South Africa is a beautiful country and there are many reasons to visit our Rainbow Nation as there is something to see for everybody – whether you like luxury accommodation and pampering, have your first encounter with wild animals in their natural habitat or even if you are an adrenaline junky. There is something for everyone, come and experience it!
This being said, it does not mean that nothing will happen to you. South Africa is as safe as any other tourist travel destination in the world as long as you use your travel savvy. Crime does happen anywhere in the world if you do not take care.
Being a local myself, and having travelled quite a bit in my own country and abroad, I am going to share some tips and tricks with you.
When travelling by car
- Keep all doors locked while travelling in cities and even passing through smaller towns. Your attention will be focussed on navigating and not on your surroundings at all times. People are opportunists and will make use of the situation.
- Distances in South Africa are vast. We have petrol attendants that assist with refuelling. Double check that the attendant fills up with the right type of fuel (diesel versus gasoline) and that all fuel caps are replaced properly before you leave the filling station.
- When you leave your vehicle in a parking lot and you cannot take your valuables with you rather keep it locked out of sight in the trunk of the vehicle. This also includes expensive jackets or tops. The rule is simple: no temptation=no problems! Look out for parking attendants.
- Parking attendants are part of job creation in our country. Make eye contact and identify the parking attendant and ask him/her to look after your vehicle. Do not pay them upfront, but rather reimburse the attendant on your return when everything is in order with your vehicle.
- It is best not to pick up hitch hikers. You never know what can happen. This can spoil your whole trip if things turn out bad.
At the end of the day it is about being street wise. Keep your eyes open and stay cool in a difficult situation – appreciate and enjoy our Rainbow Nation!