South Africa is world renowned for its beauty, the diversity of its cultures, and its tourist friendly infrastructure. Indeed, travelling to and around this jewel of a destination is a must for any intrepid explorer wanting to see some of the more wondrous items that our planet has on offer.
For those of us who are lucky enough to be native to South Africa, it should be mandatory to spend a good deal of time meandering from one worthwhile destination to the next. Whether your particular taste leans towards historical points of interest, or areas of natural splendour, or even towards energetic and culturally vibrant urban environments, our country is never found wanting.
There are, however, a few things to bear in mind when traversing SA. Personal safety is always high up on the list of priorities, and if you adhere to a few basic guidelines, it should never be a problem.
The first thing to remember with regards to crime in South Africa is that it is undoubtedly driven, for the vast majority of the time, by poverty; this means that should you find yourself the victim of a crime, the golden rule is to co-operate with the criminals so that they never feel threatened.
This lessens the chances that they will turn to violence either in self-defence or as an instrument to force co-operation.
The second guideline to recall is to avoid areas that have high incidences of criminal activity. The best way to assess the safety of an area is to speak to local residents, local business owners, and local policing units. These individuals have an intimate knowledge of the locale, and will provide you with correct and reliable information.
A third guideline of central import concerns the carrying and display of expensive, and therefore desirable, items of jewellery and technology.
The trick here is to always dress down, and keep expensive items well away from prying eyes. Do not, for example, walk around with your eye-catching Rolex and Nikon camera displayed for all to see (similarly, leave your laptops and mobile phones out of sight); the less “profitable” you appear, the better. Items looked for by criminal elements includes everything from consumer electronics to the mags on your car. If you plan to a buy a flat screen TV, therefore, consider the extra expenditure on insurance.
As for tourist accommodation, South Africa is generally regarded as having high standards and is hospitable to all and sundry. Most tourist accommodation is extremely secure, and all amenities will probably be of good quality. In keeping with a national identity centred around diversity, the types of accommodation is enormously varied: this is to say that those vacationing in and touring around SA can choose from low-key, budget oriented backpacking facilities, to mid-range Bed and Breakfasts, to luxury Safari camps, to five star hotels like Cape Town’s Mount Nelson.
If a temporary stay isn’t enough, the country has great investment opportunities from Grahamstown property to urban properties to beautiful coastal properties. Our country really does seem to have it all. Those looking for authentic bushveld experiences can forego the luxury Safari accommodation and get their teeth into the African wild by taking advantage of the camping packages on offer from various companies.
Whatever your personal taste, whether adventurous or preferring more refined amenities, South African tourist companies and accommodation services will have the perfect facilities and itinerary for you!