South Africa is the number one tourist destination in sub-Saharan Africa and much more popular than the other popular African countries (like Tanzania and Kenya). South Africa is a very rewarding country to visit but one that many people have some apprehensions about going to.

South Africa is a mega-diverse country with endless things to see and do. It is a paradise for those wanting to see the very best of nature - from deserts, to forests, to game parks, to gleaming cities, to the "Cradle of Humankind."


Is South Africa Safe?

This is likely to be the first question on everyone's minds and it is a very important question to ask. The short answer is no but it can be. Cape Town is reported to be the 8th most dangerous city in the world with another 3 or 4 South African cities in the 50 worst cities globally.

With sensible precautions, South Africa can be safe. One should always ask the locals around the area and about how dangerous it is. The Central Business District of Johannesburg should be voided - just don't go there.

Never: Walk On The Streets Drunk At Night (Especially Not Alone) - In Fact, Avoid Walking on The Streets Altogether At Night Unless Locals Say It Is a Safe Area

Take A Taxi: At Night, Always Take A Taxi

Uber: Uber Is Widely Used In South Africa, Download Uber Before Going

Some ways to reduce one's risk is to avoid paying in cash, only use the minimum needed. Ditch the wallet - they are easy to pickpocket and steal. Just put one credit card and minimal cash in one's pocket. Avoid taking a good smartphone on a night out.

Split Up The Credit Cards: Have Multiple Credit Cards And Do Not Put Them In The Same Bag

Passport: Never Carry One's Passport - Leave it At the Hotel

Related: God's Window Is Home To Some Of The Best Views In The World

Is South Africa Developed?

You will not see a lion or elephant walking down the streets of a South African city! South Africa is quite developed and has a lot of good infrastructure. South Africa is perhaps the most developed in Sub-Saharan Africa and maybe even the most developed in all of Africa.

Developed: Much (but Not All) of South Africa is Very Developed

Cape Town and other cities feel like modern developed cities. One can use credit cards for almost everything. Almost all information can be found online and tickets can be purchased online. One will find modern cities, gleaming new shopping malls, and a full range of products for sale.

That being said, there is a lot of inequality in South Africa, so parts of the cities may be little more than slums.

One can see elephants and other wild animals in the streets of Livingstone in Zambia by Victoria Falls.

Are There Racial Problems In South Africa?

South Africa had the Apartheid for a long period of time. That is long gone but there are many racial tensions in the rainbow nation. South Africa has a number of ethnic groups including many native tribes (like the Zulu), white South Africans (English and Africaneer speakers), Asians (of Indian Subcontinent descent and Chinese descent), Coloureds (descended from mostly mixed whites and blacks), and a Jewish community.

Apartheid: South Africa Is Still Healing From The Apartheid

While the country is trying to heal and forge a new way forward, there are many acute issues and tensions. These are much too complicated to go into here, just be aware that there are issues. One can read about it on the Development and Cooperation website.

Related: The Highlights That Cape Town, South Africa Is Known For, As Seen In These Tourist Pics

Is South Africa Expensive?

South Africa uses the Rand and that currency has been falling in value making South Africa cheaper for foreigners. Africa as a whole is typically not a very cheap continent to visit (especially if one is used to the ultra-cheap prices in Southeast Asia, Turkey, and other countries like that).

Alcohol: Alcohol in South Africa is Very Cheap

Is South Africa Cheap?: Yes, Fairly

South Africa will never be more expensive than the United States or Western Europe, but it is not the world's cheapest destination either.

The national park fees in Southern Africa (including Nambia) are much cheaper than those in East Africa (like Tanzania, Kenya, and Rwanda). It should be much cheaper to go on a safari here than in those countries. The largest and most popular national park in South Africa for safaris is Kruger National Park.

What Is There To Do In South Africa?

There are endless things to do in South Africa. See penguins, go wine tasting, go on safaris, go camping, swim with the sharks, and do endless more activities. Plan one's trip with and get a sense of beauty and opportunities in this country.

Next: A Guide To Visiting The Famous Cape Town Penguins