Bora Bora is undeniably among the many world’s most lovely locations. One of many 118 islands of French Polynesia, surrounded by hundreds of miles of Pacific Ocean, it’s a favourite honeymoon spot and a preferred retreat for celebrities with its teeming reefs, translucent waters, pristine seashores, heat hospitality, and wealthy tradition, all in vivid coloration. This resplendent magnificence has understandably drawn the largest names in luxurious resorts: 4 Seasons, Conrad, InterContinental, St. Regis, Le Meridien, and so forth.
However how secure is Bora Bora? Are there any journey warnings that have to be heeded when planning a visit to this tiny island, which measures solely 15 sq. miles? For as memorable and romantic as a visit right here could be, it’s value holding in thoughts that, even in a paradise like Bora Bora, there are nonetheless some risks to concentrate on earlier than you go.
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Suggestions for Staying Protected in Bora Bora
- Despite the fact that Bora Bora is an exceptionally secure place for vacationers to go to, there could also be a small threat of petty crime, so that you’ll wish to defend and conceal your valuables.
- In Bora Bora, take all of the precautions you’d take when touring to any tropical island—use loads of sunscreen, keep hydrated, learn up on what to do in case of a hurricane or tsunami, look ahead to falling coconuts, and, in case you’re planning to go scuba diving, watch out for decompression illness.
- There are numerous sharks in Bora Bora, though assaults on people are uncommon. Nonetheless, it’s finest to avoid them, in addition to Bora Bora’s stingrays and barracudas. Put on dependable foot safety everytime you’re within the ocean to fend off accidents from stonefish, urchins, and the coral itself. Mosquitos are rampant in Bora Bora too, so carrying repellent is significant—and just remember to’re correctly vaccinated earlier than touring.
Protected Locations—and Locations to Keep away from—in Bora Bora
Earlier than discussing the island’s secure and harmful locations, it’s value answering one frequent query: “The place is Bora Bora?” The reply is that it’s in the midst of the South Pacific Ocean, a part of the Society Islands archipelago of French Polynesia. It’s lower than an hour’s flight from Papeete, Tahiti.
This secluded South Pacific location does afford Bora Bora a superb quantity of security, a minimal quantity of crime, and loads of employed safety surrounding the luxury resorts. By all accounts, nearly in every single place in Bora Bora is secure. There are not any actual neighborhoods on the tiny island, simply fancy trip spots and small villages the place the locals stay—which is to say, there actually isn’t anyplace that vacationers ought to make a particular effort to keep away from. The U.S. State Division offers French Polynesia its most secure journey advisory stage (Degree 1), advising vacationers to “train regular precautions” and noting that the nation has “a low crime fee.”
Bora Bora’s foremost port, and its capital, is Vaitape; there, you’ll discover retailers, resorts, beachfront eateries, and the free airport ferry’s drop-off level—however not a lot of a crowd. Nonetheless, petty crimes do happen right here every so often, and it’s all the time sensible, wherever you’re anyplace that’s fashionable with vacationers, to watch out for pickpockets and petty thieves; maintain valuables hid in a cash belt below your garments or in an anti-theft purse or backpack.
Prime Journey Security Merchandise for Bora Bora
Staying Protected in Bora Bora
For those who’re planning a visit to Bora Bora, security is perhaps foremost in your thoughts, just because it’s a reasonably distant vacation spot with a tradition that’s all its personal. Relaxation assured that, as talked about earlier than, Bora Bora is a particularly secure place. There are just a few issues to bear in mind relating to Bora Bora security.
First amongst these is driving, which may really feel iffy, provided that roads are slim, potholes aren’t shortly fastened, and streets can flood in the course of the wet season, which runs from November by April. Public transportation right here is all however nonexistent, save for the free ferry from the airport, just a few taxis, and “Le Truck,” which runs alongside Bora Bora’s foremost highway—there’s not a lot printed details about its security file. Nevertheless, many locals and vacationers trip bicycles across the island—biking is not only the most secure type of transport right here, but in addition essentially the most pleasing; it’s exhausting to beat the recent ocean breezes and the surreal views whereas wheeling round.
In Bora Bora, pure disasters are of reasonable concern, significantly tsunamis. The island’s location in the midst of the Pacific Ocean leaves it susceptible to tidal waves every time there’s an earthquake in locations as far-off as Samoa and even Chile. Do you have to hear of a tsunami warning when you’re visiting Bora Bora, transfer shortly away from the seaside and search larger floor. Different occasional pure disasters in Bora Bora can embrace cyclones and hurricanes. As for artifical disasters, it’s comforting to know that there has by no means been a terror assault in French Polynesia.
For those who’re planning on going scuba diving—a highly regarded method to spend time in Bora Bora—take precautions in opposition to decompression illness (additionally known as “the bends”), a harmful situation that impacts a diver’s physique when it goes too deep, stays down too lengthy, ascends too shortly, or takes an airplane flight too quickly after diving, inflicting nitrogen bubbles within the blood. For those who’ve gone scuba diving and really feel any of the telltale signs afterward—joint ache, weak spot, fatigue, vertigo, itching, tingling, numbness, shortness of breath—search medical care instantly.
For those who’re planning on going diving diving—as in head-first into the water—be completely sure that the water you’re diving into is deep sufficient to accommodate your leap. Sadly, there was at the very least one case of extreme spinal wire harm in Bora Bora from diving into water that appeared so much deeper than it was.
Take into accout, too, that Bora Bora can get fairly scorching, so pack in a approach that may allow you to regulate your physique temperature; assume unfastened, light-colored clothes. Slather sunscreen on anytime you’re planning to be outside—extreme sunburn isn’t any enjoyable, particularly when you’re attempting to get pleasure from an costly trip. (Think about using a reef-safe sunblock to assist defend Bora Bora’s fragile coral methods.) Keep effectively hydrated to stop warmth stroke and exhaustion, however watch out for untreated faucet water—the water served at resort eating places is mostly secure, although elsewhere, it’s sensible to stay to bottled water.
Earlier than you journey, just remember to get correctly vaccinated; the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) recommends that the majority vacationers be immunized in opposition to Hepatitis A and typhoid.
Lastly, and this sounds wacky, however on any tropical island, there’s a distant threat of getting struck on the pinnacle by a falling coconut, inflicting mind harm or demise. That is extraordinarily uncommon however it does occur, and it’s value being conscious of, particularly in case you’re scouting a shady spot for a nap on the seaside. Keep away from hammocks strung between laden bushes, or utilizing a fertile palm as your backrest. A typical (however unproven) saying within the Pacific Isles is that extra persons are killed by falling coconuts than by sharks.
Sharks in Bora Bora and Different Wildlife Risks
Talking of which, there are certainly many sharks in Bora Bora—the island is surrounded by barrier reef, in any case. There’s additionally a plethora of different wild marine life, together with stingrays and barracudas, each of which needs to be given a large berth.
Relaxation assured, nevertheless, that shark assaults in Bora Bora are exceedingly uncommon—there have been simply two recorded within the final century. The newest, in 2015, was a nonfatal incident in Bora Bora’s Anau lagoon—a blacktip shark bit a nine-year-old’s hand whereas the boy was attempting to feed the animal.
Different marine life to consider when you’re in Bora Bora embrace the coral itself, in addition to sea urchins, each of which can lead to nasty puncture wounds, so ensure to put on protecting water footwear everytime you’re within the ocean. Don’t choose up cone shells, as they could be toxic, advises Lonely Planet. Additionally of concern is the well-hidden stonefish, which may look similar to a rock, however will inject poison when stepped on. For those who suspect you’ve been stung by a stonefish, search medical care and apply warmth instantly. Once more, carrying foot safety within the water is the perfect prevention right here.
Lastly, there are many mosquitoes in Bora Bora, so defend your self with an efficient repellent. Mosquitoes right here can transmit dengue fever, chikungunya, and different maladies.
Extra from SmarterTravel:
- 10 Epic South Pacific Adventures for Your Bucket Listing
- 10 Wonderful Overwater Bungalows You Can Sleep In
- The place to Keep in French Polynesia: Lodging Suggestions You Have to Know
—authentic reporting by Avital Andrews