Safety in South Africa
Crime is a major problem in South Africa and there is no use in denying the fact, as a tourist it is better to know the truth and prepare accordingly than find out when you get there and it, in many cases may already be too late.
According to a survey compiled by the United Nations a few years back; out of all countries in the world South Africa was ranked second for the highest number of assaults and murders; in addition to being ranked second for rape in the world but first for rapes in context with the overall population.
Here are a few pointers for your stay:
When driving in your car, no matter how short the distance, plan your route in advance, keep the doors locked and NEVER pick up hitch hikers. When you leave your car, lock all valuables in the boot (trunk) and always park in a designated parking area. And remember, drive on the left!
When you are in the streets you may be approached by beggars, often young children sent out by their parents, or people selling goods. If this attention is unwanted, a firmly spoken 'No' and carrying on walking will usually suffice. It is never advisable to go into unlit or deserted streets, during the day or at night. Avoid unnecessary displays of expensive jewellery, cameras and other valuable items, and do not carry around large amounts of money. Keep your handbag close to your body and do not keep all of your money or keys inside it, instead keep some items in your pocket. If you get into an unwanted situation shout 'fire' rather than 'help'.
When in your hotel or place you are staying, keep your security gate or doors locked - much of SA's crime is opportunist, so don't make yourself and oportunity!
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