safety in jo'burg?

Apr 2nd, 2006, 12:15 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 29
safety in jo'burg?

I am a 25 year old american female studying in capetown for five weeks. I would really like to get to see some of Jo'burg while I am here. Unfortunately, I am traveling by myself. I have been told repeatedly that it is unsafe to travel in Jo'burg by myself. So I am considering staying in Pretoria for a couple of nights and doing guided tours of the Aparthide museum and Soweto. Would this be safe? Would I be able to get around pretoria by myself? Thanks for the advice!
abennis is offline  
Apr 5th, 2006, 06:30 PM
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Posts: 150
Hey there,
I live in LA and I think Jo'burg is very similar to LA. Its really not as bad as everyone makes out-just avoid the downtown area and stay in Sandton/Rosebank-completely safe. I've been there a number of times including with my 5 yr old daughter and initially was paranoid but just learned to relax.
Pretoria is really not that great. Very boring city and again not 100% safe. I would stay in Sandton and take tours from there.
laguna92688 is offline  
Apr 6th, 2006, 07:46 AM
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I too would stay in Jo'burg rather than Pretoria. The neighborhoods Sandton and Rosebank are nice, and you can take tours from there.
Celia is offline  
Apr 6th, 2006, 12:45 PM
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I've travelled extensively in South Africa (including Joburg) by myself, and I don't Joburg deserves its dangerous reputation. The northern suburbs are quite posh, and normal big-city precautions should be fine. Rosebank and Sandton are both very nice, and Melville is a great student neighbourhood (similar to Berkeley or Greenwich Village) where you can walk around at night and there are lots of restaurants, cafes, and bookshops.

jasher is offline  
Apr 7th, 2006, 04:07 AM
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My wife is from Joburg and I have been there a few times. I have not experienced anything bad in Joburg og South Africa but I have heard lots of horror stories. But I think that the same applies from Joburg as any other big city. Be careful and you should be OK. I would also like to recommend a trip to Constitution Hill by the way. Get a guided tour is worth it. I have posted a trip report with some pictures and links from my last visit to Joburg on my homepage Maybe you can find some useful info there.

Gard - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 10:21 AM
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You should rent, or see "Tsotsi" before you go. Not to get scared, but to see some of the settings. I understand that it was shot in SA, in the actual township.
You will see the township, and also the very posh neighborhood that someone mentioned. Also, it was an outstanding film.
Peterman is offline  
Oct 18th, 2006, 07:58 PM
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Going to see Tsotsi before heading to Joburg is like referring someone who may be considering a stay in Los Angeles whether in, say, Beverly Hills or Santa Monica, to go out and rent "Boyz In The Hood."

Luckily, I have not yet encountered the type of violence shown in Tsotsi while I have stayed in Joburg...just a thought but perhaps it is because I choose to stay in Sandton rather than in a township? Hmmmm.

Very good film but probably about as indicative of Joburg as "Crash" is to the true Los Angeles, which is not very.

One South African movie I highly recommend is "Stander" about Andre Stander, a (white) Joburg police detective in the apartheid era 70's/early 80's? who took up to robbing banks and became the most prolific bank robber of his time.
Roccco is offline  
Oct 19th, 2006, 07:18 AM
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Well said Rocco. I just had a good laugh.
Marksafari17 is offline  
Oct 19th, 2006, 07:51 AM
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Since we are talking about movies, one of my fav South Africa based movies is, "In my country"....starring Samuel Jackson.....awesome movie!!!

and Rocco, i like "Crash" too....

Unlike, LA's worst export-Paris Hilton and her awful "Simple life show".....i dont know why they air that show overseas......

Oct 19th, 2006, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 36
I just happen to live in Johannesburg. I agree with most of the replies that you have received, in that I believe Johannesburg is nowhere near as bad as it is made out to be. If you have survived Cape Town, I'm sure you will survive Johannesburg. There really seems to be no point in going to stay in Pretoria, 50km north of Johannesburg, when you want to visit Soweto and the Apartheid museum, both to the south-west of Johannesburg. Others have mentioned Sandton, probably the best area in which to stay, but you could also think of Randburg, Rosebank, Melville, Parkhurst.... basically anywhere north(ish) of the city centre.
However, I find Pretoria an interesting city, too, but I think you need to know more of the history of the settlement of this country by the Voortrekkers in order to appreciate it.
RKR is offline  
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