not for the seriously environmental conscious visitors. Unfortunately Yemenis don’t seem to care about pollution and myriads of plastic bags lie in the country side. This is a result of…qat consuming. Qat chewers buy it in such small plastic bags, they consume it and then they don’t bother littering even remote...


    This is issue is frequently posted and I can undestand concerns as recent kidnappings have badly damaged the image of this wonderful country.If you exclude the "dangerous for kidnapping routes" (Dhamar to Bir Ali and Sana'a to Wadi Hadramawt) where mainly the presence of police escort caused me some nervousness, Yemen is an extremely safe country....

  • Beggars

    Despite you feel that there is widespread poverty we were not harassed by many beggars. This occurred only in the countryside and especially when we had short stops for a drink or our driver's qat. . These were mainly women or children reaching our car window. This was more persistent in Tihama region and Taizz. Have some coins with you if you wish...

  • Exit visa

    Everybody who is minimally interested in Yemen knows that you need a visa to enter the country. It's rather expensive and the easiest way to get it is through someone in Yemen or some institution such as a language school.One must also have the EXIT visa. I learned about this just 3 days before departure!! I was told that since I stayed just one...

  • Check your passport!!!!

    Be warned, we didnt know it! Did you make a recent visit to Israel and your passport has the Israeli stamps in it?THEN YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ENTER YEMEN.We flew from India to Sana and had to wait for 12 hours before our plain to Rome was leaving. To bridge this, Yenmen Air had promised to give us a hotel in Sana to pass the time. On arrival in...


    Bought a small orange-coloured Yemini knife(jambiya) that most people carry around and when i scanned my bag at the airport they picked it up and confiscated it, my scissor was also taken but this returned to me at the next airport. The knife was never returned and probably pocketed by the guard since everyone loves those knives.

  • Women in Public

    You don't see many women in public - and if so, many are covered completely and seem to be rather non-existent.As a male - don't talk to these women! It might get all of you in trouble!

  • Kidnappings

    Ever since I returned home from that trip I heard about kidnappings of tourists in the Yemen, so I would not feel comfortable and safe going there now...

  • If traveling out of main...

    If traveling out of main population centers on your own or with one or two others, be REAL careful. Foreigners are taken hostage by hill tribesmen and held for ransom; this is sometimes done to bargain with the government, but some foreigners have been killed in captivity. Don't eat or touch people with your left hand.We also had a run-in with the...

  • There is a risk of kidnapping...

    There is a risk of kidnapping in Yemen. Just after I arrived, a Norwegian diplomat was kidnapped with his 7 year old son in the centre of Sana'a, and when the kidnapper's car was stopped at an army checkpoint just outside the city, he was killed in the crossfire. This was fairly shocking for me and I was wary of walking anywhere in the city for a...

  • T keep up to date with the...

    T keep up to date with the situation in Yemen, there are two very good English language newspapers, the 'Yemen Times' and the 'Yemen Observer', both known throughout the Arab World for their critical look at the Yemeni Government (Yemen is unusual in the Middle East as it has considerable freedom of the press). Visit their websites: Yemen...

  • Yemeni small boys & girls are...

    Yemeni small boys & girls are very sweet ! However some of them ask you for a tip or candy even though you just talk with for a short time. Don't spoil them.

  • To women traveller : You...

    To women traveller : You should not go out after dark by alone. They think women should be inside home at evening. If you ramble about the streets at night, you would lay yourself open to censure.

  • Yemen is not a country as we...

    Yemen is not a country as we know it. There is a central gouvernement, but the power is in the hands of the different tribes. When there is a conflict between tribes or between a tribe and the gouvernement, one of the things that can be done is taking hostages. This has been very normal for hundreds of years. Only recently also foreigners are taken...

  • A little story to remind you...

    A little story to remind you what could happen on the Yemenite roads. There are no traffic rules that are beeing observed. In a bend of a road the local sheik was turning his car around. One of our drivers approched this bend with to much speed. A collision was unavoidable. In this accident our Landcruiser ended up in the qat-field beside the road....

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Yemen Warnings and Dangers

Reviews and photos of Yemen warnings and dangers posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Yemen sightseeing.
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