South Africa Travel Tips – How Can I stay Safe On My Own

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You may have heard the comments such as ‘Johannesburg is one of the most dangerous cities in the world, Cape Town has one of the highest murder rates’ and been put off traveling in South Africa on your own. I don’t want to put a dampener on things but cities in South Africa can be dangerous places, however, you can stay safe, stay out of trouble and have an amazing time if you take a few pieces of advice.

Stay with a group of people or at least one other person wherever you go in a city. If you are in a more scenic quiet location you’ll probably be OK walking around on your own during the day as long as you stick to tourist areas.
Stay with your tour guide as they are trained in this country, they know what to look out for, dangerous areas and can protect you.

Stay in your hostel or on your tour bus when you are driving through the middle of the cities. If you are walking around cities, keep your camera out of sight and valuables back in your accommodation locked away. If you are with a group and you don’t draw attention to your wealth, you should have no problems whatsoever.

It’s better not to walk around on your own after dark, in fact, it’s better not to walk around at all after dark. While I was in Cape Town, the main street soon turned from a welcoming area to a scary place full of men hiding in every doorway. We were told if we had to walk around after dark literally walks down the road next to the parked cars as it is much safer than the pavement. I did speak to quite a few male backpackers on my travels who had been mugged. It was very real, it did happen, and it’s much better to avoid trouble than risk it.

Be careful getting money out of cash machine. Make sure that you are in a group when you do this and don’t take cash out after dark.

Ensure you always have the name and address of your hostel and contact details on you when you’re out and about, and I liked to carry some cash (notes) and some contact details in my shoe in case my bag was stolen.

When I was traveling in South Africa, I much preferred to keep away from the cities. I stayed one night in most cities and quickly moved on to the next area. The tourist areas are much nicer and more peaceful. You can relax out of the city and enjoy yourself without worrying excessively about your safety. I would advise extreme caution in any city in South Africa to keep yourself safe.

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