If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that we just spent 3 weeks in South Africa. Since arriving back in Australia, the first question on everyone’s lips is “Is South Africa safe?”. In a bid to avoid repeating myself, I’ve written everything you need to know (and what I wish I knew about S.A. before arriving), in one single post.
WOULD I RECOMMEND SOUTH AFRICA?
Absolutely! In my opinion South Africa is one of the world’s best kept secrets. The landscape is stunning, the people are lovely, the food is amazing, the country really is like no other. You have to see it to believe it and I would recommend it in a heartbeat.
IS SOUTH AFRICA SAFE FOR TOURISTS?
I am pleased to report that we had no problems at all. Truth be told, I felt more comfortable in South Africa than I did in Rio De Janeiro, Lima (Peru), downtown Miami (US) and even some parts of Australia. Whilst we never felt unsafe, it’s important to note that we took the following precautions:
- I left ALL of my jewellery at home.
- I rarely carried my handbag; if I did it was one of which I could zip/buckle shut.
- We never carried our camera with us on foot (outside of the Safari).
- We never had any valuables i.e. handbags, luggage, phones etc. within plain sight whilst driving; everything was stored in the boot of the car or under the seat.
- We never drove at night, unless we were instructed by hotel staff that it was safe.
- We never walked back to the hotel at night – we would Uber, Taxi or drive if was safe to do so.
- We stayed in incredible accommodation, in safe areas of town.
- As per local advice, we avoided tourist strips like Long Street, Cape Town at night.
- We avoided the “no-go” zones and backstreets/shanty towns when on the road.
- We skipped Johannesburg, again based on advice from South African ex-pats.
AKA pretty standard information for tourists travelling anywhere in the world.
The only trouble we did have was credit card fraud, and that occurred at one of the nicest (& most expensive) restaurants on the trip. This happens all over the world (including Australia), so just make sure you watch for 2 x credit cards being run through the machine at once 😉 The credit card company refunded the money.
IS IT SAFE FOR FAMILIES?
Despite what many people think, South Africa is also a wonderful tourist destination for families. We saw international families everywhere. I wouldn’t hesitate in taking our family there one day.
IS IT EXPENSIVE?
Whilst accomodation is relative to Australian prices, food, drinks and travel within South Africa is incredibly cheap (1AUD is equivalent to approximately 10ZAR), which means a glass (AKA half a bottle) of wine is approximately $4, 2 x 3 course meals + drinks is approximately $60 (depending on where you eat)).
WHERE DID WE TRAVEL?
We covered a lot of ground in 3 weeks…
- Sabi Sands – Read all about this experience here: Why You Need To Book a SA Safari
- The Garden Route (Port Elizabeth to Stellenbosch) – A separate post is COMING SOON
- Cape Town – Read all about this here: Alyse’s Guide to Cape Town 2016
When you see the size of these posts, you’ll know why I split them 😉