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Tuesday, 8 July 2008

The worlds most dangerous surfing locations?

In this blog piece we aren't talking about surf spots with the usual dangers like shallow reefs, big nasty sharks or monster waves. We're looking at places where the likelihood of getting shot, kidnapped, imprisoned or blown up is a possibility (nice)

As with all travel, a little bit of common sense and caution will see most trips end without incident, but there are some surf locations that require a lot more caution than others.

This list isn't claiming to be exhaustive or be accurate forever as situations change, but it will give you an idea on where the hot spots are:

  1. Sri Lanka: The LTTE, “Tamil Tiger” Liberation movement are still fighting the established Sri Lankan authorities and the troubles have increased this year with 167 civilians being killed in 2008 so far. The main trouble areas are in Colombo and the north and east of the country, which is away from the main surf zones, but travel with care is advised.

  2. Colombia: A no brainer this one. Although Colombia isn't at the top of most surfers must surf locations, it does have waves on its Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, many of which lay undiscovered. The reason: kidnapping of tourists, murder, drug cartels, robberies etc, etc. Other than that, a nice place to visit!

  3. South Africa: Some areas of SA are badly affected by crime although the authorities are keen to protect tourist destinations, so the worst of the problems go unseen by visitors. J'burg is mugging and car jacking central so if arriving into the city, transit quickly to the coast!

  4. Indonesia: Of course Bali suffered the horrific bombing in Kuta, perpetrated by local Muslim terrorists. This was an atrocious act targeting innocents holidaying on a super chilled out island, which is home to some of the planets friendliest people. Bali is no less dangerous than it was before the attack but vigilence is advised. Outside of Bali many areas of Indo have suffered security problems which are still in effect in the Aceh region which is caught up in an internal struggle. Travel the islands with respect and care

  5. Fiji- Oct 07 saw the State of Emergency lifted after a military coup and widespread civil unrest. The main area of trouble was in the capital Suva. The biggest danger here however is that possession of any amount of weed equals a mandatory 3 month prison sentence. If in doubt stick with the Fiji rum!

  6. Nicaragua: Street crime is a problem here with armed muggings and “Express kidnappings” (victims taken on short taxi rides where money is extorted before release) being the main problems especially in larger towns.

  7. Spain: OK, so not an obvious one but the Basque terrorist movement ETA, ended a 14 month ceasefire last year and occasional, indiscriminate bomb attacks do occur. However its a big old country so the risk factor is v.low. However if you are visiting the Basque region of NW spain, you may fancy trying your luck running with the bulls in July in Pamplona.... and if the chance of being gored by a nasty bull isn't dangerous I don't know what is!

  8. Brazil: Big cities can be crime hot spots, especially Rio. Gun and drug culture play a major part in city life and tourists can fall foul to car jackings and mugging. Leave the bling at home!

  9. Philippines: Surf here can be fickle but class when it's on, however poverty levels in the Philippines result in high levels of crime and fatal terrorist bombings are all too frequent. Foreign tourists have been targets for kidnappings with two separate cases recorded last year involving visitors

Sources for the above info are varied but for greater detail on each region visit the British Foreign and Commonwealth or US Dept of State websites.


Anonymous said...

How about Mexico? Have heard about some radical stuff going on there over the past few months. Stuff like car-jacking etc...

Anonymous said...

dude.....pretty harsh with some of the places..especially, need to know bout bro is a top surfer and goes there constantly......sup????

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