Something to declare: Tanzania; end of summer; South America; the Andes
Saturday 16 October 2010
Warning of the week
As the annual migration of wildebeest, pictured, lures thousands of visitors to East Africa, the latest Foreign Office advice gives very specific warnings, starting in the Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam.
According to the FO, so far this year "several British tourists have been robbed and forced, with the threat of violence, to withdraw cash from ATMs and mobilise cash transfers up to £5,000 through Western Union after being befriended by strangers and using unlicensed taxis."
Outside the capital, there have been numerous other attacks in the past few weeks. Near Lake Duluti in Arusha, armed robbers shot several tourists, including a British traveller. Tourists and residents, including three British nationals, were robbed by armed bandits at a private bar in Arusha.
Bargain of the week
Summer's final flourish
Europe's main package holiday season draws to a close this month, with planes and flight crews redeployed elsewhere in the world. But late-season bargains abound.
Prices are lowest in the eastern Med. Flying from Gatwick on Monday, Thomson has a week's self-catering in Corfu for £143, with plenty of availability at below £200 (slightly more from Manchester).
Thomas Cook has a week in Bodrum, Turkey, departing on Monday evening, for £177 based on two sharing, including flights from Gatwick. The company also offers a week in from Manchester on Tuesday for £212, including self-catering accommodation.
Destination of the week
Going underground in South America
San Jose, the mining town in Chile from which 33 miners escaped alive this week, will no doubt become part of the tourist trail through South America. But just north across the border in Bolivia, visiting a mine with a history of devouring miners is already a popular attraction.
The location is Potosi, the highest city in the world, 13,000ft above sea level. At the peak of the silver boom in the 17th century, this was the wealthiest city in the world. The hill outside the town, Cerro Rico ("rich mountain"), was the source of 46,000 tons of silver and is still a working mine today. Now the mountain has become a strange tourist trap. Visitors pay about $15 (£10) for a couple of hours of crawling along the rough tunnels, past underground precipices with a vertical drop of hundreds of feet.
You can reach Potosi from the Bolivian capital, La Paz, which is itself reached from the UK via Miami.
Tip of the week
Iberia offers the first non-stop link between Europe and Argentina's second city, Cordoba, in the foothills of the Andes. With connections from Heathrow, the Spanish national airline is selling return flights for £851.
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