The Foreign Office has warned those taking part in cross country rallies through Mauritania, Mali or Niger to be aware of the high risk of kidnapping or terrorist attacks by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQ-M), and consult FCO country travel advice when planning a route.
Some rallies go through areas where the government body advises against all travel.
The threat of kidnap in Mauritania, Mali and Niger is very real. There has been a spate of hostage takings in the region recently and further kidnap attacks are likely.
Some rallies have been cancelled or changed routes because of the risk. The FCO is aware of two rallies that have been cancelled in the 2010/11 season.
Those who do choose to travel should ensure they are fully prepared for the journey and that they have adequate insurance cover.
Medical evacuation from a remote location could cost thousands of pounds if not sufficiently covered. The FCO states travellers should also register with LOCATE.
“Our embassy and crisis staff can then give you better assistance in an emergency such as a tsunami or terrorist attack,” added and FCO statement.
For more information, see the travel insurance page on the FCO website.
Head over the Foreign & Commonwealth website for more information.