Destinations South Africa

The most common prejudices of South Africa which are not true

11 July 2018
Safari

Our first time in Africa, to be precise South Africa. Family and friends were a bit worried because of all the prejudices that South Africa has. We would like to discuss this because not all of them are true.

South Africa Hoedspruit

South Africa – Hoedspruit

The most common prejudices of South Africa

  1. Anyone who travels to South Africa will undoubtedly hear the sentence ‘Is it not dangerous?’

South Africa is a country with a turbulent history, where the diversity between black and white is a sensitive topic. If you travel through South Africa as a tourist, you have to pay as much attention than anywhere else. In every city you have to be careful and this is certainly no different than in cities like Cape Town. Jewelery, Iphones and other expensive brands/products will catch the attention of locals. South Africa is very big, so making a general statement about this topic is difficult.

We stayed in Cape Town and Hoedspruit:
Safety in Cape Town

Cape Town can often be found in the Google lists as ‘Most dangerous cities in the world’. Cape Town is a huge metropolis that should be included in your trip to South Africa. During the day, you have to pay attention as much as in other big cities. This means; avoid ostentatious display of expensive jewelry, cameras and other valuables and it’s definitely not advisable to walk around with large sums of money. Try to avoid dark, isolated areas at night and never pick up strangers.

Safety in Hoedspruit

Hoedspruit is a popular destination among Belgian and Dutch tourists. In the supermarket you will meet more foreigners than South Africans. We have not felt unsafe for a second in this region. Going to the supermarket in the evening is possible because we did this several times without problems. Hoedspruit has many ‘estates’ which are fenced areas where there is surveillance 24 hours a day.

General tips
  • Do not leave expensive items in your car
  • Never leave valuables unattended
  • Do not walk with a lot of money, expensive cameras or jewelry
  • Pay attention to the environment and always keep an eye on your belongings
  • Do not take any lifters with you

 

  1. In South Africa it is always hot?

No, South Africa has also cooler months during winter. As Africa is situated in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are opposed to ours in Belgium. The African winter runs from the end of June until the end of September, but of course the temperatures are slightly higher compared to our winter in Belgium. The temperatures during winter are between 22 and 28 degrees, but it cools down at night. These temperatures are perfect for activities and have many advantages (flower season, whale watching, cheaper accommodation, …).
In this article they discuss all the advantages of a holiday in the winter in South Africa.

 

  1. I can’t handle such a long flight 

At first sight, this seems the perfect excuse, but nothing is less true. The flight to Johannesburg or Cape Town is about 11 hours when you depart from Belgium. Usually you have 1 stopover in London or Frankfurt. The biggest advantage of South Africa is that Belgium and South Africa are located in the same time zone so no struggles anymore with reaching family or friends.

 

  1. Water sanitation and hygiene must be terrible?

Again, this is not true! Did you know that drinking water in South Africa is quite safe when taken from the tap or faucet. In fact the tap water is said to be some of the safest and cleanest in the world! The Ministry of Water and Forestry recently reported that the South African standard is comparable to the standards of the World Health Council (WHO). Important to know, South Africa is 40 times larger than Belgium. You can never make a judgment about the whole country. We have been in Hoedspruit and Cape Town, where the tap water was drinkable. Now we have to say that the water has a fairly dominant chlorine flavor .
Concluding, we can say that tap water is drinkable and safe!

 

  1. What does an underdeveloped country with a lot of poverty have to offer except for the safaris?

‘You only travel to South Africa if you want to spot elephants and giraffes on a safari.’ This is something a lot of people think when traveling to Africa. South Africa has many other aspects. There is a reason why South Africa is called ‘the land where you can see the world‘. The beautiful and varied nature, the impressive animals, the wonderful weather, the fantastic food, extensive offer of wines and the friendly South Africans are just a few examples of what this country has to offer.
 Soon we will publish an extensive blog post about our highlights of South Africa!

  1. What about all those dangerous diseases?

Those vaccinations are mandatory:

  • DTP
  • Hepatitis A: CDC recommends this vaccination because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in South Africa, regardless of where you are eating or staying.

The vaccinations are fairly standard for those who like to travel to distant destinations.

There is only malaria present in the eastern part of the country, including Kruger Park, but this is only in the period from September to May, as there are almost no mosquitoes during the winter.

Zuid-Afrika wilde dieren

Moholoholo Animal Rehabilitation Centre

Our stay

 

We stayed in the luxurious villa of Lowveld Escape located in Zandspruit bush & aero estate in Hoedspruit. This is a project of 2 Belgians who are passionate about African nature. 15 years ago Erika and Peter did their first safari and fell in love with the South African bush with all its charm. After a few safaris and African countries on their list, they decided to pursue their dream. A house in the wild nature of South Africa.

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