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!