Relocating to another country – or even just visiting for the first time – can be an exciting adventure. Difficult cultures, climates and languages all make a refreshing change for many who travel abroad for the UK. But some who leave these shores for pastures new are unprepared for the less obvious dangers they face in unfamiliar areas of the globe.

Rob Dolbear is Managing Director of relocation specialist HCR, and is keen to highlight the potential hazards awaiting even the best prepared of travellers. “There are obvious dangers in certain parts of the world,” he says. “The media is feeding us continuous news of war, famine and disease in Syria, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Burundi, Chad, Iraq, Libya and other well-known danger spots.

“Those who travel from the relative safety of the UK to these areas are, in the most part, fully aware of the challenges they face. But there are less evident perils lurking in the most beautiful and apparently safe locations.

“This week, a UK doctor reportedly escaped a shark by punching it in the face after the animal injured him in Australia. According to the victim, the shark jumped out of the water and hit him in the right shoulder.

“Although rare, shark attacks do happen – particularly around the coasts of South Africa, North America, Asia and Australasia. Many people know this, but they don’t think it will happen to them. Our advice, always, is to listen carefully to local advice. Nature and wildlife are the source of a surprising number of injuries and deaths across the world – and this is not something we are used to here in the UK.

“When we help our clients’ employees to relocate, we take great care to ensure they are fully prepared with information about the country they are moving to. Doing your homework before you travel can make all the difference for a successful move or trip abroad. And that goes for holidays too.

“As well as the cultural differences and unfamiliar wildlife you might encounter, think about the climate too. In the UK, we are used to balanced – if sometimes depressing – weather conditions. But nothing too severe. In some parts of Africa, temperatures can reach 50°C. And, in areas of Russia and Canada, it has been as cold as -60°C. These are extreme examples but it is tremendously important to take the right sort of clothing to match the conditions you’ll be facing. It’s all about being prepared. A little research can make all the difference.”


World’s most dangerous countries – Foreign Office

  •  Afghanistan
  •  Burkina Faso
  •  Burundi
  •  Central African Republic
  •  Chad
  •  Democratic Republic of the Congo
  •  Iraq
  •  Libya
  •  Mali
  •  Mauritania
  •  Niger
  •  North Korea
  •  Somalia
  •  South Sudan
  •  Syria
  •  Venezuela
  •  Yemen

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