We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Safety advice for solitary asian traveler

MNL, Philippines
14 posts
Save Topic
Safety advice for solitary asian traveler

Hi,

I hope there are still some of you who aren't too tired of answering safety concerns.

I'm taking my first trip to South Africa alone on May 21, and frankly, I'm getting freaked out by all the safety concerns of my friends. To be fair, the horror stories they've heard aren't hearsay but first-hand accounts from friends or relatives. And they're all consistent with the travel warning on lonelyplanet.com. On their site, it reads: "Do not advertise your tourist status." I don't know what percentage of South Africa isn't either black or white. But, looking obviously Asian, I think it's more difficult to conceal my tourist status.

What worries friends even more is that I'll be self-driving alone from KMIA to Kruger Park, knowing I have a terribly bad sense of direction (which is why I requested for a GPS). I have no idea what the drive is like -- if it's rural, if it's safer than driving in the city, if it's safe to ask around if I get lost, etc.

I've already paid for the car hire. But I'm wondering if I should arrange for transfers instead (which I'm quite aware is more expensive and limits my mobility inside Kruger Park). I'm also considering doing a separate post to look for other travelers arriving on the same day as I am and going to Kruger who might want to share transfers.

What advice would you give this solitary Asian traveler?

Many thanks in advance!

Somerset
Destination Expert
for Cape Town
Level Contributor
3,529 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Safety advice for solitary asian traveler

I can only speak as a 73 year old white tourist who has been visiting SA for a number of years.

We drive ourselves everywhere, towns, cities, rural areas, Kruger NP etc etc. We have even had the unfortunate experience of crashing our car (as a result of a tyre blowing, not a collision) and having to be dragged from the wreckage - you don't get much more vulnerable than that !! The 'locals' who helped us were absolutely fantastic.

We have never had any problems safetywise - we act sensibly - there are many posts regarding do's and dont's. If you are in the Kruger NP area then you will be amongst many tourists of all nationalities, races and colours. Please, just take care but don't get freaked out with the safety issues. It is a fantastic country, just go and enjoy it.

Not sure where you are heading to inside Kruger but

regarding the drive from KMIA to Kruger NP. The nearest entry gate to KMIA is Numbi Gate which is about 40 km from KMIA. It is a very straightforward drive, from KMIA head towards White River and get on the R40 road. A few Km past White River near a shopping centre called Casterbridge branch on to the R538, you then have only one more turning which is the approach road to Numbi Gate. The roads are signposted. At the entry gate, when you pay your entry fee I would advise buying one of their maps which shows all the roads inside the park. Whilst there are long stretches of 'dirt' roads, at every junction there are signposts with place names and road numbers. Inside Kruger you are not allowed to get out of your car except in designated areas, like the rest camps, Skukuza etc. so you are not going to come across any 'gangs' of villains looking to highjack you !! You might meet the odd grumpy elephant but just stop and let them go about their business. Same applies to any animals you meet on the road.

I will just mention there are speed limits inside the Park - 50 kph on the tarred roads and 40 kph on the dirt roads.

I do hope that will help you and reassure you.

MNL, Philippines
14 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Safety advice for solitary asian traveler

Thanks for the reassurance, somersetal. It ought to help that the drive from KMIA to Kruger NP is very straightforward. That has been a great source of anxiety for me. I very much appreciate your response. Thanks again!

Somerset
Destination Expert
for Cape Town
Level Contributor
3,529 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Safety advice for solitary asian traveler

No problem, just go and have a great trip.

Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
119 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Safety advice for solitary asian traveler

I think somersetal has it spot on in general.

Regarding your "obviously Asian" concerns, just bear in mind that Durban, which is some 800kms from Kruger and is the second most populous city in RSA, has the highest Indian population outside India so you will not be all that "obviously Asian".

Enjoy your holiday.

5. Re: Safety advice for solitary asian traveler

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 2:19 pm, September 27, 2009