Johannesburg Warnings and Dangers

  • Hillbrow - Jo'burg's no go zone
    Hillbrow - Jo'burg's no go zone
    by CatherineReichardt
  • Gun safe at Gold Reef City theme park
    Gun safe at Gold Reef City theme park
    by CatherineReichardt
  • Warnings and Dangers
    by CatherineReichardt

Most Recent Warnings and Dangers in Johannesburg

  • jonah1's Profile Photo

    Crime

    by jonah1 Updated Aug 15, 2006

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Joburg has experienced a lot of problems with various sorts of crime over the last decade and is still trying to free itself of this rather unfortunate problem. Unfortunately until the balance between those who have and those who don't is equalised there will always be a problem. Poverty breeds crime - thats why tourism in its own way helps us get over these obstacles in creating jobs for the unemployed. South Africa can be a safe as place as any to travel as long as you are sensible in what you do. It is not advised to walk alone on street at night in deserted areas, drive in to townships on your own or obviously leaving your posesions around for someone to snatch. Always remember that even here there some people who may have nothing to eat simply because they cannot afford anything - stealing a cellphone or watch becomes much less of a moral dilemma if you are hungry for days!

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  • ldc_stl's Profile Photo

    Hillbrow--Be Smart

    by ldc_stl Written Aug 9, 2006

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Street Market in Hillbrow.

    If you want a piece of Somalia, DRC, Nigeria and Angola without leaving the comforts of South Africa then visit Hillbrow in JoBurg. This is a rough area and I do not recommend going there during the daytime without a local and never at night under any circumstances.

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  • Sputnikboy's Profile Photo

    Be aware!

    by Sputnikboy Updated Jul 8, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hillbrow
    1 more image

    Johannesburgh has been (and still is probably) one of the most dangerous cities in the world.

    Don't go out alone after dark or even during the day in the week-end in the city centre because there's absolutely no people and you seriously risk to get attacked by thugs.

    Absolutely avoid the quarters of Hillbrow, Yeoville and Berea; I went there, but I was in a minibus, the doors were locked and the guide was driving FAST.

    Don't use bancomats placed on the streets; use instead those in the Malls. If someone approach you to help, cancel the operation and go away.

    If you can, try to don't seem like a tourist, they are the main target for thugs.

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  • JTGII's Profile Photo

    Beware of your safety.

    by JTGII Written Jun 9, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tue May 02 12:07:43 2006 PDT
    I want to qualify this posting as saying what happened to me tonite can happen
    in any big city- obviously. But I honestly
    didn't expect it to happen in the Sandton City mall based on all I've read and
    especially in such a high traffic area.

    I stopped by a bank ATM in the mall to get some cash. I finished my transaction,
    got my card and receipt. Some nice looking guy comes up to me and starts
    pointing to the ATM saying my transaction was not finished and I needed to put
    my card back in to clear the system. I told him my transaction was completed and
    I had my receipt. He kept insisting that it was not and that he couldn't use the
    ATM unless I closed my session. I told him I was NOT putting my card back into
    the ATM machine so he went over to a colleague that I was with and tried to get
    him to do it. But I convinced him not to try it again. I
    told the scammer that if the machines were hung up, the lady I could see inside
    the bank would help him if he had a problem, but he said that they were closed.
    I told him that wasn't my problem and we walked away.

    When we got to "The Butcher Shop and Grill" restaurant, I mentioned the incident
    to the owner. He got pissed off and had one of his waiters go out and call
    security to report what had happened. They
    said that this happens a lot and the scam is for you to hand your card to the
    guy so that he can show you what he's talking about. They then palm your card
    and give you a fake one

    So, a little adventure in SA tonite. But the restaurant was very nice and I was
    extremely impressed with the proprietor for taking a personal interest in my
    well being.

    Follow-up: I discovered the night before my departure that $200-300USD had also been stolen from my hotel room.

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  • Jenniflower's Profile Photo

    Plse can I have some money sir?

    by Jenniflower Updated May 23, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You just never know, do you? :)

    One huge problem in South Africa is the constant begging. They are everywhere you go, especially at traffic lights.

    Most people drive with their window up, especially at night, as some of the people begging get quite cloooooose...

    Just be straight with them, say 'I cannot help you, sorry', try not to enter into conversation with them, as they are the most amazing story tellers!

    Plse dont get me wrong, there are legitimate beggars out there, with a genuine need.

    But most beggars are begging out of choice, they want no responsibility, are alcoholics and often drug addicts too.

    There are shelters and churches and charities throughout South Africa that take them in, so they need not beg.

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  • Jenniflower's Profile Photo

    Be aware and responsible at all times

    by Jenniflower Updated May 23, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    With our pal Walt in Johannesburg

    Get a local's perspective - ask someone where you're staying to give you a run-down on any potentially unsafe areas.

    As with anywhere in the world, when you're in a city, err on the side of caution.

    Don't openly carry valuables, avoid deserted areas, avoid areas not lit, do not hitch hike, and just be aware of what's going on around you at all times.

    Keep alert.

    But this doesnt mean you cannot have fun! You will ! :)

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  • Dangerous - But There's Worse

    by Truth_Teller Updated Mar 18, 2006

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Bandits (i.e gangs of robbers) are a major problem in Jo'burg. Dangerous areas include Hillbrow, Tokoza, Katlehong and Tembisa. Jo'burg is a very dangerous city but it's not the worst in the world and never was.

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  • Martman's Profile Photo

    Avoid the downtown

    by Martman Updated Jan 13, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tourists to the city are advised to avoid the city centre. It is known to be unsafe. Apparently, despite being the center of the city, there is not much there of interest to tourists. I have heard other reports that the city center has since improved. I suggest that when you are there, investigate the issue yourself. What I can say for certain, if you are staying in a hotel in the city, a LATE NIGHT walk in the streets will be out of the question. My suggestion is that it is worth taking a helicopter or a tourist bus ride, to see the impressive buildings.

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  • Martman's Profile Photo

    avoid Hillbrow

    by Martman Written Dec 28, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    During its heyday, Hillbrow was the centre of activity. It is a small area close to downtown, but has a huge concentration of apartment blocks. It had an atmosphere of its own. Unfortunately, I believe those days are over. It is now the centre of crime instead of excitement. I believe anyone who cares about their safety, should not go to Hillbrow.

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  • Martman's Profile Photo

    Be warned of cars flashing lights

    by Martman Written Sep 1, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In different parts of the world, customs differ. In North America, a car in the next lane flashing at you means "I am giving you space for you to change lanes." In South Africa, the flashing lights mean "*** off". In other words, DO NOT CHANGE INTO THAT LANE!

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  • MikeAtSea's Profile Photo

    AIDS!

    by MikeAtSea Written Apr 7, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    AIDS

    South Africa has got one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world, with estimation that one in three black South African's has the virus today. Hence use prevention; else you probably play Russian roulette with a fully loaded gun.

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  • dejavu2gb's Profile Photo

    Be aware

    by dejavu2gb Written Feb 23, 2005

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Crime is still somewhat of a small problem in South Africa, but if you are careful you will not be prone to anything bad happening to you. Never display money openly in public and just be aware of what is going on around you. If you excersize caution you will be fine, its not always as bad as people make it out to be.

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  • Gard's Profile Photo

    Safety

    by Gard Written Jan 24, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Most people that I have spoken to associate Johannesburg with one thing: crime. Unfortunately the city has got a bad reputation and I was a bit scared too when I got there the first time and Nikki told me about the safety precautions that she usually took when she was driving, staying at home etc. These are issues that I never really give any thought to in Norway. According to BBC (in September 2004) murders committed in the year to April fell by 8% to just under 20,000 compared with the previous 12 months. Canada which has a similar sized population has only about 550 murders on average per year. I guess it is not fair comparing these two countries but I guess it shows that South Africa has a challenge when it comes to crime. Bu I guess my recommendation is: don’t worry…as long as you take normal precautions you can explore this city like any other big city around the world :-)

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  • cokes's Profile Photo

    Hillbrow

    by cokes Written Jan 20, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Picture of Hillbrow

    Hillbrow is the Crime Capital of Johannesburg. This place is filled with legal & Illegal immigrants ranging from Nigerians , Zimbabweans an so forth. There is alot of Muggings , Robberies , Murders and Prostitution that takes place there.

    I Highly Recommend That You Stay Away from Hillbrow.

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  • Robberies at the traffic lights

    by sharon-a Written Jan 11, 2005

    Be very careful when you are driving and stop at traffic lights. If your window is open it makes it easy for thiefs to reach in the open window to grab jewellery (necklaces and bracelets etc)
    Keep windows closed at all times, especially when driving in the city and surrounding suburbs

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Comments (1)

  • Feb 27, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    Common sense dictates that you never place anything of great value in luggage you intend to check-- no matter what your destination. Having said this, it is certainly not necessary to lock luggage when travelling to Johannesburg. I recently travelled (all alone) to this South African city and in spite of all the well-meaning advice took no more precautions than I would have while travelling to New York. I was happy to find the local people were warm-hearted, hard working and extremely helpful. I even took mini-vans from Lanseria airport to the Gautrain's Park Station for the incredible sum of $4 and along the way no one hit me in the head to steal my belongings --even though I had an iphone, souvenirs, a 35mm camera and cash. In fact, I found an invaluable opportunity to interact with the local people and saved some $50 to $75 on taxi fare to boot.

    By the way, I am a 58 year old woman and had never travelled alone to an international destination where I knew no one! I am so very happy I chose Johannesburg as my first first attempt at world travel solo. Also, I encountered no problems when changing U$D for Rand and had no issues with R20 notes or any other denominations.

    Travel broadens the horizons. The more one sees of the world --the more one is able to see the commonalities of all people-- no matter their international identity or skin color. Johannesburg is beautiful and so are its people. I hope to travel there again one day.

    One last word of advice. Do be prepared for the altitude change. I experienced light headedness and shortness of breath. It took a good night's sleep to shake this. The next morning I was A-ok. To be prepared drink lots of water while aboard the plane.

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