To answer quickly, yes, it is safe to visit Balabac. The coastguard is very active in monitoring the tours and the sea. We published previously a blogpost about safety in Balabac entitled “Is Balabac Safe?” to give the best explanation to people asking the question. Here’s some additional details.
Is Balabac still safe? We encounter more and more people ask this question since they saw news about children being eaten by crocodiles. The answer to your Balabac safety concerns lies with this question: where in Balabac are you going?
Balabac has 32 islands! Click here to see more about its location. The biggest one is mainland Balabac where the main town is. This is where most of the crocodile incidents are sited. So go look at google maps and see which destinations are around mainland: Melville Lighthouse and Timbayan Rock formation (a crocodile was spotted here according to one of the boatman locals). This is the very reason why we don’t bring our guests to mainland.
Meanwhile, other destinations close to the mainland (Ramos Island where you can find the rock formation), Sicsican Island and Candaraman Island) have only sightings but no attacks. We have brought hundreds of people and to be honest, even the most adventurous ones who wanted to see a crocodile saw none. But this does not disregard the fact that even the owners/caretakers of these islands have seen crocodiles.
Dengue mosquitoes (aedes aegypti mosquito) prefers to feed off of humans and thrives more around human settlements (towns and cities) than in unpopulated islands. They can only be carrying the virus if they bit a human with dengue already. The risk here is in the mainland where the population is.
While there is mosquito in other islands and in our campsite, we never had cases of dengue fever in the destinations where we are visiting. Just bring an insect repellent against itchy bites from mosquitoes and sand flies.
It was only in the past that Malaria was a problem in Balabac but only in the mainland, where the mountainous area is. There is no need to get Malaria shots when doing your tour with us.
There has never been an incident of kidnapping or tourist assault in Balabac, even years before when the Coast Guard was not active in patrolling Balabac. Starting 2022, the the Coast Guard has been roving in Balabac waters to make sure that safety is provided to both locals and guests.
So, you know how to answer the question.
If you are going to the mainland Balabac, there is higher risk. But if you are just visiting the undeveloped islands like Onok, Punta Sebaring and Candaraman and the sandbars, then you can ease your mind from the worry.
⭐ Intimate Balabac Palawan Tour with powder white beach campsite by The Wanderwalkers
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