traveling south africa/ security tips

Jan 27th, 2009, 04:57 PM
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traveling south africa/ security tips

i am planning a trip to south africa in may and have heard a lot about the high crime rate. we will be driving around the winelands and cape town and from jo-berg to madikwe. what precautions should we take? what advice or tips can help us make a safe trip?
jimhg is offline  
Jan 27th, 2009, 06:41 PM
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Use common sense. Don't leave valuables in plain view. Lock the doors. Leave a car space or two between you and the car in front of you at a stoplight in case of a carjacking.
Same things you'd do at home.
matnikstym is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 02:35 AM
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Most of us who live here are pretty conditioned to keep an eye out without realizing that we are doing it.

But I guess its the same throughout the world. Just be alert when driving at intersections and if walking, dont flaunt your handbag and dont walk alone. Dont carry all your belongings in one handbag/wallet. Also be careful who you get too chatty with.

Most places that tourists visit are pretty secure. South Africans are generally nice people... many of my friends are South African.
Andrew1963 is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 03:17 AM
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I recently returned from a 21 day holiday in South Africa. The only vandalism we encountered were the monkeys at a lodge near Kruger Park! The monkeys got in our open sided safari vehicle and rifled through all of our stuff.

I agree to use common sense as you would back aqt home.

I also travelled throughout South Africa on a motorcycle and didn't encounter any situations where I felt unsafe.

Parking my motorcycle in town, there was always someone willing to keep an eye on it along with my belongings for a tip. I usually tipped a US $1.

People were friendly. I would bring along a few Obama t-shirts to wear or give away. It is amazing how popular Obama is in South Africa and also with the international travellers I met. Worldwide it seems people are anticipating the positive change in America values with Obama.
RideTheWorld is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 04:46 AM
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That is a wise question to ask.
The responses thus far are all relevant. Add to the list of cautions: Do not stop for hitch hikers. Do not stop for roadside assistance, leave that to the locals to handle.
If you suffer a flat or blow out, drive the car, slowly, to the closest police station or at the least an gas station or other visible public area.

Remember that there are 10's of thousands of people driving South Africa's roads on a daily basis and only a very small percentage have been jacked or robbed. The stats certainly make it seem worse than it really is. So take all of this advise for what it is and do your best to enjoy the trip.
mkhonzo is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 08:19 AM
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thanks for the info, it is most helpful.

does anyone know of a good place to spend the night between jo-berg airport and madikwe? don't think we have time to make the trip before dark and want to avoid driving at night.

don't particularly want to stay at sun city.
jimhg is offline  
Jan 28th, 2009, 10:57 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
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We have self-driven from the Johannesburg airport to Madikwe and there isn't much between them (other than Sun City, and I agree with your assessment). The drive from the airport to the Bush House (in Madikwe) took us just over four hours. We made two brief stops along the way, for lunch and to refuel, both at places recommended by The Bush House. They had advised us to avoid stopping anywhere else.

When we arrived at the Bush House, the staff asked if we had any trouble in the villages, which we hadnít. We were puzzled by the question, and learned later that residents in one village had been throwing large rocks at passing vehicles. We had wondered why there were brick-sized rocks on the main street, which we had been forced to swerve around. Two couples, who arrived at The Bush House the same day we did, but left Johannesburg later, were advised by police to detour some 100-km around the village, causing one of them to miss the afternoon game drive. We realized we had been rather lucky to emerge from the village unscathed.

Sooo - if you are going to stay overnight on the way to Madikwe, I would seek the advice of wherever you are staying in Madikwe. Personally, I would be inclined to stay at the airport and get an early start the next day. Our flight from Cape Town left at 6:30am, so we arrived in Joburg in plenty of time (8:30am) to get to Madikwe before dark. Of course, as there is no self-driving in Madikwe and you won't need a vehicle, you could fly into Madikwe. Most accomodation in Madikwe offers this option. Robin
canadian_robin is offline  
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