I wrote a blog post a few weeks ago ‘How safe is South Africa’ and I’ve been thinking about it and realised that it should’ve been entitled ‘How safe is Gauteng?’
We’ve just returned from a 17 day road trip from Centurion to Cape Town, via Durban, The Wild Coast, The Garden Route, Cape Town and back to Centurion via the Karoo.
We receive and entertain many visitors, family, friends and colleagues and I’m sure they all think we’re being over dramatic with our instructions/orders on the do’s and dont’s of life here.
A twitter friend who I’ve met and reads my blog asked me to give his parents a few pointers about their upcoming holiday here and my mind went into over drive with the do’s and don’ts till I found out their trip is to Cape Town and the Garden Route only. My advice was to enjoy their holiday and treat the trip in the same way they would when going anywhere on holiday.
On our journey to Durban, slowly the security disappears, there were still security estates and individual security around houses, but not as evident as it is up here. By the time we arrived in Addo, North West of Port Elizabeth almost all signs of personal security had disappeared.
We drove through Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, it appeared that every man, woman, child and goat was out in the town that day, endless queues at the fuel stops for the bathroom and not once did I consider my personal safety. The biggest risk came from hitting a pot hole or a cow whilst driving. None of the places we stayed in had any kind of security other than maybe a fence to keep the wildlife out, even staying in the middle of the Karoo on our journey home.
South Africa has bad press and most of it with good reason, but it doesn't mean to say it's all bad and like everywhere you go on holiday you should always exercise care and caution. You wouldn't leave your door unlocked while you popped to the corner shop, so why would you do that on holiday? You wouldn't leave your front door open at home for some fresh air while you slept at night, so why would you do that on holiday?
Few people who arrive at OR Tambo, unless they live or have family or business here, just wander out the door with no idea of where they're going or staying, usually met by a tour guide, on a package holiday with a full itinerary scheduled. More people should come here, book their accommodation, hire a car and explore this beautiful country.