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Crime common sense

new york
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Crime common sense

Just wondering if anyone had suggestions for travel common sense/advice for south africa. Doing lodges, capetown, one night in Johann., winelands and garden route. Probably will be driving. Thanks so much for a newcomer.

Orange County...
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1. Re: Crime common sense


Hi Musicgirl,

The search bar has a wealth of information on the topics you have asked about. Just type in a word of groups of words like restaurants + capetown and you will find a great deal of prior posts. This forum is not quite as active with posters as some other TA forums.

Have a fun trip.

Evanston, Illinois
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2. Re: Crime common sense

Follow the usual advice (keep doors locked, avoid driving at night, do not pick hitch hikers). Driving in Capetown and viscinity is easy and wonderful. Avis has reasonable rates inclusive of Insurance

Dr. DD

Charlotte, North...
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3. Re: Crime common sense

We went to South Africa in Feb and Mar. I bought a Timex and left the nice watch at home, as did my wife. My wife wore cheap ear rings and did not bring jewelry. In cities, when you go out at night have a destination. Do not go exporing. Arrange a taxi from your hotel, then check with the restaurant (for example) about a taxi back. Hotel staff are a valuable resource. We chose hotels that either had a restaurant/bar on the property, or were located in or near a neighborhood with several options. Have a map and know how to use it. We never had a problem.

Leaving Kruger there are a few souvenier sellers right outside the gate, but before you get to the first houses and stores. We did not stop. They could be absolutely legitimate, but stopping your car and opening up your wallet in a fairly isolated place, with strangers, strikes me as a bad idea. It is of course a bad idea in the USA, UK, or anywhere.

Have a great tip. Ours was fantastic.

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4. Re: Crime common sense

The very term you use, common-sense, says it all.

We have been going SA for many years, drive ourselves all over the country and have never had a safety problem.

Try not to look like a beewildered tourist, draped in expensive cameras jewellery etc. I take a cmall camcorder and a camera. I have a rucksack designed for them (Lowepro) so I can carry that around without it being obviously photographic equipment.

If you have a hire car then drive in the evening, or if not order a taxi, you hotel will recommend a reliable one. Do not use the 'local' mini-bus taxis that stop on demand.

Having a map so that you know where you are going is sensible. The vast majority of crimes are committed in the township areas and unless you book a tour, you would not be going in those areas anyway, except if you get lost - hence the map. I normally keep my car windows up and the doors locked when driving. With air-con that is no problem. Particularly in the cities, if you stop at traffic lights (they are called robots in SA) there will often be people selling knick-knacks. As they only have a short time whilst the lights are on red, a quick shake of the head will indicate you are not interested and they move to the next car to offer their goods. The vast majority are poor people just trying to earn a rand or two but I prefer to err on the side of caution.

At the shopping malls there are usually security guards in the car parks, they will direct you to a vacant parking lot. I usually tip them a couple of rands when I return. In other places there are official and unofficial 'attendants' who will offer to 'keep and eye on you car'. Again they are invariably poor folks just trying to scrape a living and I always tell them to keep a good eye on my car and i will see them when I get back. Again a couple of rands helps them and may just deter others from taking an interest in your vehicle.

Credit cards - widely used (except at petrol filling stations where you must pay cash) I have never had a problem but there are reports of scams, as there are in most countries (I have twice been victim in the UK). So, if you use your cc then ensure that the transaction is carried out in front of you, don't let the shop attendant/restaurant waiter etc go off with your card.

Roadside souvenier markets - invariably perfectly safe to stop and have a look. If you are interested in buying anything the prices are open for negotiation.

That seems an awful lot to think about, but really it becomes second nature and I never get uptight about security. Crime happens everywhere and as a tourist covering the normal tourist routes in SA, from my experience over 8 years, it really isn't a problem. There are numerous examples on this forum of people, who have heard dire tales of the crime situation in SA and are scared to death before they arrive, then when they get there they have a great holiday without any problems.

Just go and have a super holiday.

5. Re: Crime common sense

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