Is South Africa Safe to Travel? – Tips for a Secure Visit

is south africa safe

South Africa is famous for its diverse range of landscapes. Tourists visit this country on vacations/holidays to explore memorable destinations like sunny beaches in coastal areas, Safaris, or Pretoria’s charm. As more tourists plan to do so, some of them may want to know is South Africa safe to visit.

Different places in this country can offer safety at various levels. Some cities here are considered the safest of them like Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, and Botswana. The crime index in these states is generally low. Even in terms of other aspects like food and water safety, the country seems to be pleasant for staying. For women, white, and other tourists too, certain aspects can make it secure to go to this country or even live here.

Is it Safe to Travel to South Africa?

It is safe to travel to a country like South Africa to some extent. However, safety measures should be taken while traveling to any destination. The crime rate and violent incidents can happen at any place, and you should be aware of any harmful situation that can possibly occur.

Here are the details on to what extent is South Africa safe to travel to:

  • The crime rate in South Africa can be high in some areas due to carjacking and robbery. 
  • Political demonstrations and protests there can produce violent activities.
  • Visiting such areas can be avoided when possible.
  • Crimes can occur in major cities during nighttime, especially in shaded areas.
  • Avoid walking when dark in big towns.

How Much is South Africa Safe for White Tourists?

White tourists can come to visit South Africa on vacations to enjoy the glory of the landscape here. But looking at some scenes of criminal issues, it may be less safe to visit this country at times. 

White Tourists in south africa

To clear doubts about whether or not are Whites safe in South Africa, the following information should be checked:

  • South Africa may have a concerning crime rate.
  • Cases like murder and theft, involving Whites as victims, can frequently occur.
  • White travelers or foreigners who come to South Africa should remain attentive.
  • Some places in this country are safe enough to visit for any tourist.
  • There may be no strong case reported of states of racism with White travelers.
  • But when someone attacks a foreigner, the reason could involve stealing money.

Is South Africa Safe to Visit Now?

You may be planning a trip to South Africa now with family or friends. Then you must first be aware of the situation there at present. Regular protests can happen which can produce unwanted circumstances for you.

From a political point of view, you should be aware of the following:

  • As a tourist, you can find many protests and demonstrations happening there.
  • This can turn into violence at any time and place.
  • The same can affect participants, bystanders, and even travelers.
  • You should avoid such places where marches are taking place. 
  • Instead, look for safe places to visit in South Africa, devoid of political protests.
  • Before visiting these, search about the present state of the environment there.

Is South Africa Safe for American Tourists?

It cannot be said with certainty that South Africa is unsafe for Americans. However, misdeeds or offensive situations may happen to any tourist traveling there. Besides these, Americans should be aware of a few things for their safety.

  • According to the thumb rule, Americans can travel in a group for better safety.
  • During instances of civil wars in the country, American or even visitors should avoid visiting.
  • Americans can avoid going to such places too:
    • Any isolated area where the chances of violence are high.
    • In some rural areas especially at night/dark
    • On a side street or a deserted area in S. Africa

Is South Africa Safe for Tourists?

Some tourists may consider South Africa a safer place to explore. While this is true to some degree, certain unwanted incidents can still occur. Provided that tourists are aware of where and what types of incidents can occur, they can enjoy a safe trip to S. Africa.

  • South Africa can be a safe country to visit for tourists unless they remain vigilant.
  • High crime scenes can occur in many tourist destinations and hubs of transport.
  • Criminals in South Africa can pose as fake police to rob several tourists.
  • Tourists can be faced with threats like ATM and credit card fraud.
  • Thievery incidents can happen with them on public transport or in crowded places.
  • The danger can be higher for tourists in central business cities than in suburban areas.
  • Be alert in the township/central areas in South Africa, as the use of weapons is common.
  • Cases of robbery are reported at Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

How Safe is it to Drive in South Africa?

Driving in a country like South Africa where carjacking, robbery, etc., is common, can be critical. Violent scenes can happen in major cities and isolated areas with more travelers. But security can be moderately expected when they are aware of these instances.

Drive in South Africa
  • Most of the roads are safe to drive in South Africa.
  • But the roads in rural areas of the country can be challenging and dangerous to drive.
  • Crimes on roadways can be common.
  • Wild animals roaming on the pavement can pose some challenges while driving.
  • These can include leopards, elephants, buffaloes, lions, rhinos, etc.
  • Travelers may find livestock like cows/goats roaming on the roads, creating hurdles.
  • Driving a vehicle on the road can be unsafe when not knowing properly about the area.
  • Carjacking is concerning in South Africa, particularly in some regions and roads:
    • Zululand 
    • Northern KwaZulu-Natal
  • The road heading to Kruger Park is famous for carjacking and strike incidents.
  • Highways maintained by South African National Road Agency SOC Ltd. offer safe driving.
  • Regarding driving safety and speed, vehicles have been allowed:
    • 120 km/h (75 mph) on highways 
    • 100 km/h (60 mph) in a rural area

Are Ubers Safe in South Africa to Use?

In some cases, traveling in the South African region can be insecure. In this regard, Uber is an ideal form of solution for traveling purposes. This is because Uber drivers are licensed and abide by the norms of the local government. Significantly, this indicates how safe is Uber in South Africa.

  • These taxis are safe in Johannesburg to opt for traveling.
  • Even if you check in at Cape Town International Airport, you can safely book an Uber ride.
  • A GPS tracking system has been attached to Uber cars for security.
  • An emergency button is also offered in the app.

Is South Africa Safe to Live?

South Africa can be the preferred country of people to move to because of its beautiful landscape and stunning views. Another reason can be the lower cost of living. Even with a slightly risky situation/environment, some cities are the safest of all. 

Consider the points stated next to analyze whether is it safe to live in South Africa. 

  • There are some Cities in South Africa where citizens prefer to shift to, such as:
    • Cape Town
    • Johannesburg
    • Durban
  • Many tourists come to visit here first to consider the safety level.
  • Looking at the stunning nature too, they can think of shifting to this place.
  • Citizens in these areas are very helpful and nice to talk with foreigners. 
  • South Africa is close enough to the equator bringing an all-year tropical climate.
  • Hence, even in terms of weather safety, SA is ideal for living.
  • Also, the country has the best healthcare practices in the world.

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Is it Safe to Drink Tap Water in South Africa?

The purity level of water in the country is varied based on the environment and climate of the region. However, the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation, South Africa, ensures that the water in all the areas of the country is drinkable and as per WHO standards. 

tap water in South Africa

Considering the following may help travelers to figure out whether South Africa tap is water safe to drink or not.

  • Drinking water in South Africa is considered safe and is also used in cooking.
  • In some urban areas, tap water is utilized for drinking purposes. 
  • Tap water in rural regions is not considered good for consumption.
  • Some tests are conducted in urban areas for the quality of water in some cities:
    • Western Cape 
    • KwaZulu-Natal 
    • Gauteng
  • Rural people can use a borehole system that might purify tap water before use.
  • Water may be unfit for drinking, identified by its fishy smell and metallic taste.

Why is Fruit from South Africa Safe to Eat?

Tourists who go to South Africa on their vacation or Safari can enjoy the taste of a variety of fruits grown. Also, with fruits, visitors can like the delicious salad offered. 

 Safe Fruit

One can further identify why is it safe to eat fruit/salad in South Africa by going through these points: 

  • South Africa has achieved excellence in the fruit industry for over a hundred years.
  • It has been supplying the best quality, safe, and fresh fruit/salad.
  • Whether it is grapes, oranges, or salad, all kinds of fruits are fit to consume.
  • Fruits grown here are delicious, vibrant, and sweet with A-grade quality.
  • Free State and Eastern Cape have highly cultivated lands.
  • In these cities, a variety of fruits and vegetables are found that are of high quality.
  • The same is cleaned with fresh and clean water before selling.

Is South Africa Safe for Women?

Some places in South Africa may not be safe for any tourist. Even female tourists have to remain more vigilant than male travelers. The same can be said for locals too. Depending on the region, time, and other facts, how much is South Africa safe for female tourists can be learned about.

Is South Africa Safe for Women?
  • This country has a slightly high rate of crime with respect to the female population.
  • Sexual assault cases are reported in South Africa.
  • The region has a concerning frequency of gender-based violence.
  • South Africa is usually unsafe for women and for solo female travelers too.
  • Female travelers in groups can expect better experiences in relation to security.

Are Safaris in South Africa Safe?

Visiting South Africa for a safari can be an awe-inspiring and exciting thing to do. But along with this, you should know some facts for your safety while on a safari. Speaking of is it safe to go on safari in South Africa, typically, the experience is devoid of dangers. But it can vary from one national park to another.

Safaris in South Africa Safe
  • People who went to Safari earlier had reported an amazing and harmless experience. 
  • In some parts, before going on safari, it is compulsory to get vaccinated. 
  • Thus, medical safety is something importantly taken care of.
  • Vaccination such as Yellow Fever and Hepatitis should be injected as a precaution.
  • Consult a travel agent’s clinic for other safety prevention from diseases while on a safari.
  • Travelers can head to several locations for the best safari experiences such as:
    • Kruger National Park
    • Sabi Sand Nature Reserve
    • Royal Natal National Park

Is there Gun Safety in South Africa?

Using a gun in a country like South Africa was once normal. This had induced crimes and murder cases too. The current law has put some restrictions on gun safety which have to be obeyed by all firearm owners.

  • South Africa has strict firearm-carrying rules, which must be followed by all citizens.
  • The law granting access to gun permission is replaced by the Firearm Control Act of 2004.
  • Now, the license has become mandatory in South Africa to carry guns.
  • The owner of the firearm needs to install a gun safe in his home to obey current rules.
  • This law limits the use of firearms in the country which brings more safety for tourists.

How Much is it Safe to Travel to Durban South Africa?

Durban is the third largest city in South Africa and has the highest tourist population. With its engrossing Afro-Indian Culture and sunny beaches, the city is attracting more visitors. While some areas here are safe to wander, travelers can avoid a few regions that have alarming criminal reports.

  • The city of Durban has the best safety levels for visitors.
  • Thus, the region is safe for tourists and even for residents. 
  • Certain areas have high crime rates such as townships and city centers.
  • Durban is even considered safe for solo female travelers, because of the friendly locals.

Is Botswana Safer than South Africa?

When it comes to Botswana, it is one of the safest places in South Africa. It is known for its wildlife and natural beauty. Many people come to travel here to enjoy natural and epic views. It even has less criminal data when compared to other cities.

  • Compared to South Africa, the country Botswana has low crime rates.
  • Also, there is no violence or terrorism history, which is very rare for tourists.
  • South Africa may be reporting increased kidnapping, robbery, and assault cases.
  • Excluding these, you can have an epic view of Botswana in the deserts and other areas.
  • You can enjoy safe wildlife in Botswana.

Is East London South Africa safe?

The area of East London is relatively considered secure in South Africa. It has cool beaches with a pretty coastline and with great hotels, or eating destinations. 

 East London South Africa
  • East Londen areas are generally 61% safer than other cities in the country.
  • It has reported decreased crime scenes and incidents than other areas.
  • East Londen is an admirable place for tourists, with many modern-day attractions.
  • Secure visits can be made to monuments like Nahoon Museum, City Hall, Cape Railways, etc.
  • Food and water safety are additionally observed here.

Why is it Safe in Pretoria South Africa for Traveling?

Pretoria is South Africa’s Administrative Capital. When people are traveling to this place, they can find a lot of beautiful historic monuments. Some areas in this region are considered danger-free for roaming and exploring the monuments, whether individually or in groups.

There are a few things people must be aware of regarding how much is Pretoria South Africa safe:

  • Pretoria is the best for students since it is the academic center of SA.
  • They can live here in hostels, inns, etc., without being majorly worried about their well-being.
  • Near the airport or bus stations, some instances of robbery can occur.
  • When it comes to natural disasters, the people in Pretoria can stay relaxed.
  • For explorers too, the capital city has secure experiences to offer.

Is George South Africa Safe to Go to?

The city of George in South Africa is a moderately safe place. The people here are friendly and ready to help most of the time. This can make it much risk-free for travelers. Provided that they are far from borders, people in SA can remain shielded.

  • It is the second largest state in Western Cape province and a conference center.
  • The crime index of George South Africa is low. Interestingly, the safety index is high.
  • Locals are considerate and care for the security of foreign visitors.
  • Even at night, visitors can freely roam but be vigilant of their surroundings. 
  • In case people are planning to move here, their decision can be wise.

Is Stellenbosch South Africa Safe Place for Tourists?

Stellenbosch is famous for its Cape Dutch architecture, dating to the 18th and 19th centuries. Its streets are lined up with the long oak tree, which creates a beautiful view of the city at night. But there is more to figure out regarding how is it safe to visit South Africa’s Stellenbosch.

  • Stellenbosch may not be a highly secure place to travel, especially at night.
  • Usually, it is better to travel here via Uber.
  • People may be drunkards, hence theft, murder, or accidents on the roads can happen. 


South Africa is a safe country to visit until one remains vigilant. Some places are the most secure like Cape Town. With safe drinking water, food, climate, and friendly people, it is worthwhile to come here. Nevertheless, being aware is advised to ward off possible risks to health and life.

Other safe places to visit:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Some common queries and doubts that can occur in the minds of South African visitors are stated below. These comprise questions related to the security and safety level in different parts and outside of this country.

1. Is it safe to travel to Durban South Africa?

Durban is the safest city to visit and travel to, considering appropriate security measures.

2. Is Kenya safer than South Africa?

Kenya is a safe country but so is South Africa, depending on the areas you travel to.

3. Is Namibia safer than South Africa?

Namibia is generally a safe nation with well-behaved citizens like South Africa.

4. How much is Sun City South Africa safe?

Sun City is a secure place with incredible hotels, casinos, gardens, and a sky train.

5. Is Zambia safer than South Africa?

Both Zambia and South Africa can be safe. Some areas in both places are danger-free.

6. Is Zimbabwe safer than South Africa?

Zimbabwe has the lowest crime rate than other African countries. Hence, one can feel protected.

7. Is Tanzania safer than South Africa?

Tanzania is a tourist-friendly country to visit, similar to South Africa.

8. Is Airbnb safe in South Africa?

Airbnb can offer accommodation, with mental and physical well-being assured.

9. Is it safe to hunt in South Africa?

South Africa is a suitable place to hunt in a wide area of wildlife.

10. Is it safe to rent a car in South Africa?

It can be best to rent a car in SA to explore the country risk-free.

11. Is it safe to swim in South Africa?

Swimming in the oceans and lakes of this nation is problem-free when devoid of high water waves.

12. Is Port Elizabeth South Africa safe?

Port Elizabeth tends to be a secure city until you remain vigilant, as the crime rate can be high.

13. Is South Africa safe to work in?

SA is among the fastest-growing economies, hence, being ideal to find jobs and work.

14. Is St Lucia South Africa safe?

Saint Lucia has guarded towns but some political tensions may persist.ded towns but some political tensions may persist.

15. How much is a road trip South Africa safe?

Usually, urban roads are secure for driving but wild animals may cause obstacles.

eric travelraval

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