Looking for stories, tips & advice for solo travel in South Africa.
The end of October I'll be leaving Canada for South Africa. I'm a 27 year old female who will generally be travelling by myself. I have a bunch of friends scattered throughout the country who I'll visit and spend time with. I\m also planning to use the Baz Bus to get around. I know the hostels are supposed to be helpful with where to go/not to go.
I've heard some mixed stories. All my friends there obviously say be smart, but otherwise are only positive. Then other people I've met here at home who've been there seem to only give me warnings.
I'm just looking for stories, tips, advice for travelling by myself in SA.
jeanette, You will be very safe on the Baz Bus! We had return tickets from Jo'burg to Cape Town in 2003 but never made it beyond cintsa on the wild coast because we fell in love with the place. Ended up staying a few weeks at the Buccaneers in cintsa which I thoroughly recommend. The bus was full of single female travellers they generally made friends with other travellers. I have two sons 25 and 28 so dont ask me about night life in South Africa we are generally in at night (two boring old farts with the cocoa and dvds!!). We have driven the coast road to Cape Town twice which is amazing because there is hardly any traffic. My son came over to stay with us last year (we now own a house in Winterstrand, Eastern Cape) and drove to Cape Town then had 5 mind boggling days at the Buccaneers - we couldn't get him to leave! Yeah South Africa is still racist underneath it all - this is more obvious when you live there and people do seem frightened. John and I took a trip through the Transkei last year. The advice we got from the white south africans was incredible. Basically dont get out the car until Kokstad (400km), lock yourself in etc. So we cruised through the Transkei with the windows open and when we got to busy black townships put music on really loud. We had the black people running beside the car clapping and dancing! No problem.
I have tried many times to explain to south africans that fear begins and ends in the mind to no avail. Its a cultural thing left over from Apartheid. We are careful but not to the point where it stops us doing anything we want to do. My friend Kate whos from my town in the UK and is now married to a South African said to me that you were 20 times more likely to be stabbed on the Tube in London than in South Africa. Shit happens everywhere. South Africa is not for everyone. We love it - its our adopted homeland. Most people think we are mad but they are usually the people who haven't the guts to do anything out of the norm.
Hope this helps - let me know how you get on.
i suggest travelling to Egypt :-)
As far as you are going to stay on main roads/areas and travel during the day, you should be safe. I have been living here for 8 years and most people are friendly and helpful. Just avoid wearing valuables or let lie around anything and stick to general safety measures.
I would recommend having a cellphone on you, you can rent one at the airport or have yours if it works on international roaming
Wishing you an enjoyful trip
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I have been living in Joburg since Jan. I am also a 27yr old single female American. Nothing horrible has happened to me. It goes without saying that I try not be out late a night. If I am out, I am with friends and generally have them take me home. I find people in joburg are really fashionable. So my normal gap day to day wear goes unnoticed.
Its important to make friends as early as possible. That way you won't feel so alone. But generally speaking, you should be fine. if you are traveling, you will be around tourist who have the same ideas as you have. Everyone will be on the same mission. So there is safely in numbers. It won't be hard to find one or two people can you befriend and hang out with. Nothing to worry about.
All I can tell you is to get in the habit of locking your valuables at the hostel, get a cell phone, make sure to have airtime, try to carry a bit of extra cash when you go out, try to make friends, avoid hanging out in the streets by yourself at night, and read up on places before you go (so you have an idea of where to go once you get there).