Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Is South Africa safe? Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Hey,
    My boyfriend works for Thomas Cook and won a week's worth of free nights in South Africa in two amazing 5* hotels so we are both looking to go later on in the year.
    After telling some of my friends about this, they all seemed to say that even though South Africa is beautiful, there are some really dangerous areas. One of my friends even said that Cape Town is dangerous, which I was suprised to hear.

    Can anyone tell me how dangerous South Africa is? Are there any areas we shoul avoid? Or are my friends overexaggerating?

    I'm definatley going to go there, I won't pass on the chance to visit such an amazing place but I'd like to get home in one piece!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Your friends are overexaggerating, ofcourse you can't be naive to believe that some parts of SA are safe but tourist areas are fine.

    As long as you stay 'street smart' you'll be fine and you'll love the place, best place i've ever been too.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-...a/south-africa
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    Firstly its a beautiful country and built for backpackers, but yes the crime is bad!

    You will be fine and its probably really rare for something bad to happen but you have to be on guard, Jo'burg is an experience!! The poverty & shanty towns around Sowetho are something else! Cape Town is quite touristy and nice, but you can get hassel and there are a lot of homeless people. Always listen to hotel / hostel advice they will tell you where to go / not go and try to get taxi's everywhere!

    Saying this though I had a great time though, you just have to see through the poverty.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Soph1990)
    Hey,
    My boyfriend works for Thomas Cook and won a week's worth of free nights in South Africa in two amazing 5* hotels so we are both looking to go later on in the year.
    After telling some of my friends about this, they all seemed to say that even though South Africa is beautiful, there are some really dangerous areas. One of my friends even said that Cape Town is dangerous, which I was suprised to hear.

    Can anyone tell me how dangerous South Africa is? Are there any areas we shoul avoid? Or are my friends overexaggerating?

    I'm definatley going to go there, I won't pass on the chance to visit such an amazing place but I'd like to get home in one piece!
    I was there (in numerous parts) volunteering for several months. If your going to Cape Town for a week you'll be fine. You just have to be smart about going out. Only take what you need, better to carry more than 200rand with you at a time.

    The townships aren't bad. They're mad out to be these violent places, but I was working in a couple of townships while I was there and it was fine during the day. Saying that, they're not a reincarnation of the Garden of Eden. Gugulethu and Lavander Hill are road signs I wouldn't follow if you get lost. And nightime is a different thing all together.

    Cape Town is a walk in the park compared to Jo'berg anyway. And if your only there for a week you'll probably only be doing the touristy things? So those things are all fairly safe.

    Just a heads up, never believe anyone who comes up to you with some story explaining why they need money. 9.9/10 times its a lie.

    Anything you want to know about SA or the western cape just give me a shout.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by bestofyou)
    Anything you want to know about SA or the western cape just give me a shout.
    I'd like to know something:

    I'm racing at Pietermaritzburg; what can you tell me about the Area?

    I know nothing about the RSA, only been there once. :cool: And that was to Cape-Town. :yep:

    Cheers!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by bestofyou)
    I was there (in numerous parts) volunteering for several months. If your going to Cape Town for a week you'll be fine. You just have to be smart about going out. Only take what you need, better to carry more than 200rand with you at a time.

    The townships aren't bad. They're mad out to be these violent places, but I was working in a couple of townships while I was there and it was fine during the day. Saying that, they're not a reincarnation of the Garden of Eden. Gugulethu and Lavander Hill are road signs I wouldn't follow if you get lost. And nightime is a different thing all together.

    Cape Town is a walk in the park compared to Jo'berg anyway. And if your only there for a week you'll probably only be doing the touristy things? So those things are all fairly safe.

    Just a heads up, never believe anyone who comes up to you with some story explaining why they need money. 9.9/10 times its a lie.

    Anything you want to know about SA or the western cape just give me a shout.
    Yep it will be just the touristy things =] I said this to my friend and she said "But yes Cape Town is still really unsafe" - which I didn't think to be that true really!
    Thanks by the way =] I'll be sure to ask if I'm confused about anything else!
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DH-Biker)
    I'd like to know something:

    I'm racing at Pietermaritzburg; what can you tell me about the Area?

    I know nothing about the RSA, only been there once. :cool: And that was to Cape-Town. :yep:

    Cheers!
    Unfortunately I never got to Kwazulu-Natal, though it was in my plans to do so, so I did a little research about it when I was there. The part I wanted to see (other than Durban for the surf) was the Drakensberg range, which could maybe even be where you are racing? I know they are quite popular for hiking and climbing, so I'd assume mtb as well.

    In fact, from what I can remember, I think there is a mtb wc venue or something there. I remember seeing a poster advertising it when I was in Jo'berg because I can recall feeling a little pissed when I saw the dates and I wouldn't be in the counrty to see it.lol

    If you have the time, maybe you could rent a board and check out the waves in Jeffery's. Watch out for the sharks of course.lol

    When are you heading out? And for how long?
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    The last few times I've gone there have normally been a ****load of power outages.. but I think most classy hotels/shopping malls have back up generator. Plus they might have fixed it :P
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by bestofyou)
    Unfortunately I never got to Kwazulu-Natal, though it was in my plans to do so, so I did a little research about it when I was there. The part I wanted to see (other than Durban for the surf) was the Drakensberg range, which could maybe even be where you are racing? I know they are quite popular for hiking and climbing, so I'd assume mtb as well.

    In fact, from what I can remember, I think there is a mtb wc venue or something there. I remember seeing a poster advertising it when I was in Jo'berg because I can recall feeling a little pissed when I saw the dates and I wouldn't be in the counrty to see it.lol

    If you have the time, maybe you could rent a board and check out the waves in Jeffery's. Watch out for the sharks of course.lol

    When are you heading out? And for how long?
    I'm racing in that World Cup. Haha!
    First race under 2Stage Factory's colours.
    The race is over the 23th and 24th of April.

    I'm heading out on the 20th, and leaving on the 28th. Be nice to get some rides in on that course. Never ridden it before, but it looks sweet.

    But yeah, just wanted to know what was around there. I'll be practicing the moment I get there on the 20th and I'll have a sesh with my teammates and any of the others who fancy riding on the 25th and 26th, but the 27th and up till 11:30pm on the 28th, I'll need something to do. If there isn't, I'll just ride some more. :cool:
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DH-Biker)
    I'm racing in that World Cup. Haha!
    First race under 2Stage Factory's colours.
    The race is over the 23th and 24th of April.

    I'm heading out on the 20th, and leaving on the 28th. Be nice to get some rides in on that course. Never ridden it before, but it looks sweet.

    But yeah, just wanted to know what was around there. I'll be practicing the moment I get there on the 20th and I'll have a sesh with my teammates and any of the others who fancy riding on the 25th and 26th, but the 27th and up till 11:30pm on the 28th, I'll need something to do. If there isn't, I'll just ride some more. :cool:
    ****, didn't know you were that good.haha, well good luck in that case.
    Yeah that does look pretty damn good...P.s. gotta love mick hannah.lol

    Depends on what your after? Will you be looking to do outdoor activites such as white water rafting? Or just chill, walk round and see the sights?

    If its the latter there should be quite a bit to see as its quite a historic city. Best to check out the tourist infomation center when you get there, because as I said I didn't get to go there and the info I was looking at I can barely remember since I left 2 months ago .....still wondering why as well.lol

    If your after the outdoors side of it then check out this site for the rafting.
    http://www.wylderide.com

    If your into climbing at all diffenatly check out the drakensberg range. But thats pretty much all I can remember. Sorry I can't be more help
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    No, South Africa is not safe... it could fall into the ocean at any minute :woo:
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DH-Biker)
    I'd like to know something:

    I'm racing at Pietermaritzburg; what can you tell me about the Area?

    I know nothing about the RSA, only been there once. :cool: And that was to Cape-Town. :yep:

    Cheers!
    Pietermaritzburg is good. It's a nice fairly old fashioned town, it has a colonial feel to it. It's one of the "English" towns, as opposed to Afrikaner towns, ie if you go to Stellenbosch or Bloemfontein most people speak Afrikaans and just use English to converse with visitors. In Pietermaritzburg it is more likely that people speak English as routine. It's not really a 'tourist' city so its one of the cities that feels more like authentic SA. There is a big Indian community here, if you like Indian food it is superb, although I must warn you they have it far far hotter than we have. The local delicacy is bunny chow which is basically a form of curry where they cut a loaf of bread in half or a quarter depending on what size you order, scoop out the inside of the loaf, dump the curry inside it, and then you eat the curry from inside the hollowed out bread with the scooped out inside of the bread by dipping it in it. Very filling, but even their mild will be the equivalent of hot in the UK.

    In terms of safety, Pietermaritzburg is not too bad. In general everywhere in SA you have to be on heightened awareness compared to the UK, and you get the beggars and scammers in PMB but it's not particularly a crime zone. Durban which is the nearest big city, is far worse for crime than PMB, you have to be on your guard in Durban for sure.

    I remember when I came back from SA saying that PMB was the most underrated of the towns there, so I must have liked it.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by bestofyou)
    ****, didn't know you were that good.haha, well good luck in that case.
    Yeah that does look pretty damn good...P.s. gotta love mick hannah.lol
    Haha! Yeah. :yep: Began a three-year contract with them last year, but it was after the major race-season, so there wasn't anything on. Still, I got in loads of time with my teammate. And he's an absolute legend. Which makes it all the better to be on a team with him, you know?

    Still, it does look like a swell course. :yep: And indeed, Hannah is absolutely fantastic. He looks really out of place on a bike, though, being the build he is. Even more so seeing him in real life. I hope I can shred with him after the race, I've already biked alongside a few PRO-pros, but Hannah is definitely an inspiration from Earthed 4, and I hope to ride alongside him at some point that week.

    Depends on what your after? Will you be looking to do outdoor activites such as white water rafting? Or just chill, walk round and see the sights?

    If its the latter there should be quite a bit to see as its quite a historic city. Best to check out the tourist infomation center when you get there, because as I said I didn't get to go there and the info I was looking at I can barely remember since I left 2 months ago .....still wondering why as well.lol
    Would definitely be a chill session. Not going to be doing much outdoorsy activities after that episode. :cool: Still, I shall have a gander around. Thank you very much for your help, I'll get back to you on the Biking thread ASAP, ok? [/QUOTE]
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Soph1990)
    Hey,
    My boyfriend works for Thomas Cook and won a week's worth of free nights in South Africa in two amazing 5* hotels so we are both looking to go later on in the year.
    After telling some of my friends about this, they all seemed to say that even though South Africa is beautiful, there are some really dangerous areas. One of my friends even said that Cape Town is dangerous, which I was suprised to hear.

    Can anyone tell me how dangerous South Africa is? Are there any areas we shoul avoid? Or are my friends overexaggerating?

    I'm definatley going to go there, I won't pass on the chance to visit such an amazing place but I'd like to get home in one piece!
    Well with South Africa you have to be honest and realistic. The crime levels are much higher than the UK. It doesn't mean that you are unable to have a good time there however in the UK you can get away with taking risks, in South Africa you can't. Eg in the UK people say don't walk back late at night in the dark, but if you do the odds are nothing will happen. In South Africa it will.

    Cape Town is a beautiful city but it is seedy as anything. Its kind of like central Amsterdam or Las Ramblas in Barcelona, full of drug pushers and beggar/muggers and scam artists.

    Probably the biggest nuisance in the central areas of Cape Town is scam artists rather than muggers, they prey on tourists constantly. Don't be fooled into feeling bad because somebody presents a story of pity, there are a few characters well known, there's a woman who operates on Long Street who tells everybody she's just been made homeless, she will approach you saying "please, I don't want your money...." then tell you her 'story' and unsurprisingly she wants more than sympathy. Then there's a ginger haired "American" tourist who's actually a South African, he scams everyone with a story that he's been robbed on a minibus taxi in Stellenbosch. If you are getting money out of an ATM there will always be people coming up to you telling you the machine doesn't work properly and trying to tell you what to do and so on, that's another scam they are after cloning your card. Street kids will come up begging all the time, don't give to them, if you feel moved about the plight of the homeless there are official places you can donate to, if street kids see you giving to another street kid they will be drawn to you like a magnet begging and if you have a bag or pockets they will investigate them. Don't get into any conversation with anybody on the street sometimes it just seems like they want a random chat, but they want to lure you off guard and the tone can very quickly turn sinister.

    With Cape Town if you're there on a short break there is a lot of stuff to do to keep you busy in a touristy way, Table Mountain, Lions Head, Robben Island, Kirstenbosch gardens, the Waterfront which is superb, Camps Bay beach, so there are lots of things to do. You're most likely to encounter trouble when you decide to just 'pop out and do a bit of exploring' in the city.

    I would say if you are basing yourself in Cape Town then its good to try and get over to Stellenbosch which is a beautiful little Afrikaner town about an hour away, or go down to Simonstown and the beach with the little penguins.

    Overall I loved my time in SA, its an amazing country you just have to treat it with respect and recognise its flaws. It's a place to 'experience' rather than a holiday resort.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    i've only been to joburg, however ive been every year of my life. id imagine in the residential areas of CT that they are quite similar. unless youe in the touristy areas noone walks on the streets, always drive and lock your doors
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by magicnmedicine)
    probably the biggest nuisance in the central areas of cape town is scam artists rather than muggers, they prey on tourists constantly. Don't be fooled into feeling bad because somebody presents a story of pity, there are a few characters well known, there's a woman who operates on long street who tells everybody she's just been made homeless, she will approach you saying "please, i don't want your money...." then tell you her 'story' and unsurprisingly she wants more than sympathy. then there's a ginger haired "american" tourist who's actually a south african, he scams everyone with a story that he's been robbed on a minibus taxi in stellenbosch. if you are getting money out of an atm .
    hahahahahahahaha
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Lette...urist-20100428

    read the comments there, this is about the same bloke

    He asked me for money when I was coming out of the Waterfront, and I met at least 2 other people in Cape Town who had been approached by him. If you're in the tourist areas of Cape Town there's a fair chance of seeing him!
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Soph1990)
    Hey,
    My boyfriend works for Thomas Cook and won a week's worth of free nights in South Africa in two amazing 5* hotels so we are both looking to go later on in the year.
    After telling some of my friends about this, they all seemed to say that even though South Africa is beautiful, there are some really dangerous areas. One of my friends even said that Cape Town is dangerous, which I was suprised to hear.

    Can anyone tell me how dangerous South Africa is? Are there any areas we shoul avoid? Or are my friends overexaggerating?

    I'm definatley going to go there, I won't pass on the chance to visit such an amazing place but I'd like to get home in one piece!
    I don't know if you have already had your question answered, but I come from SA and a lot of my family (grandparents, cousins, etc.) live there. Hopefully give a pretty good picture.

    Firstly, Cape Town is very safe. If you want to play it safe then the "touristy" parts of Cape Town are very, very safe, but the rest of it is too. Plus it is the most amazing city.
    I wouldn't recommend visiting townships. I have been to plenty and they were fine, but they are not exactly predictable (also, most townships will look identical to you and you will not know the safer ones from the ones you probably wouldn't want to go to).

    My experience of Cape Town is limited (I come from Durban and my family live there and it Jo'burg), but general advice is just don't be stupid. Don't go out wearing all your fancy jewlery, and in the unlikely event that someone tries to hijack your car, just let him. You don't want to be getting shot. But seriously, it should be fine.

    Since you will be staying in a 5* hotel, the concierge will no doubt be able to advise you on anything you want to know, but just enjoy yourself and don't worry!
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Lette...urist-20100428

    read the comments there, this is about the same bloke

    He asked me for money when I was coming out of the Waterfront, and I met at least 2 other people in Cape Town who had been approached by him. If you're in the tourist areas of Cape Town there's a fair chance of seeing him!
    This is a scam. I (and friends of mine) have heard the same story numerous times, including once from the same guy who tried to scam me twice...He has a fake american accent, strawberry blonde hair and freckles. Be warned. lol - get it right 'joe'...he's a ****ing ginge.

    Yeah man, this same ****ing douche tried to get money off of me. He came up rather frantically and started asking for help, I was like yeah sure. So he started walking, went down into the train station and I was thinking where the **** does he want me to go? Then he asked me for 300US, and I was like, haha, yeah I forgot my wallet.lol

    The guy is a complete ********.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Has a teacher ever helped you cheat?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Write a reply...
    Reply
    Hide
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.