How Safe is Andaman?

Andaman has become a haven for tourists and backpackers looking for an adventure. With a rich variety of beautiful beaches, famous underwater activities, scenic wonders, food and much more, Andaman has made it to the Nat Geo List of Top 20 Trending Destinations of 2020.

With the increasing number of tourists coming in, Andaman has been growing in popularity as a destination. The experience is worth the talk. However, many are concerned about one question- How safe is Andaman? 

Everybody wants a fun vacation with memories, but safety is the primary concern. If you’re wondering how safe Andaman is don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. This article is about all the basic safety measures you need to take while visiting Andaman and a little bit of Dos and Don’ts.

How safe IS Andaman?

Andaman rose to popularity only about a decade ago. It had a small population with a lot of resources and a very low crime rate. However, with the sudden increased demand in tourism, the services started getting overwhelmed and many ends went unchecked.  The product of this was low quality, lapses in safety measures and risks involved in the activities around the island. 

After a few unfortunate and unexpected incidents, the Andaman administration came up with strict norms and procedures. After tweaking up the system, and a few years of sorting out the problems, everything was good to go. Andaman is now considered one of the safest places to travel in India.

 

Safety First

It’s always better to be safe than sorry. These are some points you need to know before traveling to different parts of Andaman.

#1 Safety at Beaches

There are several beaches in Andaman that are ideal for tourists. They have changing rooms, beach beds for those who just want to relax and shaded picnic areas.

More importantly, they have lifeguards and tourist police on duty at all times. All the beaches are open from sunrise to sunset, except a few in north Andaman that are closed during the turtle nesting season. Night stays or camping on the beach isn’t allowed for safety.

For those who like to swim and enjoy the waves, the beaches of Andaman await you. While swimming is a great experience here, there are netted areas on many beaches that prevent you from going further as a precaution. 

Before visiting any beach we suggest you read the rules and regulations. Also, when entering the water it is better if you take a buddy along with you rather than going alone.

Pro Tips

  • Ask the guards for any advice or caution when at a beach.
  • Download apps like Tide Charts to know tide timings. Venture out to snorkel and swim based on these timings. It’s available on App Store and Google Play!

 

#2 Wildlife and Creepy Crawlies

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  • Crocodiles

    Saltwater crocodiles AKA Salties have increased in number since 1971 when there were just about 31.
    Conservation efforts have led to this rapid increase. However, due to their growing population and decreasing habitat, crocodile sightings have become common in areas like Wandoor, Chidiyatapu, Jolly Buoy, Havelock and Little Andaman.
    There have been two crocodile incidents involving the death of tourists, one in 2010 and one in 2018. These cases are very rare and shouldn’t concern you. However, do not venture out too far in the water during dawn and dusk and avoid swimming near mangroves (crocodiles love those areas). 
    Stay inside the designated swimming area at all times and if there isn’t one, be sure to ask a lifeguard, guide or the police officers there.

  •  Sandflies:

    Some beaches have sandflies that are pretty annoying to tourists. Their bites can be quite a nuisance. Carry Calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream to treat these bites. But try to prevent the bites in the first place by applying any repellent that contains Deet.

  •  Snakes

     Most snakes in Andaman are harmless and generally they won’t get in your way and mind their own business unless disturbed. Stay out of their ways and do not attempt to catch them yourself. Above all, do not panic. A snake will not attack unless provoked. You can call a snake rescuer on 9531965269 when in Havelock.

 

#3 Safety for Women

In the many years of the Andaman Travel and Tourism Industry, there have almost never been any cases that breach the safety of women on the island.Women can roam around the streets late at night in comfortable – beach appropriate clothing without feeling unsafe.

We can thus rate Andaman as a safe place for women and any cases that threaten this safety are isolated and happen very rarely.  

As a safety measure, women carry pepper spray when they’re alone or in an unknown place. We suggest you do the same here, just for a worst case scenario.

 

#4 Theft and Safety of Luggage

Cases of theft in Andaman are very uncommon. 

On government ferries, people often leave their luggage at the deck unsupervised. Helmets are left on bikes without being stolen and some people have even reported getting their phones back after leaving them in a taxi! 

 

#5 Safety in Water Sports

This is the most important topic. Not all water sports providers are well trained or follow safety procedures in Andaman. When choosing an activity, make sure you do so with a qualified center. 

You can see a lot of them on our go2andaman travel maps here. Remember, when it comes to activities, quality comes before price. If you have any further questions on Water Sports activities in Andaman, reach out to us at info@go2andaman.com

 

#6 Safety in Public Transport

Public Transport in Andaman, mostly buses and ferries, is very safe. People or drivers are helpful and often go out of their way to make sure you aren’t uncomfortable.

However, if you’re traveling on public transport, we recommend you wear modest clothing to avoid unnecessary attention.

 

#7 Safety during monsoon season 

You’ll need to carry repellent or salt if going on a trek during the monsoon season. Leeches and other reptiles are common during this time. Avoid riding two-wheelers at long distances as roads get slippery.

 

#8 Safety around the Tribals 

The death of a US missionary in 2018 sparked a lot of attention towards the tribes in Andaman and the safety of Andaman was called into question. 

The thing about the tribals you must know is that they are the true locals of the island. Some of these tribes, such as the Jarawas, Onges and Shompens do not wish to contact the general population. The Sentinelese fiercely resist outside contact. 

Several actions have been taken to respect their wish of being left alone. Hefty fines and imprisonment are punishments for those that try to ignore the law and meet the tribals. Read more about the tribes of Andaman here.

 

Travel Insurance

While safety is not a problem, we recommend you have travel insurance to cover any case of theft, loss and medical problems. Be careful while checking policies. Some may exclude dangerous activities such as scuba diving, skiing motorcycling and even trekking. Check that the policy covers ambulance service and an emergency flight home.

Be sure to find out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for any overseas health expenditure. If it turns out you do have to claim later, make sure you keep all the documents.

Lastly, paying for your airline ticket with a credit card often provides limited travel accident insurance. Ask your credit card company what it’s prepared to cover.

Find out our refund and cancellation policy here

 

Important Contact Details for Safety 

Tourism Police: 03192-231346
Helpline for women: 1091
Police Control Room: 100
Ambulance: 232102 / 233473
Fire service: 101
Helpline for Children: 1098
Coastal Guard: 155211
Disaster Management Control:   1070 / 238881

We believe Andaman is an extremely safe destination for travelers from across the world, as long as you respect the local tribe and adhere to the rules around them. 

Are you planning a trip to Andaman anytime soon? Have you checked out our other Blogs?
What To Expect in Andaman and Nicobar?
10 Ways to Save Money in Andaman
Top 8 ‘Non-Water’ Activities in Andaman

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