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traveling in South Africa

New York City
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traveling in South Africa

We are two American women planning on flying into Joahnnesburg. We are supposedto be picked up by a tour comapny and drivne to Sun City. From there wer pickedup and driven to Pilanesberg Park. From there driven to the airport in Johannesburg and fly to Cape Town. Again picked up and taken to our hotel. We are supposed to be in Cape Town around three ( 3 ) or four ( 4 ) days. Then picked up and driven to the airport.

But, I've had a few people tell me NOT to go without a tour group because it is not safe for us to do anything on our own. They said we shouldn't even walk around in Cape Town to go to eat or shop, etc., etc.

They suggested that we don't go at all.

Does anyone have opinions on this. They are frightening me ALOT. I don't want to be on a vacation where I have to look over my shoulder all day long.

Phillipians 4 Four
Private Tours, Cultural Tours, Sightseeing Tours, City Tours
MoAfrika Tours
Sightseeing Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Safaris, Multi-day Tours
London, United...
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1. Re: traveling in South Africa


Please don't let those people scare you off going to SA! I've travelled extensively in SA (Joburg, Cape Town, and other regions) on my own, and I've never felt unsafe. Yes, there are some neighbourhoods you ought to avoid, but the same is true in London, New York, or LA.

You can certainly explore the restaurants and shops on Long Street, visit Table Mountain, and go to Robben Island on your own, among other things. Local people are friendly and welcoming, and as independent travellers you'll get to know them better than you would as part of a tour group.

Many areas in Cape Town are safe to walk around during the day. At night it's normally advisable to take taxis (as it is in many cities).



London, United...
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2. Re: traveling in South Africa

Here is a link to a post from someone who has recently returned from SA -- it might be of interest to you:


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3. Re: traveling in South Africa

Where do these people get their ideas from ?? Yes there is crime in SA and yes, take some sensible precautions but my wife and I are in our 70's. We have never been in any group, I book all our accommodation direct on the internet, we hire a car and drive all over South Africa. As Jasher says, there are some areas you shouldn't go, nor would you want to. The only time I have felt threatened was in Kruger National Park when a very large elephant seemed determined we would get past her!! . We have been doing this for years and have never felt threatened. Go to South Africa you will see a beautiful country, amazing animals, lovely people and in Cape Town one of THE cities of the world.

Bellevue, WA
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4. Re: traveling in South Africa

I cannot speak about CT or Jb as my trip is upcoming. However, I have traveled quite extensively in areas where there were constant warnings of pickpockets and thieves. I found that my money and credit cards were much safer by doing a few simple things.

ALWAYS CALL your credit card & debit companies to tell them where you are traveling and the dates. Otherwise, if they see the card being used in a manner and place that is not your usual pattern, they will cut off the card and it is not easy to get it back into the system....happened to several friends of mine. Embarrassing and really inconvenient.

Be sure you have a copy of card numbers and the customer service number, somewhere separate from the card.....just don't label what it is, in case someone else gets ahold of it. Or switch the last two numbers around.

If there are several of you traveling together, split up credit cards between you and your friend. You carry on of yours and one of hers. That way if one purse gets picked or stolen, you have a spare. Two different debit cards is a good idea as well.

Most banks have a daily limit....mine is $300....so plan ahead for that and you won't run short. Several times, I found that foreign ATMs would only allow me to draw out of my checking account and would not allow to draw or transfer from savings. That required several expensive phone calls to my bank to transfer money into my checking.

Use money belts/socks with hidden pockets/neck safes....whatever ..to keep the main balance of your cash and cards iin. Only put the amount you need for one day, in your purse. Keep the rest out of sight and secured. Make use of the hotel safe...as long as you remember to retrieve it before checking out.

Fanny packs and back packs are a pickpockets best friend when they are worn in back. Not as easy if they are in front.

I got creative with a soft cloth zippered pouch, that was about the same size as dollar bills. I took a piece of white elastic ribbon and pinned it to the end of the pouch. I then pinned the other end to the lining of my purse. That way if someone tried to grab it out, they would end up pulling on the purse lining and that would get my attention as their hand "bungeed" back towards my purse.

I use a purse with a wide strap that is long enough to go over my head and across my body, if my hands are full. Otherwise, I keep my hand on my purse strap and my arm closed down over it.

I use a purse with a lot of zippered slots in it. That way not all my cash is in one location. I always wear it with the flap that opens, towards my body. I leave my designer purses at home...along with my diamond rings and jewelry. I only wear simple jewelery that doesn't attract attention nor would I care if I lost it.

Best advice though, is ...just like in NYC... always be aware of your suroundings and who is around you. Keep your head up, look confident and aware. That alone will discourage the bad guys.

Look people, that are walking toward you, in the eye. And occassionally look behind you. If someone crowds up close to you....step aside and let them pass.

We are trained to be too polite....if you feel uncomfortable, make noise. Rather look foolish than be a victim....and who will ever see you again, anyway.

akuwai mel
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5. Re: traveling in South Africa

Melville is very cool and you can walk as girls where ever you want to during day time Girls alone at night then take a taxi to your guest house Jozi Tours is great and they will pick you up in Melville

6. Re: traveling in South Africa

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