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.

Spiders

In cooperation with: Cape Town Tourism
toronto
Level Contributor
89 posts
16 reviews
Save Topic
Spiders

Hello!

I am trying to decide to whether or not to join my partner on a trip to Cape Town in November 2008. She will be in town attending a forum on business. I really want to come but I have a extreme fear of spiders...probably one of the worst cases possible...I can't even look at pictures of spiders. I have been reading about the baboon spider and am very apprehensive of making the trip to Cape Town. So, do I need to worry? Are these spiders or any other spiders running around freely in the city core? I read that the baboon spider is native to Cape Town? I am from Canada where squirrels run free pretty much anywhere in the city...would this be what it's like for spiders. I bet by now someone reading this is laughing at me and I know I must sound like a total freak! But, be honest if you think I would come across a large spider in my weeks visit to the city I need to know.

Thanks in advance.

s.

Windsor, California
Level Contributor
185 posts
221 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Spiders

I spent a week in Cape Town and never saw any spiders, big or small. I did see alot of baboon's! I would be brave and go, you will have a great time and see lot's of other wonderful animals (if you want to and go looking for them).

Stanley, Falkland...
Level Contributor
32,762 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Spiders

Yes - they are all over the place. There was a film about them recently - Arachna-something. (I'm kidding)

Cape Town is not in the middle of a jungle - it is a modern city. Do you find spiders in Toronto, Sydney, London, or New York?

Sometimes. And what do you do? Stand on them? Scream? or leave the continent.

If you are as concerned as that, then I wouldn't travel there. There are likely to be spiders on the plane.....

Cape Town
6 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Spiders

Hi Sleater

I am not laughing, have the same fear as you and it is quite debilitating, I know. I scream and will move out if it is not removed, would rather sleep in the street than with one in my house!

The baboon and other large spiders are not running all over South Africa, I promise. You may encounter them in the forests or on the odd occasion in a house, but they generally only come inside to avoid the rain.I have seen 10 spiders (big) in total in South Africa-been here for 40 odd years and none in hotels, the waterfront,town, reputable accommodation, on transport, in restaurants, on the beaches etc. Imagine all you will miss if you don't come. They are all ugly, but none poisonous and the chances of you even encountering one are very, very slim.

I hope this puts your mind to rest and you have a fabulous time here.

B

toronto
Level Contributor
89 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Spiders

Thank you Longingforord & Noordhoeker for your replies. Obviously Peterscot you have no idea what it's like to have a phobia. And yes, actually when I was a small child visiting Florida I encountered a very large tarantula in an urban centre....so it's not that unlikely. I am aware that South Africa isn't one large jungle, i'm not ignorant! I figured encountering a large spider would probably be a rare occurrence, but then when I read that the Baboon Spider was native to Cape Town I was concerned that there would be a lot of these spiders in the area....I don't think it was outlandish of me to wonder about that.

Noordhoeker I agree that I would be missing out on so much if I decided not to come and I will most likely be joining my wife on this trip. It is very reassuring that you are as arachnophobia as myself and can live comfortably in Cape Town. Thanks again!

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
431 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Spiders

Hi sleater,

I completely understand your fear.. I am exactly the same! Cant watch them on TV and if I see one around the house it actually brings me to tears and I just completely freak out.. I cant handle them at all.

So now you have scared me! We are going to Sth Africa for our honeymoon (Kruger and Vic Falls) and now I am just praying I dont come across one of these horrible creatures! I might have to take the bagon with me! haha (spider spray!)

You should still go to CT.. surely they wouldn't be in hotels and restaurants?? I hope not anyway!

Soraya.

cape town
Level Contributor
251 posts
61 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Spiders

Hi Sleater and Melbourne

You poor things - phobias are the pits!

I have lived in Cape Town for 22 years and although not phobic I "don't do bugs". You will find baboon spiders out in the wooded country side - some parts of Tokai and Hout bay for instance. Also possibly if you tramp through the nature reserves, off the beaten paths. You will not find them along the coast - we live on the Atlantic seaboard and I have NEVER seen one. Cape Town is very developed and from the spider's point of view, they have a bad deal as their natural habitat is gone.

Please don't be put off coming to Cape Town we are a beautiful city, and not really very rural - youhave to go out and find rural here

Hope this helps

CTCT

Port Elizabeth
Destination Expert
for South Africa
Level Contributor
6,251 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Spiders

Make sure you stay in hotels and not in B&B's. Hotels use all those nasty poisonous sprays that kill everything that moves.

Stanley, Falkland...
Level Contributor
32,762 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Spiders

I do understand your phobia. My point was - do you ask the same question when you travel to Florida or California or London?

I doubt it, and yet those places have spiders. Spiders are everywhere - you just won't see them most of the time. You must have a coping strategy, or what happens if you are on a plane and you see one?

I would strongly urge you NOT to go on a camping safari when in South Africa.

Marlow, UK
Level Contributor
176 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Spiders

We are going to SA next year - I have a similar phobia and have never been to a country with proper big hairy spiders before so thank you for asking the question! While we are on the topic, could someone tell me how likely I am to find a spider or other creepy crawly in a lodge in the Sabi Sands? I understand that we will be in the bush and spiders will be around outside but how likely am I to find one in my room? Are any of them poisonous? We will be there in Aug/Sept if this makes any difference.

UK, Mauritius
Destination Expert
for Mauritius, Belle Mare, Pointe Aux Piments, Pereybere
Level Contributor
38,999 posts
102 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Spiders

Stayed at Berg en Dal and Lower Sabi rest camps and never saw one creepy crawly; never even thought about it to be honest.

In Salt Lick Lodge on safari in Kenya the place was full of huge dung beetles, even the dining room, and they were revolting. And Hilton owned the lodge too!

In nelspruit we went walkng in a park and never saw anything nasty.