Zimbabwe/South Africa - safe or not?

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Aug 30th, 1999, 10:29 PM
  #1
Ray
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Zimbabwe/South Africa - safe or not?

Hi,
I am going to South Africe and Zimbabwe in late Oct. to Nov. I am wondering how safe/unsafe it is for tourists travelling over there.
Any info. will be greatly appreciated.
thanks,
Ray
 
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Aug 31st, 1999, 06:49 AM
  #2
Tom
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Hi Ray,
take a look at the thread under Basically, South Africa is relatively
safe but you should always take precautions. Avoid Johannesburg at all costs-if you follow the advice of the liberals they will tell you to walk around downtown JHB to "see the real SA"-if you are white do not do it because you are likely to get mugged. The rest of the country is relatively safe-Cape Town is fine during the day but avoid downtown at night. Away from the cities it is very safe, but listen to local advice.
Zimbabwe has nothing like the crime rate of SA-I've heard that Harare isn't that great though.
Have a great trip!
 
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Aug 31st, 1999, 01:05 PM
  #3
Tamsen
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South Africa has a very high crime rate, and you can certainly sense that Johannesburg is dangerous once you get there. However, I am a young, white female who traveled alone in Johannesburg and some other parts of South Africa and never had a problem. I did not go to downtown Johannesburg alone, but I did go running in the suburbs by myself and things like that.

In my opinion, Zimbabwe is a safe country in almost every respect. The one exception would be the driving style, but I think that about almost everywhere I go.

I don't know what your specific travel plans are, but I would recommend spending more time in Zimbabwe than in South Africa.

By the way, Harare is not "great"--i.e. it is a big city like any other, but there are some things to do there. It is worth some time just to see the markets, and the public gardens, and maybe the sculpture gardens and museums.

However, if that doesn't appeal to you, you may want to make Bulawayo your base of operations in Zimbabwe. There's quite a bit to do there, and its closer to Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park and the Great Zimbabwe than Harare.

In any event, I think Americans unfairly perceive all of Africa as dangerous because of incidents that have occurred in specific countries.
 
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Aug 31st, 1999, 01:39 PM
  #4
Tim
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Hi Ray,
I just got back from a 2 week trip to RSA and Zim. Both were great. Even though Johannesburg has deteriorated seriously since the end of apartheid it is an interesting place to visit. We drove thru downtown and it was scary but worthwhile to see. If you're going to that part of SA, make Pretoria your base as its a lot safer and more interesting. The 'white' suburbs are basically safe.
Cape Town is beautiful as is the Garden Route. Basically its a lot more relaxed and less on the edge than JNB.
We spent a week in Zim. Most of it in Hwange National Park which is incredible and the rest in Vic Falls.
Have a great time. You'll be fine, just avoid walking around downtown Johannesburg and don't go there at night.
 
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Sep 1st, 1999, 04:19 AM
  #5
Ken
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I was in South Africa about a month ago and it's a great place to travel. Go on a tour of downtown Johannesburg and you'll be fine. There's a lot more to do there than people will have you think. We had lunch at a great Indian restaurant called Kapitan. We also went to a place called the Museum of Africa. There's a great jazz place called Kippie's that we passed. We promised to head back but ran out of time. The outlying 'burbs are outstanding, like Sandton and Rosebank and Melville. Every modern convenience you could want. Oh, and make sure you tour Soweto. We went with a company called Jimmy's Face to Face Tours. An awesome experience.

In all a good experience and we were safe and enjoyed the central part of the city and outlying areas. I wouldn't stay in Pretoria though. It's about two hours removed from Johannesburg and not much to do there, in my opinion. Stay in a suburb like Sandton.
 
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Sep 1st, 1999, 04:44 AM
  #6
Tim
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Ken,
Pretoria is only about 45 mins from downtown JNB and about 30 mins from Sandton. I would recommend Pretoria ahead of Sandton because of its historic attractions-stay in Sandton and you could be staying in Orange County!
 
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Sep 1st, 1999, 12:51 PM
  #7
ken
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I hereby renew my suggestion for Sandton. Pretoria is further than 30 mins. from Sandton.
 
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Sep 7th, 1999, 12:42 PM
  #8
Louise
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Kenny,
I live in Sandton and I can assure you that it is 30 mins from Pretoria
 
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Sep 9th, 1999, 01:59 AM
  #9
Lincoln
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Hello,
I just returned from S.Africa & Swaziland. I did not have any problem in SA even through it supposed to have the higest crime rate in the world. Cape Town and Durban supposed to be safer tha J'burg. But the locals still warned me about walking around alone after 6 pm. I was warned by a lady in Cape Town to hide my camera. And I did. Basically, if you play smart, you will be okay. You see my SA photos & travelogue at http://www.hkstar.com/~boston
 
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Sep 9th, 1999, 01:59 AM
  #10
Lincoln
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Hello,
I just returned from S.Africa & Swaziland. I did not have any problem in SA even through it supposed to have the higest crime rate in the world. Cape Town and Durban supposed to be safer tha J'burg. But the locals still warned me about walking around alone after 6 pm. I was warned by a lady in Cape Town to hide my camera. And I did. Basically, if you play smart, you will be okay. You should see my SA photos & travelogue at http://www.hkstar.com/~boston
 
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Apr 16th, 2000, 12:15 PM
  #11
NANCY
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WE ARE PLANNING A MISSION TRIP WITH OUR CHURCH TO ZIMBABWE IN AUGUST 2001.
ANY HOPE OF HAPPENING WITH THE THREAT OF FIGHTING THERE THEN?
 
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