Safety in South Africa

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Mar 12th, 2004, 11:22 AM
  #41
 
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I know who I tend to believe - unless this victim and son have some hidden agenda against the police why would they make up their story?

Whereas the police have everything to gain by reporting a different "version of events" to their management...

Very sad...

BTW by referring to Chowles naivety I didn't mean to imply that the dangers are any less real, just that, for those who DO have to pass through the area (which won't include us, thanks to the excellent advice in this thread) there are ways and means to reduce the risk at least partially.
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Mar 15th, 2004, 06:59 AM
  #42
 
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Just sent a facilities application form (what SANParks call their reservation form) off to request a standard perimeter bungalow in Berg-en-Dal Camp for that one night.

Was also able to find some maps online that clarified the suggested route through Swaziland.



Thanks for all the suggestions.
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Mar 15th, 2004, 09:50 AM
  #43
 
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KAVEY:

Have a great trip!

Can't wait for your trip report.
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Mar 15th, 2004, 12:05 PM
  #44
 
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Oooh yes it's gonna be a big one!
THANKS for your help, really very much appreciated...
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Mar 16th, 2004, 07:51 AM
  #45
 
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My husband and I were in South Africa for our honeymoon last May. We rented a car in Jo?burg and drove around for our 3 week trip. We first drove to Kruger, then through Swaziland to Sodwana Bay, to Durban, through the Transkei, to the Garden Route and ended in Cape Town. Nothing bad happened to us, and we were never even in any uncomfortable situations. (Except maybe for when we were driving to our game lodge and came across a large elephant in the middle of the road ? but this is a different type of safety consideration!)

We were concerned but not paranoid about safety. We were careful about keeping our car empty of valuables (everything was in the trunk); we only drove during the day; we made sure we had excellent directions everywhere we went. We also rented a cell phone, which helped our piece of mind (although we never needed it for any emergencies). We meet many South Africans at each destination and they would provide advice about travel and safety. I don?t think that we were naïve about the risks.

My impressions of the trip (in terms of safety): The Hazyview SPAR is not that bad, but I don't follow the crime statistics there ... our shopping trip was fine. Make sure that you enter Swaziland through a major border crossing -- we took a *shortcut* that took way too long. While the remoteness of the Transkei can be interesting, I would skip this part of the trip, not so much for safety reasons but because there are better places to spend time. The Garden Route and Cape Town seemed to be very safe as long as you were paying attention.

Since our return we have had several well-traveled folks (such as editors of travel guides) tell us that we had been through the most dangerous part of the world! I do not know if this is an overstatement, but if the areas we traveled are the worst it gets then I would feel conformable travelling anywhere.

We had the experience of a lifetime and we?re saving our money so that we can return!
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Mar 16th, 2004, 07:58 AM
  #46
 
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Thanks for your message, we too are intending to simply be well prepared in terms of hiding valuables, ensuring we know where we're going, directions wise etc.

I would say that just because you were lucky not to experience any problems when you were there that this doesn't necessarily mean the areas concerned are "safe" or "not too bad". If there is a robbery a day in SPAR (I'm not suggesting there is) it would still be possible for many travellers never to experience it depending on what time they hit the store on the day they were passing through...

Statistics do show that crime in the Hazyview area and region is high even compared to high crime areas in the UK and US.

I think it's all about taking reasonable precautions and then making the best of one's trip.

I hope we'll be as fortunate as you and encounter no serious problems on our dream trip!

Thanks again
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Mar 30th, 2004, 10:53 AM
  #47
 
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In an effort to buck the trend here, I had a great long weekend in Hazyview at a place called the Rissington Inn. It is the most beautiful guesthouse and great surroundings. If my memory serves me, it is only a km or so before the dreaded Spar everyone is going on about. We spent most of our days driving throught the banana plantations and forest areas which are spectacular.

South Africa is an awesome place, a place I spent 5 years in and was very sorry to leave.
However, I do concede that it has its problems and I think the best advice to give anyone visiting South Africa is- have fun, see as much as you can, but just be careful. It is the same advice tourists are given when visiting anywhere.

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Mar 30th, 2004, 03:35 PM
  #48
 
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What advice is given here?...I spent a weekend in Hazyview,wasn't highjacked,robbed etc...so this means what? ignore all crime statistics and head for Hazyview?

Do you want me to mention every person I personally know that was highjacked there?

DO you want to know about the previous owners of Numbi Hotel that had 74 burglaries in 6 months?-some at gunpoint.[oh! this is also very close to the infamous spar]

Do you want to know about a prominent lowveld businessman that was shot in the chest when filling up his car in Hazyview and died on the scene?

Do you want to know about three security guards that were recently killed?

''HAZYVIEW - Three guards of Coin Security have been killed in yet another cash-in-transit heist in the Lowveld. Robbers in a bakkie rammed into the back of the security van while it was on its way from Bushbuckridge to Hazyview.

The impact caused the security van?s driver to lose control and the vehicle rolled. The cab was ripped open while it was rolling and boxes of cash were flung from the vehicle.

Two foreign tourists who were driving behind the security vehicle stopped to assist. They were overpowered by the robbers and forced from their car. They were pushed down an embankment.''

READ THE FOLLOWING BEFORE YOU MAKE AN EFFORT TO BUCK THE TREND HERE!!

Spook of White River writes:

'' Man brutally killed. For crying out loud, when are the police going to wake up and smell the gunpowder?

We all know Hazyview is a huge problem for our province, due to its ominous reputation as a Mecca for crime. Hijackings, murder, theft, you name it - this town has it all. The police don?t want us to take the law into our own hands, but with no police around, that is all we can do. Something has to be done soon.''


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Mar 31st, 2004, 10:12 AM
  #49
 
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Safarinut,

You have made your point about Hazeyview. I do however believe that the time has come to stop sounding like a broken record already as you are not impressing anybody in the process of being an alarmist. I suggest that you now leave it to all who want to travel through Hazweeyview themselves to make up their own minds such as the way that Kavey has quite sensibly done already.

My feelings about this all is that I DEFINITELY WOULD travel through Hazeyview immaterial of all that you have so diligently said and reported. My reason for suggesting this action is quite simple. For every event that you have reported there are probably 1000's of "Duncans" who can report that all went down well when they went through Hazeyview and guess what they have a right to an opinion on this board too. It seems to me as if that is all that Duncan has been saying yet you simply pooh pooh his mail by quoting hundreds of other statistics. I believe in reality and Duncan represents just that, after all he went through the area with no problem whatsover. Thus all that I would do is I would take heed of your statements, watch my back wherever I go (not only Hazeyview but ANYWHERE in the world)and enjoy my holiday to the full.

I appreciate your first warning mails however I have no time for alarmists and it seems as if you (quite unusually I might add) are starting to follow this trail in your later mails. You have said your say, it has been heard so now let those who have new practical experiences on the subject say there say.

By the way I am born and raised in this great country called South Africa. I have lived in this land for all of my life. I have travelled through Hazeyview on 4 occasions since 1994. I travel through areas on a daily basis which sometimes have much worse press reports than the ones you have shown on crime in Hazeyview. I have also travelled through many other parts of the world. The only time I have ever been involved in anything that revolves around serious crime was two drive by shootings. Guess what I wont let that deter me from wanting see as much of the world as possible no matter what. Oh I forgot to mention the drive by shootings happened in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA so does that mean I should start shouting a la Safarinut that everybody should beware of Las Vegas? -

Stop the broken record already.

Just my twopence worth

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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Mar 31st, 2004, 01:44 PM
  #50
 
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Selwyn:

You've travelled through Hazyview 4 times in ?10 years?

Maybe this makes you an expert on the current safety situation there and I will leave further comments on safety to your extensive experience in Mpumalanga.

''I travel through areas on a daily basis which sometimes have much worse press reports than the ones you have shown on crime in Hazeyview.''

Your point being?

Would you advise people on this forum to take your ''dangerous'' routes if safer alternatives were available?

Crime is something most South Africans are used to and they generally become a bit hot under the collar if it is discussed.

Alarmist? I don't think so,realist sounds better!
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Mar 31st, 2004, 08:42 PM
  #51
 
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Safarinut,

Let me at the outset of this response mail point out that as I simply dont have the time I wont be continuing a response in this thread other than by simply answerng your last mail.

>You've travelled through Hazyview 4 >times in 10 years?

>Maybe this makes you an expert on the >current safety situation there and I >will leave further comments on safety >to your extensive experience in >Mpumalanga.

I have never claimed to be an expert on the Hazyview crime situation. All I was saying is that I have travelled through the area 4 times and nothing happened that involved crime. Its as simple as that!

>I travel through areas on a daily >basis which sometimes have much worse >press reports than the ones you have >shown on crime in Hazeyview.''

>Your point being?

My point being that many times alarmists simply quote examples of what has happened and immediately raise red flags that a place is "dangerous" when so many others travel through the area with nothing happening to them. Its equivalent to one telling people not to go to a sports event with 60,000 people attending because in the previous week at a similar sports event a person got crushed to death by the thronging crowds.

>Would you advise people on this forum >to take your ''dangerous'' routes if >safer alternatives were available?

I certainly would not HOWEVER I would only tell them ONCE. You dont seem to understand that point!

>Crime is something most South Africans >are used to and they generally become >a bit hot under the collar if it is >discussed.

How about visiting some of the other forums on Fodors and take a look at how other nations view crime in their own countries???? With that said I take your last point as an insult to all South Africans and wont even bother to waste my typing time to answer you.

>Alarmist? I don't think so,realist >sounds better!

You may have your own opinion about the above statement however in my opinion Duncan is the realist in this whole debate because he is the one who has actually travelled through Hazyview recently and is working with actual and not reported or hearsay information!

I am on the Garden Route touring from today and that means that my forum internet contact will be limited hence with all of the above answered I am out here.

I say again "stop the broken record"

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

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Mar 31st, 2004, 09:18 PM
  #52
 
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Selwyn:

I also have no intention to continue on this topic forever but I should respond to your detailed response:

''You may have your own opinion about the above statement however in my opinion Duncan is the realist in this whole debate because he is the one who has actually travelled through Hazyview recently and is working with actual and not reported or hearsay information''

I travelled through Hazyview in December 2003 twice.

Secondly, my dear Selwyn, I have worked in two hospitals in the Hazyview area over a two year period AND think I've got a better understanding of the safety situation there than a tourist passing through.

I would invite you to go and spend any given night at Matikwane or Pola Nzikazi's ER rooms,see for yourself how many violent crime victims come through the door in a 24 hour period, and then maybe,I stress maybe, I would pay some attention to your opinion.

Please get your facts straight before you make an effort to respond.

I will continue to advise people who visit Mpumalanga about the dangers and if possible safer alternative routes,because it's clear that you have no knowledge about this area!

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Mar 31st, 2004, 09:38 PM
  #53
 
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Selwyn:

Seeing that you don't know this area well,Matikwane Hospital is IN Hazyview and Pola Nzikazi 8 kilometers south of Hazyview.
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