Every month, Kristin Addis from Come to be My Travelling Muse writes a guest column offering advice on solo female travel. It’s a significant topic I can’t adequately cover, therefore i brought in a specialist to talk about her advice. Here, she’s posting safety tips for South Africa.
At the dining room table back in California, I asked my friends to mention one thing that found their minds if they considered South Africa. I predicted them to say things such as “elephants!” and “Lion King!” but instead “Ebola,” “soccer,” and “crime” had been among the responses I acquired.
When I advised them that I’d be traveling there without any help, these were horrified at the idea.
That is proof if you ask me that much is normally misunderstood — or at the minimum generalized and oversimplified — relating to this country, that includes a lot more choosing it than some misguided Ebola rumors and a global Cup that occurred a couple of years ago.
South Africa is definitely huge and diverse, spanning 471,000 square miles, with a population of over 57 million and ten official languages. How come it possess such a bad rap?
In this article, I’ll share my tips about how to stay safe throughout your visit because, contrary to public opinion, South Africa is definitely a perfectly safe spot to travel so long as you follow a few basic steps.
HOW COME South Africa Possess a Bad Reputation?
South Africa may be the first country I’ve visited where in fact the locals possess repeatedly explained that muggings and violent crime certainly are a big problem. Relating to those I’ve spoken with, they’re also increasing.
The statistics back this up. South Africa gets the 9th highest rate of intentional homicide on the globe. Rape is normally also a big issue in the united states.
While this might seem off-putting, understand that the USA gets the 6th highest death toll in terms of intentional homicide and that the homicide rate in a city like Cape Town is normally on par around cities like Baltimore and St. Louis.
For comparison, the 5 cities on earth with the best homicide rates are in Mexico — yet Americans still flock there each year on holiday.
Moreover, the homicide rate has truly gone down since apartheid finished, and there were fewer murders in Cape Town’s five safest neighborhoods, where tourists have a tendency to flock. It’s not really a war zone — definately not it. Most violent crime occurs between individuals who know one another in dangerous neighborhoods that tourists don’t have a tendency to go to.
As in lots of countries, tourist> in South Africa will be the targets mainly of petty crime.
Though there is happen to be political, economic, and racial struggles, South Africa isn’t nearly as “scary” or “dangerous” since it is normally often perceived.
How exactly to REMAIN SAFE in South Africa
After spending nine weeks solo vacationing through the country, I did so find that I got to consider more precautions than I really do in Southeast Asia or Germany, however the dangers aren’t all that not the same as the big cities back in the usa or other areas of Europe.
While a lot of remaining safe means following a safety rules you obey back and pursuing your intuition, listed below are 7 tips to ensure you possess a safe and fun visit to South Africa:
1. Know Where Never to Choose Though crime rates happen to be higher in the townships (settlements proven during apartheid for pressured racial segregation) keeping safe will not mean keeping out of these altogether. Some of the best memories, such as for example drinks shared around an unlicensed bar, little kids swinging from my arms, and delicious streetside BBQ, all originated from my time put in in the townships.
They’re friendly places. They’re just better visited during hours of sunlight and with an area guide who lives there and recognizes the lay of the land. This could be arranged through your guesthouse or by trying to find information from the tourism board.
Soweto in Johannesburg, for instance, has going for walks, cycling, and even bus tours. It welcomes tourists because of the benefits of the amount of money they generate.
2. Don’t Walk during the night People have a tendency to turn into targets by going for walks in cities instead of choosing private or public transportation. Even in an organization, pickpocketing may appear, but it’s more likely to happen when going for walks alone. Avoid going for walks alone when possible, especially during the night.
3. Don’t end up being Flashy Putting on jewelry or designer clothing and choosing your phone/camera out in public areas are all great methods to turn into a target. Bringing expensive jewelry on holiday is not advisable to begin with, but in the event that you do possess pricey things such as a camera, hold them hidden. Rather than keep your passport you.
The much more likely it appears that you’re a foreigner would you not find out the lay of the land, the much more likely you happen to be to become target for petty theft. Put the telephone away and have it out when safely in the home or in a café.
4. Lock YOUR VEHICLE Doors and Hold Valuables Hidden Other common occurrences, especially in big cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg, are car break-ins and carjackings.
Avoid these by keeping the doors locked while travelling and keeping absolutely everything — sunglasses, phones, bags, and wallets — out of sight. Nothing of value or whatever seems like it may be valuable, incorporating cheap sunglasses, ought to be visible when the automobile is usually parked and unattended.
In the big cities, unlicensed parking attendants will be always around to “watch” your vehicle for you, so toss them a tip occasionally for keeping an eye out for your vehicle when you’re not around.
5. Have a Dummy Wallet Though I really believe I stayed safe mostly because I didn’t walk around much, there have been several times when I received tired of becoming scared and walked short distances rather than going for a taxi or a bus. To safeguard my belongings, I carried a “dummy wallet” that had just a couple of canceled bank cards and a little bit of petty profit it, while I hid the rest in my own shoe or, honestly, in my own bra.
If anyone approached me, I prepared to freely give my bag so the thief experienced something to take as the rest was safely concealed. It never came right down to this, as I never experienced any crime first-hand, but I experienced ready should a thief approach.
6. TAKE NOTE and Pay attention to Your Instincts In addition, it helps to get hyper-aware. In the event that you must walk, ingest your surroundings, look atlanta divorce attorneys direction, make a spot of letting everyone understand that you’re attending to by maintaining your head up and seeking alert. Try to never get alone on a sidewalk, and get as near families as possible.
I once walked down a quiet side street in the up-and-approaching Woodstock area of Cape Town and, recognizing nobody was around, immediately switched around and returned to the busy main road. It sensed sketchy, and my alarm bells sounded.
If someone were paying me an excessive amount of attention, I’d look see your face in the attention and claim “hello” or step right into a store with other folks inside. 7. Use GOOD SENSE I considered my safety precautions in South Africa in comparison to what I’d do in the home. I certainly wouldn’t walk around most elements of LA or other major American cities alone and wouldn’t even contemplate it during the night, particularly not with my phone out.
I guard my bag such as a hound generally in most major European cities as a result of incredibly high pickpocketing rates. It certainly wasn’t so different in South Africa.
It applied to get that I couldn’t answer fully the question when asked about the best country I’ve gone to. Now, I reply South Africa.
Though statistics makes it look like a scary place, the truth is I spent a lot more time savoring myself than ever fretting about getting robbed or learning to be a victim of violent crime. While safety should get foremost in your thoughts, South Africa didn’t experience scary, uncomfortable, or dangerous.
Sure, you’ll have to consider more precautions than you’ll in, say, Thailand, but it’s still perfectly safe so long as you use good sense and follow the tips above.
Kristin Addis is usually a solo female travel expert who inspires women to visit the world within an authentic and adventurous way. A former investment banker who offered most of her belongings and remaining California in 2012, Kristin offers solo traveled the world for over eight years, covering every continent (aside from Antarctica, but it’s on her behalf list). You could find more of her musings at Become My Travel Muse or on Instagram and Facebook.
Book Your Visit to South Africa: Logistical Guidelines
Book Your Flight Look for a cheap flight through the use of Skyscanner or Momondo. They will be my two favorite se’s because they search websites and airlines around the world so you always understand no stone has been still left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld because they have the biggest inventory. If you would like to stay somewhere apart from a hostel, use Booking.com because they consistently return the least expensive rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.
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Looking to discover the best companies to save lots of money with? Have a look at my resource page to find the best companies to use when you travel! I list all of the ones I apply to save lots of money when I travelling — and I believe they will assist you to too!
Looking to find out more on browsing South Africa? Have a look at my in-depth destination guide to South Africa with an increase of tips on what things to see and carry out, costs, ways