Travelling to South Africa (Kwa-zulu Natal), safety concerns

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Travelling to South Africa (Kwa-zulu Natal), safety concerns

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1. Posted by DontTread (Budding Member 5 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi all
Myself, my fiance', and our 6 month old child, along with my fiance's family, are planning to travel to Durban area in April to get married in the Drakensberg (not all of us, just me and my fiance' :) )

Following the wedding, her parents are flying from Durban to Port Elizabeth, and spending a few days driving to Cape Town (garden route), where they will then spend a couple days on the V&A Waterfront.

Ive heard nothing but negative things from people that live in SA currently, "you'll get hijacked, chances are you'll be robbed, shot etc". I am a very wary traveller, and spent a large part of my life living in SA (a long time ago now though), so im not too concerned myself, but my fiance's parents havent ever been to Africa, and only have travel experience of safe places that dont carry the risks of SA.

Im tempted to tell them to leave driving down the garden route, and perhaps even leave going to Cape Town at all given the recent muggings on Table Mountain, but is this being over cautious? anyone been recently or live over there currently that would advise against them doing this route?

It's such a pity such a beautiful country that is so full of potential is also so dangerous to travel too. I suppose thousands of tourists have safe holidays there every year, but reports seem to indicate it's getting worse and worse, and with people like Zuma in charge it looks like it'll only get worse and eventually end up a no go zone like a lot of countries in Africa.

This will probably be our last holiday there (have been three times) given the growing problems there, so I wanted to find out how much worse/more dangerous it had gotten from say, 10 years ago.


2. Posted by TnT (Budding Member 5 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi DT,

My wife and me are now for over 16 months in SA and to our perception, I think you are quiet a bit over-reacting concerning the security in this beautiful African country.
There are problems here, just like in any country. You can get stabbed in Paris, London, Brussels, Amsterdam, New York, ... U name it ...
The Drakensbergen are amazing. But to leave Cape Town and the Garden Route behind ... ? I think that would be a poor decision. If the R62(Garden-Route) and Cape Town were that dangerous that tourists stay away from it, this would be an immediate thread to the touristical economie of SA.
But don't worry, tourism is blooming in SA. Every year, more and more people come to visit this mighty country.
But everywhere in the world and in life it is the same, people are afraid of what they don't know. And the media doesn't make it any better for this continent.

Most of the people who visited SA, come back and more sooner than later.

Come to SA. Be aware and enjoy the nature and the beautiful people.

Lots of greetz
Tom and Tessy

PS : We travelled by Toyota Landcruiser from Belgium to CT in 11 months and got robbed in CT ... but that can't spoil the fun for us

3. Posted by Brerrabbit (Budding Member 15 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I get really annoyed when I read comments such as you have made.

Yes we have hijackings, murders, rapes and all the other sordid things that happen in all other parts of the world as well.

Nobody stops going to the USA because of 9/11 or Thailand because of the Tsunami or the UK because someone goes mad and murders some prostitutes so why should you stop coming here because Zuma is in charge of the ANC.

The garden route is pretty safe as is Cape Town. If you go joy riding into a township on your own you are looking for trouble so go with planned tours by reputable companies of which there are many.

Keeping safe in SA is a matter of common sense. Keep your car doors locked at all times, don't leave valuables lying around on back seats and visit places that are known tourist areas as there are normally many people about.

If something looks dangerous it most probably is so avoid it especially at night.

Yes we also have rolling black outs because of electricity cuts, so we use candles which makes supper a bit more romantic than it would be if the lights were on.

Muggings on Table Mountain have stopped for the moment as a number of arrests have been made, but if you use the Cable car you are pretty safe. Its the people who climb the mountain using lonely pathways that get mugged.

When in Cape Town use the tour companies as you are then taken to all the main tourist places without the hassle of driving yourself.

Contact me if u want tours, via my website at -snip-

See you in Cape Town soon.


[ Edit: sorry, no promos in the forum please. ]

4. Posted by jekalo (Full Member 118 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I have to agree with the other posts. In June/July, my wife and I rented a car and spent 32 days driving all over SA. We camped out a lot and spent some time in resorts. We went from Joburg to the KTP in the northwest and then down through the empty Karoo to Karoo National park and then across to Port Elizabeth taking the least traveled path we could find. From there we drove to Port St Johns and on to Durban. From Durban we went North to Kruger and up to Palaborwa and then back down to Joburg. We have also traveled from port Elizabeth to Cape town on other occasions and also toured the Drakensburg for several weeks at a time. We have not taken guided tours and always rented our own vehicle. Maybe we have just been lucky but we have never had any problem associated with crime. On the flip side, we have been lost, late at night and been befriended by locals that not only gave us directions, but led us to the closest major roadway. At every campsite we stayed at, there were always friendly folks that offered to share with us if they saw we were lacking anything, camp stools, lantern etc.. It is a beautiful country with some problems but overall the experience far outweighs any risks. Just be aware and use your head when you plan your trip to avoid potential problems. Over the past 8 years I have traveled there 5 times for extended periods and enjoyed it more each time. Congrats on the wedding plan, it should be a great time for all concerned.

5. Posted by AfriFriend (Budding Member 15 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I agree, be alert, don't drive at night and all will be okay.

Come and enjoy our wonderful country.


PS. Zuma is not in charge yet...

6. Posted by DontTread (Budding Member 5 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the information and reassurance all, cant wait now, have done a pretty good itinerary for the in-laws-to-be Garden Route trip, and we're all set.

Looking forward to some sun, sea, and Castle lager.