Lizzie Williams
South Africa ZA
May 3, 2014 May 3, 2014

Lizzie is a reputed guidebook writer and author of the Footprint guides to South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Category: Travel Disaster Worth Sharing

Getting mugged is one of any traveller’s greatest fears, and in Africa it does happen if you don’t keep up your guard – unless you unwittingly give your money away instead.

I shoved my Tanzania Shillings in the back pockets of my jeans after going to a bureau de change that offered a particularly good rate of exchange in a crowded market crammed with tightly-packed stalls. The cash was in quite a wad of small denomination notes, and obviously put quite a strain on my old worn-out jeans, which decided to rip along the backside without me knowing.

As I was casually wandering around, I was totally unaware of the flurry of bank notes that were floating out of my back pockets and randomly scattered around the market by the breeze. Other dumb-founded but probably delighted shoppers who found my escaped bankroll, must have wondered where it had come from; I imagine they simply picked up the free money to spend at the nearest stall.