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Is it safe to travel to Port Moresby?

Papua New Guinea is truly one of the most wonderful places on earth you can visit, but sadly it can also be one of the most dangerous. Coming here will of course involve going through the capital, so it is safe to trap el to Port Moresby?

To read about safety in PNG click here

Safety in Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea has its troubles, but for the most part os a nice friendly place. Sadly the same cannot be said for Port Moresby, officially one of the most dangerous cities on earth.

So, just how dangerous is Port Moresby? It has been nicknamed the sexual violence capital of the world and has extremely awful statistics related to rape, as well as murder. Whether it is the most dangerous in the world depends on how you judge things, but there is no question that it is an extremely dangerous place.

Why is ~Port Moresby dangerous?

There are many reasons why Port Moresby is so dangerous, but chief among them is related to how the country itself works. PNG is a country created by colonialism in which people largely associated with their tribe first and foremost were told that they were now the newly invented nation of Papua New Guinea.

When the country became independent a ruling elite quickly arose whilst poverty was allowed to prevail with the west happy to simply take their resources.

As the seat of government Port Moresby was the seat of wealth as well as power. As in any developing country this attracted those looking for riches. Alas there were very little jobs, which led to the large amount of unemployed men joining gangs known as the Raskals.

Said gangs have since spent the last 45 years terrorizing the city and its population into the place it is now. It is estimated that unemployment runs as high as 80% in the capital, with this sadly not putting off families sending their sons here.

Everyday dangers in Port Moresby

Port Moresby

When you drive around you will notice that shops have signs saying {“no cash is key here”, hotels are like complexes and there are security guards absolutely everywhere. This is because the gangs are everywhere and life is of little value.

If you walk around almost anywhere, particularly alone, or especially at night then you are at risk of being robbed, or worse. Even if you travel by car there are dangers if you want to look flashy and drive down the wrongs streets.

How to travel safely in Port Moresby

 Port Moresby

Most people that travel to Port Moresby get into trouble for a few very simple reasons, namely that they underestimate the danger, and secondly they do not listen to locals.

You are advised to not walk the streets and take cars for very good reasons, because it is dangerous, because something is close does not mean it is safe to go there and he rejoins locals say take a car is because that is exactly what those can afford it do. Even a 5 minute walk is dangerous at night, as we have personally seen first hand.

Mitigating risks not all that hard if you quite simply accept the fact that you should not walk around this city, particularly at night, and even in the day only stick to trusted areas and never take anything too valuable with you. You can also treat this like a your, particularly if traveling with YPT. In this instance we will take you where you need to go and always with local support and while ensuring everything is as safe as we can possibly make it.

So, is it safe to travel to Port Moresby? Yes it is if you take proper precautions. Fail to follow local advise and customs though and you will put yourself in extreme danger.

You can check out our Papua New Guinea tours here.

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