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travelling on your own

Vancouver, Canada
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travelling on your own

We're(all adults, 2 females, 1 male) are planning a trip to South Africa this coming September and thinking of just flying over there, rent a car and enjoy South Africa for 3 weeks. However, everyone that hears about (friends who have been there) our plan say that we'reall crazy because vacationing on your own in SA is just not done due of safety. Can someone out there pls tell me or better yet reassure me that this is not so, that it can be done safely on your own, . We know about the basic rules of travel (try to blend in, don't look like a rich tourist and act as if you know what you're doing even if you dont.) Would appreciate any comments re: above and thanks in advance.


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1. Re: travelling on your own

Well it only takes a minute or so to read the threads on this forum to see that thousands and thousands of people from all over the world travel independently in South Africa every year. It is safe and fun and a wonderful experience! How can people who have supposedly been to South Africa say such inaccurate things!! Perhaps they traveled many years ago during a time of instability and change? With the usual sensible precautions you would employ anywhere in the world you will be absolutely fine and have a great time. The worst thing is you will in all likelihood catch the Africa bug and have to come back again and again!

Cape Town
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2. Re: travelling on your own

You're not on your own - there's three of you!

Do you mean friends who have been there - or friends who have left (for whatever reason). Totally different viewpoints. Just go with what tryhard says and you will all have the greatest vacation of your lives.

As tryhard says just read the thousands of posts on here from people who did just that!

And BTW - you're not on your own - there's three of you! Though hundreds do come on their own (male and female, old and young) and unanimously have a great time!

NOT ONE person who has been here on holiday since TA started 8 years or so ago, has posted that they have personally experienced any serious crime at all. Just a few minor thefts in 120,000 posts but that's all. Lower rates of crime on tourists than many, many popular holiday destinations!

BTW bring your "friends" with you and show then how things have changed since they quit the country!

Edited: 10 February 2012, 23:28
Johannesburg, South...
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3. Re: travelling on your own

Of course its wonderful in SA, BUT there IS crime and you should just be vigilant and cautious. But don;t let that stop you from coming to SA and having a good time. It is really a great place to visit.

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4. Re: travelling on your own

Of course there is crime in SA - is there any country in the world where there is NO crime - please let me know so I can visit it !!!

Just act sensibly, as I presume you would in any country you visit.

If it helps at all - my wife and I are now in our mid-seventies, even with a hip-replacement and a few other dodgy joints (it's called "old age") we have been to SA every year for the past 12 years. We travel independently, drive and fly all over the country and have never experienced a single incident which threatened our safety - unless being faced by an grumpy capebuffalo in Kruger NP, comes in that category !!!

Even that incident was explained when after 5 minutes or so he let us drive past and we saw he had obviously been in a fight with some other animal and had a bloody tail, so I would probably been a bit grumpy as well.

Even now we get folks, on hearing we are going to SA for our holiday, still appear shocked and ask "is it safe" We are fortunate that we could probably go to any country in the world for our holidays yet we go back to SA year after year - need I say more?

Seriously, plan you journeys, avoid the townships (unless you go on an organised tour,) don''t leave anything of value on view in your car. Above all just go and enjoy a fantastic country (and people)

Edited: 16 February 2012, 17:27
Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: travelling on your own

Thank you. All your input put the" okay,let's go seal" to our trip. We're going independently.

alex d..

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6. Re: travelling on your own

Just make sure that you know where you are going.... Lock the doors as soon as you get into your vehicle and just be aware of what is going on around you. Enjoy beautiful SA!

Edited: 19 February 2012, 09:14
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7. Re: travelling on your own

Zx vc

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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8. Re: travelling on your own

You probably DO need to do some planning - looking into areas where your self-driving will really pay off. The general area in eastern South Africa that is bordered on the west by the escarpment above the Blyde River Canyon - and Kruger park on the east, is an easy and fun place to spend a few days. Great wildlife viewing in this area, in private reserves or in Kruger.

The Garden Route - generally west & east of Knysna along the N2 highway - is in a lot of self-drive plans. In September, about 100 miles up the Atlantic coast north of Cape Town, we have the explosion of wildflowers. And we have the whales visiting along the coast east of Cape Town.

You can Google most of these areas (a map would help, too) and help organize your thinking. You won't need a big car nor a 4x4 for anything you would want to do. A lot of us recommend www.carhire3000.com for pricing, and easily renting your car. www.avis.co.za is another place to check prices, types of cars. I like www.safarinow.com as a place to look at B&B's, Guest houses, etc - because you can see the properties and also see (in their photos) what the area looks like.

Dave Patterson - Owner - The Africa Safari

Vancouver, Canada
9 posts
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9. Re: travelling on your own

Thank you Squirrelinsea and bwanadave, We're now on the planning stage.

alex d

Cape Town, South...
Destination Expert
for South Africa
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10. Re: travelling on your own

Good luck and enjoy the planning - it is all part of the adventure from my point of view which is why I don't like to delegate it to any travel company!