01-08-2019 by redazione
Arrival time of Italian tourists (and not only) on the coast of Kenya. The carefreeness and sense of freedom that accompany the holidays, combined with the enthusiasm to be in Africa, can lead to lowering your threshold of attention and respect for some rules that elsewhere we would call normal, plus in Kenya you come into contact with news of which you are not always aware.
Here are 10 tips from malindikenya.net on actions to avoid.
DO NOT DO THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE IN HOLIDAY IN ITALY: With the Internet and globalization, the gap between the Western world and certain African countries has been very narrowed. In this case the appearance deceives, because the poverty is very evident and not hidden as in other places of the world and the simplicity of the people, mistaken for submissiveness, can be easily misunderstood. In short, in simple terms it may seem that on the Kenyan coast everything is allowed. It's not like that. If in Malindi, Watamu and Diani you follow the same rules that you would follow in Santa Margherita Ligure, Fregene or Riccione. It applies to the highway code, for example: seeing four people on a motorcycle does not automatically mean that you can do it too.
DON'T WALK AROUND WITHOUT PAPERS! When you are outside the hotel or the holiday accommodation, always bring with you an identification document, i.e. for foreigners a passport or a photocopy thereof where there is also the visa to enter the country and the duration of the same. Not being able to prove that you are regularly in Kenya is considered an infringement and you can be taken to the police station for investigations and lose precious hours of your holiday, as well as risk falling into the "trap" of the request for a bundle by corrupt police officers. Don't forget that Kenya is one of the countries in Africa where small corruption is widespread.
NO SELFIE WITH STARFISH! As we have already written several times, the beautiful starfish are an endangered species and removing them from the water for a few minutes can cause their death. Not only should you avoid the stupid fashion of "selfie" with the star, but you should also explain to the local population (tour leaders, beach operators) that all this is to be avoided.
NO CANDY TO THE CHILDREN! When you happen to come into contact with local children and teenagers, they will ask you for "candy", sometimes in Italian, or in their language, the Kiswahili, "Peremende". It's normal for a child to want candy, but if you think of how many tourists every week can't resist this call, more or less in the same areas, and how many candies these children eat, you can understand why in the last twenty years in Malindi and Watamu have appeared problems of tooth decay that the coastal population had never had and especially that they do not have the money to treat. Better and better a fruit, but the best is to give them the minibrik of milk of 125 cl. Protein and calcium, to strengthen the teeth, not to destroy them.
DO NOT EXTENT: A few days ago I listened to the dialogue of an Italian tourist on the beach who boasted with a Kenyan "friend" that he had paid his new i-phone "only" 800 euros, because he had taken advantage of an offer. There are many such episodes, absolutely uneducational and also disrespectful of the people you will meet.
The fact that many Kenyans in tourist places present themselves to you with a designer t-shirt and branded sports shoes and that they speak a fluent Italian, does not make them people of the same social and economic status as you. Many of them (and you'll notice when they invite you to their home, to their village) still live in mud or sheet metal huts and earn in a year (or even more) what you can spend on a holiday in Kenya.
DO NOT WASTE: Kenya from the point of view of the "global challenge" is definitely one of the most advanced countries not only of the Black Continent. Plastic bags have been abolished for two years and from next year plastic bottles will be banned in parks and beaches. Try to respect Nature too, using as little plastic as possible and not dispersing it in the environment, despite the lack of baskets and the lack (still for a while) of separate collection.
DO NOT TAKE PICTURES OF POLICE OR MILITARY PERSONNEL! In Kenya it is absolutely forbidden to take pictures of citizens in uniform or armed soldiers. Punishment, immediate arrest and seizure of the camera. It is also forbidden to take pictures of police stations and government offices.
NO TOPLESS OR EFFUSIONS ON THE BEACH: Despite the tropical climate and the sense of abandonment and freedom on the beaches of the Kenyan coast, the country is absolutely forbidden to expose bare breasts by women. Just as national law punishes those who, in public places, let themselves go with their partners to excessive effusions. Sometimes a simple, prolonged "petting" is enough and you risk denouncing it.
GAY AND LESBIANS, DO NOT SHOW IT IN PUBLIC: Despite great steps taken in recent years by the nascent movements of LGTB activists, homosexuality is still discriminated against in Kenya.
To declare oneself or to show oneself publicly is considered a provocation, therefore a crime punishable with punishments up to ten years of imprisonment.
DO NOT COMMUNICATE DATE OF DEPARTURE: If possible, avoid telling anyone the exact date of your departure. It is a good rule (as recommended by the Prefecture of the County of Kilifi) not to give too much detail to people you have just met about your location and the date and manner of return to Italy. Most of the robberies and thefts that occur during the high season (fortunately not many, but there are) happen right behind the start and often the authors are people who are given this kind of confidence.
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