Papua New Guinea: Five Easy Rules to Stay Safe in Port Moresby - Vikingess Voyages

Friday, September 7, 2018

Papua New Guinea: Five Easy Rules to Stay Safe in Port Moresby

Some parts of Port Moresby are more idyllic - here from the Koki Fish Market
Photo: Anette

While Papua New Guinea is known as a fantastic destination for diving, bird watching and exotic festivals the capital Port Moresby, also known as Pom City, is infamous for being one of the most dangerous cities in the world. The situation might not be as bad as portrayed by some international media, but if you’re visiting the capital it is still best to take some precautions to ensure that you’ll be able to go back home with only pleasant memories from your trip. 
No need to go outside for cultural experiences!(..?)
A Mudman inside the local shopping mall

Papua New Guinea: Five Easy Rules to Stay Safe in Port Moresby

1. Be careful with going out after dark 

The first and most evident thing to keep in mind is that most crimes happen after the city streets have been covered in darkness. Port Moresby is known for its Raskol crime gangs made up of disenchanted citizens, mainly youths who have moved to the capital from the outside who haven't been able to find any meaningful work. These groups often roam around looking for easy targets, making the streets unsafe particularly after dark. 

2. Leave valuables at the hotel

If you are going out it is best to avoid bringing all of your valuables if you can. Even if you don’t run into threatening gangs there are pickpockets out there who potentially could get their hands on your precious travel budget if you don’t watch out.

3. Do not wander around without a purpose

You should most certainly not wander around by yourself without knowing where you’re going, as this can make you an easily approachable target for people up to no-good. If you are going out by yourself you should at least consult with someone who knows the area first to make sure you can keep to the safer paths.

4. Have a local guide with you

When we talked to some of the guides who originally moved to Port Moresby from other areas of PNG they told us they themselves feel unsafe walking around outside. With that said, if you have a local guide with you they would know which areas to avoid and can hopefully ensure that you’ll get to your destination safely. 

5. Avoid uncertified taxis 

As is common in many developing countries you can experience getting robbed by your taxi driver if you opt-in for an individual owned taxi cab in Port Moresby. There are a variety of companies that offer taxi services that can ensure you a comfortable and safe ride. The site PNG facts has listed some of the city's private companies, and you can find their list here for your reference.

Above: No need to go outside when the hotel has a security gate linked to the shopping mall

We stayed in PNG for two weeks and never had any safety issues along the way, but then again we only spent one day in Port Moresby. In fact, our hotel (The Stanley Hotel & Suites) had direct access to the local shopping mall, so we never had to step outside on the street at all.

If you make sure to take the proper safety measures you’ll also be able to enjoy your time here without having to deal with worrisome situations. Although Port Moresby has a bad reputation in terms of safety there are many other places you can visit where you’ll be perfectly safe walking around. I would recommend a visit to for instance the nearby Fisherman’s Island for a better impression of PNG. 

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    About Anette
    Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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    About Me

    Adventures ofAnette

    A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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