Monday, May 17, 2010

South Africa: Staying Safe

Many people question their safety before traveling to South Africa. Our response is a confident assurance that: it is in fact safe! This is especially true if you take a few precautions that are necessary any time you travel abroad.

• Avoid taking valuable jewelry, watches, expensive purses, or even costly articles of clothing.

• You should try to blend in as much as is possible. Wearing modest clothing with no obvious flashy jewelry or cameras is a good idea.

• Your passport is one of your most valuable possessions. Keep it somewhere that you know it will be safe, such as a hotel safety deposit box or your room safe, where available. Keep a photocopy with you if necessary.

• Never count your money in public. This attracts unwanted attention.

• One great trick is to carry two wallets. Use one to hold your credit cards and the bulk of your cash and use the other as a decoy. Put money and some insignificant cards, papers, etc into the decoy wallet to make it appear real. Then if a thief confronts you give him/her your decoy wallet.

Are you heading out to SA for the World Cup?
Here are a few things that you need to know.

First of all- an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever is occurring in South Africa right now.  Make sure you bring with you a mosquito net and proper bug repellent and avoid contact with raw meat.

Second- Be aware that there is a large sex trade in South Africa and nearly 50% of South African sex workers carry the HIV virus.  With the influx of foreign visitors to the area for the World Cup, health officials are worried about rapid spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.  Britain reportedly donated 42 million condoms to help prevent the spread of disease.  Protect yourself and others! Read more here.

South Africa is a beautiful country and many people just like you live here, so it isn't all that bad. Don’t let crime or disease spoil your vacation! Stay alert and be aware and smart. If you take the necessary precautions your trip to South Africa will be worth your while.

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