A first-person account of using Safeture in Africa.

Reading through the online news reports surrounding years of political unrest in Zimbabwe meant that even before arriving in the country, I had a preconception that the capital, Harare, could potentially be a dangerous place. Just over a month ago, violent protests in the city centre were reported across world press, reporting on the death of citizens, the use of teargas, live ammunition and a water cannon on the streets. Due to these news reports and 

preconceptions of the country, I knew that I would have to take extra care whilst travelling in Zimbabwe. This is where Safeture comes in, as a highly practical app to have installed on your phone whilst travelling in high-risk countries such as this. 

Before embarking on my trip from the UK to Africa, I discovered useful information through Safeture’s ‘Safety’ category; regarding the country’s levels of risk over different areas including, ‘Civil Unrest’, ’Environment and Health’ and ‘Terrorism’. I learned that ‘Crime’ is at a ‘high-risk’ alert in Zimbabwe, especially for robbery and theft. Because of this information I ensured that I was especially careful with my belongings when walking through the city and that I didn’t leave any valuables in the car whilst visiting the supermarket, for example.

Additionally, the app played an essential part in keeping up with local news reports as I received various notifications and alerts during my stay in the country. On one day in particular, when myself and a couple others planned to drive through Harare, I received a notification about road closures due to ‘controversial’ court proceedings. Thanks to this alert I was able to inform my friend, who then drove via an alternative route to avoid any chaos or heavy traffic. The notification provided specific street names and gave the estimated duration of road closures, which was very helpful.

Having Safeture installed on my phone as a means of checking news updates regularly was reassuring in itself. As a foreigner, it can be tricky to know which news outlets are best to follow in terms of being the most reliable, but Safeture channels the news – so this is something I didn’t have to worry about. Ultimately, I had peace of mind in knowing that news alerts are sent directly from local news organisations to my phone, so I couldn’t miss a beat.

Rachel Sutherland

Photo: : Max Tillotson Home


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