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Travel advice for South Africa


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http://smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/South_Africa

Summary

- We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in South Africa because of the high level of serious crime.

- Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.

- The rate of HIV/AIDS infection in South Africa is very high. You should exercise appropriate precautions if engaging in activities that expose you to risk of infection.

Crime

Crime is significantly higher after dark in the centres of major cities and in township areas. The inner suburbs of Johannesburg (Berea and Hillbrow) and the beachfront in Durban are particularly prone to crime and you should avoid travelling to these areas.

Criminals operate out of the airport in Johannesburg, following some overseas visitors to their homes or hotels and robbing them. We advise against accepting unsolicited assistance with transport when arriving at the airport in Johannesburg. Assaults and robberies have also taken place on local commuter and metro trains between Johannesburg and Pretoria, as well as on commuter trains in Cape Town.

Hikers have been attacked on the tracks of Table Mountain in Cape Town.

Information for Dual Nationals

It is illegal for an adult who holds South African citizenship to enter or depart South Africa using a non-South African passport. Dual nationals travelling on a non-South African passport may be turned away from border points and could be fined or imprisoned for up to 12 months.

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Guest Bronwyn

Hey Charl

Unfortunately all true.

It's just hard to know what to say to the Aussies who often tell me they are planning a trip to SA or want to go over for the soccer in 2010. You want to promote tourism and allow people to experience the beauty and diversity of South Africa, but on the other hand you want to tell them, 'Whatever you do, stay with a (preferably armed) savvy South African at all times, don't go out at night or stop at traffic lights unless you have to, don't leave your car windows down, don't sit outside having a barbie after nightfall, especially in Pretoria or Jhb, watch out for taxis on the road, be prepared to drive 140km/h on highways or get shoved out of the way....'

I actually had a girl at work tell me that she and a girlfriend are planning a trip to Soweto in 2009, with no escort or travel agency involved, they are going to wing it and 'experience the culture... :ilikeit: '

What to say to them? :whome: er, Soweto might even be safer than some other areas?

Edited by Bronwyn
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Some folk are just plain naive and/or dumb.

You can tell them it's unsafe, but in the end, if they're that naive that they dismiss what you have to say, the best "wake up call" is the school of hard knocks.

Let them "experience the culture" in its entirety!

They won't be quite so naive or dumb when they come back, shell shocked.

At least they won't be able to say to you that "nobody told us what it was like!"

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It's just hard to know what to say to the Aussies who often tell me they are planning a trip to SA or want to go over for the soccer in 2010. You want to promote tourism and allow people to experience the beauty and diversity of South Africa, but on the other hand you want to tell them, 'Whatever you do, stay with a (preferably armed) savvy South African at all times, don't go out at night or stop at traffic lights unless you have to, don't leave your car windows down, don't sit outside having a barbie after nightfall, especially in Pretoria or Jhb, watch out for taxis on the road, be prepared to drive 140km/h on highways or get shoved out of the way....'

Spot on.

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I actually had a girl at work tell me that she and a girlfriend are planning a trip to Soweto in 2009, with no escort or travel agency involved, they are going to wing it and 'experience the culture... :whome:

For their sake I hope they don't experience too much of the culture in SOWETO and return with HIV after being raped. Why westerners are always keen to travel to Soweto and other townships is beyond any reason, or maybe they know it is safe in the township as all the criminals are away on some criminal activity... ;):ilikeit:

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What gets me is how foreigners loose all common sense when they enter SA.

They never walk around their own cities with their digital camera's dangling around their neck and wallets in their back pockets because they know they'll get mugged, so why do it here?

Hmmm, don't think I would be very keen to go to Soweto and just 'winging' it. Went to Kayalitsha once to do interviews with people who were HIV+. Really put my life into perspective. But wouldn't recommend it as a sight seeing tour for tourists.

Can't wait to live in Aus and feel safe in my own home! That's the most important thing to me.

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I used to take firearms back to SA from the US, but now that is no longer allowed. I will not go back and be an unarmed victim. My sister works for SAA, and she travels all over Africa. She tells me she feels safer in Ghana than SA. What a shame our once great country has become...

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Howzit,

The problem with foreign tourist are, they think if it's obvious that they are from out of town, they will be treated differently. And everybody will be fascinated because they are from a different country.

Not so! You may as well walk around with a big neon sign over your head flashing "COME ROB ME, I'M IGNORANT!'

Unfortunately in RSA and Africa, you have to live with eyes in the back of your head. That's what is getting to me. I am so tired of always being on the look out incase something happens. This isn't living! :unsure::(:angry:

Edited by milo
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