Safety issues in South Africa
I am from Canada and I have visited friends in South Africa three times in the past 6 years. I am no hero and would definitely not go there if I was afraid of being attacked and or mugged. As I have said in this forum before, at no time was I nervous no matter where I was in South Africa.
Yes, there is a lot of crime but this usually takes places in the more questionable area of the city as happens in most large cities.
Note...This was in answer to a question in the South African Forum.
Here's one important tip I've learnt from my well-traveled and well-heeled buddies/ colleagues over the years: Always roll all your clothes when packing.... and you'd never have to worry about ironing again when you reach your destination.
How do the clothes stay rolled up?
Here's another trick I've picked up: Just cut off the legs of old panty hose. Put your hand inside one of the cut-off legs, grab that rolled up t-shirt and pull it through. And, Voila! My things stay rolled up like assorted sausages....
Basically, this is my important rule of thumb: DO also try and plan your wardrobe in such a way that you'll have no problem mixing and matching your outfits and it should be able to see you through from day to night. So in this instance, that little black dress WILL come in VERY handy for the night events AND in the day time too! :-)) I ALWAYS, ALWAYS bring along at least 2 camaras with me... just in case one breaks down. My friends used to laugh at me.... until their one and only camera broke down. Then when they had to RELY SOLELY on me and my amateurish photographic skills, they stopped laughing. Yes, immediately. Serve them right! :-D If you are going to do lots of walking and sightseeing, do remember to put the following items into your tote bag or backpack:
- Maps and perhaps phrase books.
- Your all-important Guidebook.
- Water bottle.
- Sunglasses.... etc
DON'T forget to bring along your much-treasured ATM card to withdraw cash. Yes, no need to rush to the money-changers to change all your currencies into
South African Rand before your trip. And DON'T use your Visa or Mastercard to withdraw cash. This is considered a CASH ADVANCE and you'd be slapped with a HEFTY fee whereas if you were to use YOUR own ATM card, you will NOT be charged for any fees.
In fact, you WILL benefit and enjoy from the low interbank exchange rates. Trust me (I used to work for an American bank).
Just ensure that you adhere to the following steps:
- Flip to the back of your local ATM card, do you see the logos 'Cirrus', 'Plus', 'The Exchange' etc. on it?
- If the answer is 'yes', then you have absolutely nothing to worry about!
- Why? Because you can withdraw cash from any ATM machines in South Africa, no matter how obscure the
town you're at is.
- If you use this method, you'd also save alot from the interbank exchange rates. Money changers will charge you much, much more compared to a bank.
I've been using this method countless of times before and so far, no ATM machines in this world have failed me.... yet. Yes, even in the remotest village of Africa!
Have a great trip!
Photo Below: That's yours truly at the lobby of the splendid 'Palace of the Lost City Hotel' here in Sun City.
'Traveling in the company of those we love is home in motion!' - Leigh Hunt (English Writer); 1784-1859
The JSE " Johannesburg Stock Exchange"
Well if you in Sandton , you can go pass the JSE as its situated opposite the Village Walk Shopping Centre. Its surrounded by all these huge corporate companies and banks. Its situated in Maude street just a block away from Sandton City.
Leaving Jo'burg - Watch the excess baggage
If you are flying from Johannesburg airport, then weigh your luggage before you leave home. Most long haul operators charge for excess weight, even a couple of kilos, and they wiegh the cabin luggage as well! The charge is about 1% of the first class airfare, and you're soon over 100 euros.
There are three restaurants...
There are three restaurants that I like best... For meat lovers, there's the Butcher's Shop in Sandton Square. The biggest, most succulent aged steaks any where! Prices are modest, service is great and the wine list is REALLY impressive.
For sea food flown up from the coast every day, I suggest the Cod Father in Morningside. A relaxed atmosphere, decent wine and calamari and prawns to die for. They make incredible fish soup as a starter (only in winter time).
The Villa Moura is more 'upper class', and more expensive, but the service, wine list and attention to details makes up for the price. Oysters, Cray fish, and the standard prawns, calamari and assorted fish is FANTASTIC. If they happen to have snoek, do yourself a favour and try it.
Butcher Shop - you can go into the cold storage compartments and get a good explanation of how the meat is selected, cured and cooked. Quite interesting Butcher Shop: Garlic snails as a starter and a HUGE steak for a main course.
Cod Father: Cajun style prawns and calamari
Villa Moura: Everything