Anonymous asked in TravelAfrica & Middle EastSouth Africa · 1 decade ago

As a tourist how safe is it for myself and family to to move freely in South Africa?

We see so much in the press as well as on tv peporting about the violent crime that goes unabaited in South Africa. Many torists have been efected

17 Answers

  • Mac-C
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    I was born in country and I am aware that the country has a high crime rate. It is not that bad... atleast from my point of view.

    I have never been hijacked, robbed, stabbed or any of those things but I took a trip to Chicago last year I was robbed. My sister visited London and she was robbed at gun point. I had friends from USA, Germany, Belgium, Denmark and Netherlands visit and they all have not witnessed anything bad (except for one who could use the ATM and asked for help from a stranger... luckily it was from the bank I worked for and the guy was tracked down and the money was returned the guy was arrested)

    Basically it is all to common sense... Don't let leave or show off with your belongings. Items such as wallets, cell phones, cameras and laptops should be kept away from the eyes of everyone. Don't talk to strangers as they tend to take advantage and read your maps carefully before leaving in your car. hijackers in the country target people who stop beside the roads to ask for directions and refer to maps as that cleary pin points out that you have no idea where you're going.

    Hanging aroung is okay... you can walk in any of the local town and cities till about 21h00 with no problems. Friday and Saturday you can walk till 01h00am with no problem. No fanny bags*** what ever you call them and items such as cameras and cellphones belong in the pocket an not on a neck strap. Common sense like you have already been told acts to the BEST advantage.

    Lions, snakes, crocodiles ect are kept in zoos and national parks. Pilannesburg and the Kruger National Park are the most common parks to tourist. We have tared roads and you can even use a small cars (no off road vehicles necessary in the country) to get by in the parks. We have great resturants from Chinese to Africa and Germant to Italian and French. The people are friendly and direction may be asked at most filling stations (gas-stations) and not from people on the street. I can ask for directions from people on the street because I can hear all the 11 official languages and I can easily detect if there is about to be some drama.

    Things to avoid: If you visit the township travel with someone who know the place. Its not that dangerous but the problem is you can easily get lost. There are great things to see in most townships like in Soweto there is the Hector Peterson Memorial

    Places to visit: Pretoria, Soweto, Cape Town, Durban, Kruger National Park, The Apartheid Museum in Jahannesburg. The cities I have listed there is just so much to do and please do me a favour and visit Robbin island.

    I think you'll be suprised that you can come to the country and not even witness anything bad and enjoy yourself a lot with your family. I have lived in the country for over 20 years with 4 years spent in other countries and have never been affected by crime and lion attack personally.

    A FUNNY ONE: There was once a zebra crossing... a real Zebra crossing a road because it has escaped from some man's farm but was found and places like this are often remote so you can never see a lion on the run/loose in town or city.

    Look forward to welcoming you to South Africa....

    more info::

  • 1 decade ago

    Please understand that I'm not trying to generalise but many Africans are not bad from the beginning. I truly believe that what you see in South Africa and other places where blacks may be exhibiting similar behaviour towards members of other groups might be a combination of frustration and anger. An uncle of mine travelled to South Africa in the hope of finding a hospital that could perform an advanced medical operation on him. He told us when he came back to the country where I'm from that when he passed through the Shanty towns where many blacks are living, he went back to the inn where he was living and cried. The difference between certain residential areas was so shocking to him. These things like crime will all disappear eventually and not all people can behave like Nelson Mandela, but then again maybe he's never had to go on an empty stomach.

  • 1 decade ago

    I have travelled extensively in Africa and have had no issues. I can't stand people that scaremonger others. I am not saying that you will never have a problem, but it's no different to going away to the States or anywhere else in the world.

    S Africa is fine, but there are a couple of golden rules that you need to adhere to

    1. Don't wear expensive looking jewellary

    2. Do not have valuables on display i.e don't keep you camera around your neck.

    3. Have a dummy wallet with say £10 in within easy reach to give to any potential attacker (keep the the rest of it including cards in a hidden wallet i.e money belt and take only what you will need for the day)

    4. Where your ruck sack on your front so you can always see it and keep it locked.

    5. Don't venture down secluded streets - stick to the crowds

    6. Always keep your wits about you - DO NOT get complacent!

    These rules apply anywhere not just S Africa.

    Africa is a magical, amazing country that I would recommend to anyone and everyone. Don't not go just because you thinks it's dangerous!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Undeniable Fact, South Africa is one of the most violent countries in the world! If not the most violent!!

    Nobody who is up to date with the current and past crime statistics can deny that.

    We have as many murders a day as Iraq - a war zone!

    We are the rape capital of the world.

    There are more rapes per capita than anywhere else in the world.

    And, there are more child rapes per capita than anywhere in the world.

    Simple conclusion: The longer you spend in SA the more your chances are of being a statistic.

    But just like gambling your number may come up or not.

    South Africa is however an immensely beautiful country with captivating cultures and incredibly friendly people.

    Social and infra-structural standards are dropping daily while the cost of living is increasing.

    There is at present a mass exodus of people with skills out of South Africa (1 000 000 Europeans, or 20%, have left in the last 10 years), in search of a safer healthier social environment where more is obtained for your tax contribution.

    Educate yourself and know the facts, google and youtube "crime south africa".

    Anyone who truly has your best interests at heart won´t try to stop you from researching the situation, and definitely won´t try to explain away the situation by saying that there is crime everywhere in the world like in South Africa.

    Your safety comes first.

    Good luck in whatever you decide.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    What you have seen / heard about violent crimes in SA is true, albeit probably exaggerated.

    Car jacking (at gunpoint), breaking-and-entering (armed), attacks at ATMs, etc. do happen. That's why, for example, anybody who can afford it lives in heavily guarded compounds and/or behind the protection of walls and electric fences (with a loaded Glock on their bed table).

    However, most tourists do not stay in SA long enough to be attacked.

    Statistically, it does happen, but chances (risks) are small (although surely larger than in Europe) and if you are only visiting for a couple a weeks (and don't spend much time in a big city like Jo'burg), take care of yourself and your belongings, then you can have a great time in SA.

  • 1 decade ago

    I have two different answers gleaned from a tips site. here you go!

    We all have heard the horror stories about how dangerous South Africa is... now I was amoung the very worried before I landed in this unknown country. My fears were quite unfounded, this country was amazing and as safe as any other country I have been to. I would not walk around in Edmonton in the middle of the night, so why would I do it in Johannesberg. Common sense goes a long way, just use your head and you should not have too many problems. Now with that said, bad things happen everyday, sometimes they happen to you, sometimes they dont. I have had my car broken into more times in Red Deer than I did in RSA, so go figure hey!



    by canuck68

    Send Photo to a FriendI have a feeling that many feel that South Africa is too dangerous to visit. Certainly on Canadian television we seem to see only the worst of SA. I think as long as a person is careful and uses good judgement, everything should go alright. An example of my poor judgement is when I was visiting Montecasino in Jo'berg. I put my purse down on a bench right beside me so I could take a picture. My Jo'burg friend grabbed my purse and told me never to do that as I could have lost it in a second. When you go to an ATM to get money, make sure you are not alone. Choose one in a well lighted area and have a friend with you. It should be pointed out that I had heard all of these horror stories about South Africa. While I never had any trouble there, my jacket was stolen on the B.C. Ferry when I was only miles from my home in Canada. I thought it was quite ironic.

    so it seems that with a little common sense that it is no more dangerous than other parts of the world. Be aware and careful and ask questions of your hotel staff and security personel. Have fun and here is the web site.

    Source(s): been there and web sites.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I live in the South of England and we do go out at night quite safely.

    We do put things down to take photo's etc.

    In fact my cousin grows prize wining plants and to sell them she puts them out on the pavement when she goes to work. people take the plants that are marked with a price,they put the money in a box that is left out for that purpose and when she comes home she takes it in until the next day.

    People all round here do this with flowers eggs strawberries etc.

    We have NEVER had a murder in my area and in nearby Portsmouth that is more or less the size of Cape Town there are around 3 murders a year and almost all these murderers are caught.

    Murders in SA last year were around 26000,that is almost 10 times the amount murdered in Northern Ireland in the 20 years of trouble. Or the same amount of murders in one day as New Zealand have in a year.

    I am not telling you not to go, people go all the time and the odd one has no problems but as a stranger that is not used to things,you are more likely to be targeted.

    The other thing is that things can be replaced. but in SA you are more likely to be harmed or killed for it.

  • 1 decade ago

    OK so everybody tells u the crime rate is high, so what! I honestly believe u dont live in crime-free country and I do not mean this in a bad way at all. We in SA are blessed with the most beautifull country in the world. We have wide open spaces, abundant wild-life, high tec cities, freedom of speech and religeon, genuine people, salt of the earth honest to God country-folk and an attitide of openess towards visitors that is out of this world. Crime is only there where u lose your sense of alertness, something that is applicable anywhere in the world. To have a real experience of our country, I suggest a vacation away from the big cities and visit the Karroo and the such to get to see the real SA. Feel free to contact me on for further info and I will gladly assist u in this regard.

  • 1 decade ago

    South Africa is like most other other country safe in some areas and avoide certain areas. I mean there are places in Manchester that I wouldnt go to if someone said there was £1million there for me to collect. Tourist atractions have higer security than other areas. But you may still be a victim to petty thieves such as pickpockets who can easily get away even in high security areas. When we travel my dad puts his shorts under his trousers and puts his wallet in his short pockets. And he has never been pick pocketed before. Ive lived ther for the first 19 years of my life before taking temporary residence in the UK and ive never been,pick pocketed, mugged, hijacked. I would walk at night alone and never anything happend. not that I would reccomed it. Shopping centers are fairly safe.

    visit the british foreing and common wealths website for more travel advice.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Imagine you are in a country where some people are so poor that if they don't steal they don't eat. Imagine you are in a country where a man can spend a life's fortune to go into space. Halfway between those two extremes are you! Watch your back and listen to Saffas and you should be alrigjt!


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