South Africa is receiving an ever worsening reputation for its high crime rate. Crime is a big problem in South Africa; the robbery, rape and murder rate are among some of the highest in the world. One UK insurance company claims that the most claims from holiday insurance are placed by people who visit the country.
The crime rate in South Africa could be blamed on many things - the high unemployment rate, and poor wages for many of those who are employed, lack of decent education as well as the expense of further education that is completely out of reach of any of the poorer families and the poor housing conditions that many of the population are subject to.
Unfortunately, crime is here and it is rife - so why on earth would you want to come here on holiday?
Truth is South Africa is a beautiful country with many great places to visit and things to see, the Kruger National Park is an attraction that is known across the world, as is Table Mountain and Robben Island. The majority of tourists come here and go home having had a great holiday with no problems, and there are a few things that you can do to avoid becoming a statistic.
- Don’t walk around with lots of flashy jewellery on, or your £400 camera hanging round your neck, you are really just asking for trouble. Put things in a sealed bag that you can carry securely, never leave your bags or luggage unattended.
- Try to stick with the safety in numbers rule, the more of you there are the more unlikely it is that something could happen, if you must go somewhere on your own don’t go down small quiet side streets and try to let some one know where you are going and when you intend to get back.
- When you are driving anywhere, always keep all doors locked and valuables out of grabbing distance from windows. And always were a seatbelt.
- Always keep aware of what is going on around you.
- The chances are you will be approached by beggars at some point of your trip, although it is your personal choice, I’d say do not give them anything, just say “no thanks" and keep walking, although the vast majority of these beggars ar completely harmless, don’t take any unnecessary risks.
- If you are out for an evening, keep a hold of all belongings, and also on your drink, as according to recent news reports, drink spiking is becoming increasingly common.
I realise that none of this is making you look forward to your holiday, but these really are things that everyone should do every day, but the fact that we live in Europe its not really necessary when we know that area, but in South Africa these things are essential to ensure you have a safe and memorable holiday in South Africa.
Visit Explore South Africa for information on safety in South Africa to ensure that your holiday is a safe and memorable one.