Whether you are taking your first trip to South Africa or you have already experienced the majestic beauty the country has to offer, traveling safely through South Africa is of utmost importance and careful planning can make your trip more enjoyable and much more secure.
South Africa is a beautifully adverse country full of awe-inspiring landscapes, world class accommodations and some of the world’s best tourist destinations. Being a foreign country, they have very different laws and procedures that you may not be used to and careful planning and research will ensure that your stay is a good one full of fun and relaxation.
The very first thing to keep in mind when traveling to South Africa, or any country for that matter, is to make sure your passport is up to date and ready. What do I mean by ready? Well, South Africa requires that you have one unstamped page in your passport book; I recommend at least two as immigration statutes vary per area and you don’t want to get stuck with a hefty fine for not complying with the rules of various localities. At the very least, you could be denied entry into the country for it. This isn’t something you will hear from your travel agent either, so remember, keep at least two visa pages clear for your trip. It is strongly suggested that all travelers check the latest requirements with the nearest South African Embassy or Consulate before traveling.
As with any foreign country where you don’t know your way around, as a tourist you need to be extra careful and watchful of yourself and your possessions. Due to the increased tension with world affairs, American and Australian tourists are at a higher risk for crimes committed against them. These occurrences are rare however, but should be a concern nonetheless.
You should always exercise common sense in your travels just as you would at home. Certain neighborhoods should be avoided and certain risks should not be taken. For the most part, as long as you stay within the realm of tourist attractions, you will be safe. South Africa has a history or mob violence as political protest tactics and some innocent bystanders have been injured during these occurrences. Avoiding situations that could become violent are always best and the way to do that is to be ever vigilante and informed.
South Africa is a magical destination and one that welcomes tourists from all over the world. Having a safe and secure vacation in South Africa is easier said than done but with careful planning and by staying smart and alert.
Here’s to safe and enjoyable travels! Cheers!