Your well-being is our top priority
At World Expeditions, your safety is our first concern. Our specific protocols and safety analysis procedures, in conjunction with updates provided by our local partners and Government Travel warnings, allow us to carefully assess the stability of each region we visit and plan our operations accordingly. Our staff frequently review all aspects of our adventures to ensure we are providing you with the best possible travel experience.
For updates on specific events and regions, please see our most recent travel warnings and advice below.
Sri Lanka Update: 22 April
We are shocked and saddened following events on Sunday in Sri Lanka, where multiple bomb blasts targeting churches and hotels in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa resulted in the loss of over two hundred lives and injuries to countless others. Arrests have made in connection with these events and the situation is continually evolving. All World Expeditions travellers are safe and well as are our office staff and leaders. As always, the safety of our travellers is our number one priority and we will continue to monitor events on the ground, with forthcoming departures being assessed on a case by case basis. Future travellers will be contacted regarding their journeys in due course. Our thoughts are with the people of Sri Lanka and the families of those affected. We will continue to support Sri Lanka, as we have done for many years, in the coming weeks and months.
Nepal Update: 15 April 2019
Further to our recent update, we now provide further detail as to our operations in Nepal in respect of domestic air travel. As you are all well aware, Nepal is a mountainous country with unpredictable weather patterns. Domestic flights are used to access many of the most popular trekking regions. About 50,000 passengers safely fly each year within Nepal, to all corners of the country.
World Expeditions utilises Tara Air and its subsidiary, Yeti Airlines, for our internal flights. These are also the airlines of choice for organisations such as the UN due to their higher safety record. Yeti Airlines and Tara Air have on their own initiative retained the services of Aviation & Marine Safety Solutions International (AMSSI), an internationally reputed safety audit firm, in order to help them achieve the highest degree of organisational safety possible given the nature of their operations and the constraints within the operational environment. AMSSI has been contracted to conduct a thorough safety audit, based on the standards of IATA IOSA, of Yeti Airlines and Tara Air once every two years. We are confident that the airlines we partner with hold the best possible safety standards given their environment.
Adventure Travel in the Himalaya does involve certain risks. Flying is one of those and we recognise that some of our travellers may be concerned about flying in Nepal. Naturally we are not able to give any guarantees but our alignment with those airlines demonstrating a track record for safety and compliance is paramount.
World Expeditions have been operating in Nepal for 40 years and in this time we have not been involved in any airline accidents. We plan to continue using the domestic airline industry for our range of treks and tours throughout the Himalaya and we welcome you to contact us should you have any questions in relation to forthcoming journeys.
Nepal Update: 14 April 2019
World Expeditions are deeply saddened to hear of an accident which occurred today at Lukla airport, when a flight operated by Summit Airlines collided with a helicopter while taking off, resulting in the loss of several lives as well as injuries. There were no World Expeditions travellers or staff on board. The airport has since reopened and is operating normally. Further updates will be posted in due course. Our thoughts are with the families of those involved.
Uganda Update: 9 April 2019
A security related incident, which did not involve a World Expeditions traveller, took place on 2 April 2019 evening when an American tourist travelling in the Queen Elizabeth National Park and her Ugandan guide were kidnapped by armed men. Other guests travelling in the same vehicle were left unharmed and raised the alarm at their lodge. On 7 April, both the missing tourist and guide were found safe and unharmed.
This is a completely unprecedented incident in the area and further such incidents in the future are extremely unlikely, given the swift and decisive action taken by law enforcement authorities, the Uganda Wildlife Authority and lodge owners to step up security measures in the Ishasha section of the Queen Elizabeth National Park, and the security forces continuing in their pursuit of the perpetrators to bring them to justice.
In line with our risk averse protocols, we have implemented precautionary measures and all our upcoming tours/game drives in the Ishasha area of Queen Elizabeth National Park will have extra security and be escorted by a Ranger Guide. The Ishasha section of the Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to magnificent tree climbing lions and is a highlight for many travellers to Uganda.
The reinforcement of all security measures will deter similar events in the future and all World Expeditions scheduled departures to Uganda remain operational. The safety of our travellers is our number one priority. It should be noted that all government travel advisories
remain unchanged, for Australia remaining at a high degree of caution. Uganda is, and remains, one of the most welcoming destinations the world over.
Mozambique, Malawi and Eastern Zimbabwe Update: 22 March 2019
Cyclone Idai has caused extensive flooding and damage to parts of Mozambique, Malawi and Eastern Zimbabwe. In addition, there are ongoing protests in Bulawayo and Harare (Zimbabwe). The overall level of Travel Advice from the UK, US, Canadian, New Zealand and Australian governments has not changed for these countries.
Our local operators have advised that none of their trips will be affected. All World Expeditions scheduled departures to Zimbabwe, Malwai and Mozambique remain operational.
The safety of our travellers is of the utmost importance; we are closely monitoring the situation and are in constant contact with our local operators. It is business as usual in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique. Should it be necessary, contingency plans will be enacted however, at present, all trips are operating as normal.
Kashmir Update: 8 March 2019
We wish to update World Expeditions travellers with forthcoming travel plans to Kashmir as well as intending travellers on the tensions that arose between India and Pakistan during the last week of February.
On 14th February a car bomb was driven into a convoy of roughly 70 vehicles carrying CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) personal on the Srinagar to Jammu highway around 30km (18 miles) from the main city. On 26th February India launched an air force attack on terrorist camps in Pakistan that resulted in a retaliatory attack by Pakistan air forces the following day. Tensions were reduced on 28th February when Pakistan agreed, as a peace gesture, to release an Indian air force officer whose aircraft had been shot down in Pakistan. The officer was released on 1st March. While since then there has been a number of minor incidents along the Indian and Pakistan (LOC) Line of Control the area is well away from Srinagar and in fact, has been off limits to foreigners since 1947.
In summary there is a general consensus that tensions have reduced between India and Pakistan with the Indian political parties now focusing on the Lok Sabha elections scheduled in April.
As always, the safety of our travellers is our highest priority and we will continue to monitor events on the ground, enacting changes to upcoming departures if necessary. Our Indian Himalaya expert, Garry Weare along with his wife Margie Thomas are currently in Kashmir and in consultation with senior administrators who have reported that the situation in Srinagar (where our groups travel) is returning to normalcy. Future travellers will be contacted regarding contingency plans if they are required.
Currently World Expeditions does not have any travellers in the region. Our trips upcoming in May, September and October carefully follow the Australian government advisory* has not changed since the outbreak of political tensions in mid-February. It should also be noted that tourists have not been the target of militant attacks and that all political parties including the Hurriyat (who represent the various militant groups in Kashmir) welcome both domestic and foreign tourists to the Kashmir Valley.
Kashmir Update: 15 February 2019
We wish to update World Expeditions travellers with forthcoming travel plans to Kashmir as well as intending travellers about an incident that occurred on Thursday, 14th of February in the Indian administered Kashmir. A car bomb was driven into a convoy of roughly 70 vehicles carrying around 2,500 Indian troops to the Kashmir Valley. The incident took place along the Srinagar to Jammu highway around 30km (18 miles) from the main city. It is reported that Pakistani militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility for the attack. World Expeditions does not currently have any travellers in the region. Our trips upcoming in May and September carefully follows the Australian government advisory and do not use the Srinagar to Jammu highway, instead transporting guests by air. It should also be noted that tourists have not been the target of this attack. The Australian government travel advice has remained unchanged following this incident. As always, the safety of our travellers is our number one priority and we will continue to monitor events on the ground, enacting changes to upcoming departures if necessary. Our Indian Himalaya expert, Garry Weare will be arriving in Kashmir in the following days and we will be making further assessments. Future travellers will be contacted regarding contingency plans if they are required.
Kenya Update: 17 January 2019
On 15 January 2019 an attack occurred at the DusitD2 luxury hotel and office complex in the Westlands suburb in central Nairobi, sadly resulting in fatalities and injuries. The Somalia-based militant group Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack. All World Expeditions travellers and local staff are safe and well.
The overall level of Travel Advice from the UK, US, Canadian, New Zealand and Australian governments for Kenya has not changed – i.e. For Australia (DFAT) it remains ‘Exercise a high degree of caution’ in Kenya overall; with higher levels applying in some parts of the country. We continue to monitor these advice and heed advice from our partners in Kenya. Authorities advise that the area and buildings are now secure, and it is business as usual in Nairobi. There is a general heightened terrorism alert globally. Kenya has been sending troops to fight against Al-Shabab in Somalia since 2011, and has seen a number of terror attacks in recent years – most notably in areas close to the Somali border and in the country's capital.
All World Expeditions scheduled departures to Kenya remain operational. The hotels we use in Nairobi have an extremely high level of security, utilising features such as vehicle barriers, baggage scanners and security guards, depending on the property, to mitigate security concerns. World Expeditions are by nature risk averse when it comes to the safety of our travellers, and this is a position we will not compromise on.
World Expeditions and our local partners in Kenya and East Africa continue to monitor the situation.
Egypt Update: 31 December 2018
On Friday evening on 28 December 2018, a roadside bomb blast hit a tourist bus near the Giza Pyramids outside Cairo, leaving 4 people killed (3 Vietnamese nationals and an Egyptian guide) and 11 others injured. This is the first incident involving tourists in Egypt in more than a year. Investigations are continuing. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the incident, however militants have targeted tourists in the past.
The overall level of government travel advice for Egypt has not changed (i.e. Reconsider your need to travel).
Travellers in Egypt should exercise heightened vigilance in public places in Egypt (including in and around religious sites) and during religious festivals or holiday gatherings; pay close attention to your personal security at all times; monitor the media and other sources about possible new security risks; avoid any local protests and demonstrations; and follow the advice of local authorities, exercising a high degree of caution because of the high threat of terrorist attack.
There is one private Egypt family trip operating at the moment until 1 January, one Egypt Explorer trip starting on 3 January, and a private Egypt trip starting on 21 January.
It is business as usual in Egypt, with visitors continuing to visit the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx since the incident. There is a general heightened terrorism alert globally. The authorities in Egypt maintain a significant security presence across the country, including armed security officers stationed at important sites, critical infrastructure, and road checkpoints. Extra measures are in place at tourist sites.
All World Expeditions scheduled departures to Egypt remain operational. World Expeditions are by nature risk averse when it comes to the safety of our travellers, and this is a position we will not compromise on. World Expeditions and our local partner in Egypt continue to monitor the situation.
Indonesia Update: 27 December 2018
A tsunami hit coastal areas around the Sunda Strait on 22 December 2018, affecting the Pandeglang, South Lampung, and Serang districts (including the resort area of Anyer), causing significant loss of life and substantial damage to infrastructure and properties. Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy. The Indonesian Ministry of Tourism has told tourists to stay away from the Sunda Strait for the time being. World Expeditions do not currently have any travellers in country. We do not anticipate disruption to any of our clients travel plans to Indonesia in 2019 as a result of this event, however we continue to monitor and assess developments. Future travellers will be contacted regarding contingency plans in the unlikely event they are required. Our teams in Indonesia are all safe and we are working behind the scenes in relation to support for those affected.
Morocco Toubkal Update: 21 December 2018
On Monday 17 December, two female tourists who were trekking in the Mount Toubkal region were killed. It appears to have been an isolated and deliberate attack, with these tourists travelling alone without a guide and camping in a wild spot between Imlil and Mount Toubkal. Investigations are underway by local authorities to determine the motive and circumstances behind the attack with four individuals under arrest. There are currently no government travel restrictions in place for Morocco. The various government travel advisories recommend that travellers should avoid hiking alone in remote mountain areas; and that if you’re planning to hike on Mount Toubkal or on other mountains in Morocco, to seek local advice and take necessary precautions, including safe camp arrangements. Trekking or camping alone can be dangerous; consider joining a group or hiring a registered guide.
We have worked with our local Moroccan operator for many years, and the vast majority of their trusted local Berber guides have worked for them for many seasons. Naturally they know the areas to which we travel, and the people that inhabit them, intimately. Our Moroccan partners advise that there is a heightened security presence and increased police controls along the route to Mount Toubkal and by the mountain refuge to ensure the safety of foreign travellers, with this incident being the first of its kind in Morocco.
We understand that these tourists were travelling unaccompanied; whereas our groups are travelling with a reputable company and accompanied by local, experienced and trusted guides. We regularly send and are continuing to send many World Expeditions clients, along with school and charity groups trekking in the High Atlas Mountains, and climbing Mounts Toubkal and Ouanoukrim, and have done so without incident.
There is a general heightened terrorism alert globally, and the Moroccan authorities have undertaken increased security measures as a result. It is business as usual in Morocco, and all World Expeditions scheduled departures to Morocco remain operational. World Expeditions are by nature risk averse when it comes to the safety of our travellers, and this is a position we will not compromise on. We will provide updates if there are any developments warranting concern.
Sri Lanka: 1 November 2018
World Expeditions along with our local partners in Sri Lanka are monitoring developments there following the recent political unrest in that country. Currently, events in Sri Lanka will bear no impact on any of our itineraries operated in the country as the protests are largely focused on areas of political significance and not generally frequented by travellers.
Advice to travellers intending to visit Sri Lanka from foreign governments overall remains unchanged, with governments advising travellers to exercise the normal precautions one would when travelling with additional advice to “avoid all demonstrations and large public gatherings”, due to the risk of any such gatherings turning violent. There currently exists an increased likelihood of large protests and demonstrations in Sri Lanka due to political instability. Monitoring local media for updates is often the best and quickest way to stay abreast of developments.
Further advice will be provided should there be any escalation in the current situation though World Expeditions would like to note that the safety of our travellers is foremost in our planning and will not be compromised.