Trouble spots
Warnings for travellers, by travellers, in the new edition of Wanderlust (price pounds 2.50; call 01753 620474).

Makgadikadi Pans, Botswana: "During the wetter months (February/ March) the area is host to the migration of zebra and wildebeest. However, due to the rains it is very hazardous for the uninitiated to venture into the area under their own steam as there is a real danger of getting stuck."

St Petersburg, Russia: "Most night-life is run by the Mafia, but they keep their joints safe and clean as it encourages business. Most hotel night-clubs are basically pick-up joints for upmarket hookers and are best avoided.

"Before you have too much fun, remember that from May to September all the city bridges are raised from 2am to 5am to allow boats to pass - and there is no alternative route home."

Mumbai (Bombay), India: "Arriving at the airport can be intimidating. Look out for the prepaid taxi office (on the right after you come through customs). If you are female, don't join the queue of men - you can be served straightaway if you go to the door of the office. There, you state your destination and pay for the taxi in advance. Give the receipt to the driver. You pay him no further money at your destination."

Samoa: "Kirikiti is the Samoan version of a game only marginally recognisable as cricket. Rules are highly flexible and the number of participants can be dizzying."

For more advice on specific destinations, contact the Foreign Office Travel Advice Unit on 0171-238 4503 or 4504, or fax 0171-238 4545; on the Internet, at http://www.fco.gov.uk/ or on BBC2 Ceefax from page 564 onwards.

Bargain of the week

At the stroke of midnight last nights, the clock at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich began counting down the 1,000 days to the year 2000.

To mark the Millennium - and to fill seats on their Boeing 747s (see story opposite) - British Airways (0345 222111) and Qantas (0345 747767) are selling two return tickets to Australia for a total of pounds 1,000 plus taxes of around pounds 25 per person. The deal applies for travel until 30 June, but seats must be booked in the 2,000 minutes between 9am on Monday morning, 7 April, and 6.20pm the following day. Stopover options include Singapore, Tokyo and Johannesburg.

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