Is going to Cape Town for holiday really worth it?

Dec 3rd, 2013, 12:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 2
Is going to Cape Town for holiday really worth it?

I have never been to South Africa, and I am thinking of planning a trip to Durban, Johannesburg, and Cape Town. Though the bulk of my holiday will be in CP.

I will fly into all these cities, so I would not be driving to them.

But hearing all the usual stuff that I'm sure we have all heard: mugging, theft, harassment, car-jackings, rape, violent crime, etc. Is it actually worth it all?

I don't have to worry about those things for one moment in Goa, Phuket, or Latin America (not to the extent of South Africa).

I talked to a British friend who visited Cape Town sometime ago and he said that in every street corner there were police officers with White tourist writing up reports who have been victims of crime.

I like to enjoy my travels, and if this is the case where I can "have a good time, just be on high alert 24/7" then I'd rather go to New Zealand, India, Vietnam, etc.

And it is quite difficult getting answers from white South Africans because I think they allow national pride get in the way of unbiased analysis of the country.
There is this narrative amongst South Africans that "crime is everywhere, all around the world" they say. "You have to be safe anywhere you go."

But the vibe is definitely and noticeably different in South Africa I find, and so is a holiday really worth it when one can find similar experiences in other parts of the world.
Wanderlust_4_Life is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2013, 02:39 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 369
I went to South Africa (Cape Town and Mpumalanga) a couple months ago and had the same concerns. For reference, I'm a white American woman in my 30's and went with my younger brother. He looks like a hipster, so definitely not intimidating We're from the DC suburbs. I actually never felt unsafe while in South Africa. We went out after dark, walked nearly everywhere, and didn't have an issue. I didn't see any more police officers there than I do here and never saw anything especially criminal (other than graffiti, etc). We did venture into Bo-Kaap and got to a point where we felt like it was time to go. Nothing terribly worrisome, just a bad feeling. So we hopped in a taxi. Frankly, we found South Africans to be extremely friendly...very different from home. I will say, though, that white South Africans seem to think there's no racism left in South African but there clearly is. Maybe that's what they tell the foreigners? Who knows. I greatly enjoyed my trip and would encourage you to go.
Hobbert is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2013, 06:42 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,281
Welcome to Fodors. You will get more rpelies if you post this on the Africa forum.
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2013, 10:51 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 5
Your friends have been telling you untruths because the police do not write up reports in the streets!!

While there is no denying that this country has a high crime rate, tourists are actually safer than locals and do not have much to fear. As long as you use common sense and do not venture into obviously dodgy parts of towns in the evening, you'll be fine. Also don't walk around with cameras and other expensive items obviously on show. In other words, all the precautions of any big city anywhere in the world.

If you haven't been here yet then you can't really speak of the 'vibe here' until you come and see for yourself. I have never heard a visitor say anything other than that this is a beautiful place where visitors are made to feel welcome.
ToursduCap is offline  
Dec 8th, 2013, 02:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,525
In my 40 years of travel,my favorite layover (working as an international flight attendant) and also for a vacation is Cape Town-absolutely fabulous!
There is so much to see and do both in the city,down on the cape itself,over at Hermanus and in the wine country that you will never be bored.
I live near Chicago and never felt unsafe in all my various trips there! Now Johannesburg-thats a different story...
dutyfree is offline  
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