Ways to Stay Safe When Traveling to South Africa

Vigilance is all-important when you are traveling to Africa. When you are in unfamiliar territory, you cannot take anything for granted. You have to be more aware and more careful than usual, since you won’t be able to access home support and backup. Here are 35 ways to travel safe and sound.

Research Your Destination Beforehand

  • Understand local cultures, rules, laws, crime rates, weather conditions, attitudes, etiquette, price of things and similar information.
  •  Find out which areas of your destination are considered safe to stay or travel through and which are considered shady.
  •  Read up on common scams and crimes in your destination area.
  • Read local reports on the internet and follow up on current events, especially any political unrest.
  • Learn what could be termed offensive behavior at your destination, to avoid provoking people by accident.

Checks and decisions to make …before leaving home

  • Take only as much with you as you absolutely need during your travel. The less you take with you, the less your loss in case of theft and it’s not expensive to buy clothing which you would most likely do anyway.
  • Don’t carry expensive gadgets openly and avoid looking like a tourist.
  • Take copies of your passport, fronts and backs of your credit, debit and prepaid ATM cards, traveler’s checks and other travel documents. Keep a set in your luggage and one set on you.
  • Take cards and some cash of local currency in small denominations.
  • Before leaving on your trip, visit your state department’s website and obtain travel advisories for your destination country.
  • Take copies of your itinerary and leave them with family and friends at home. Whenever you move to a different locality or register in a new hotel, message the contact numbers and contact people’s names to your family.
  • If you want to drive while abroad, obtain an international driving permit.
  • If you’re carrying medication, leave some of them in your luggage, some in your pocket and some in your carry-on luggage.
  • If you’re a diabetic or if you suffer from any other disease, carry a note from your doctor, along with your prescription and latest health reports.

First things to do on Arrival

  • Register your international driver’s license with your country’s embassy in your destination city. If anything happens on the road, your embassy will have contact information for you and will contact your family.
  • Buy a cheap phone and get a local SIM card with international calling facility.

Keep Your Valuables Safe

  • Don’t carry all your cash in your wallet. Every time you open your wallet, you risk exposure. Hide a bit of your cash in a hidden compartment in your luggage and your clothing.
  • Use your debit or credit card to make purchases as much as possible.
  • Keep your valuables such as jewelry and costly purchases under lock and key.
  • Keep your wallet in your inner jacket pocket so that it won’t be easy to steal it. Carrying a money belt under your jacket is also a good idea.

Ensure your wallet is out of reach of pick-pockets

Be Aware Of Your Surroundings

  • Don’t get fully engrossed in the sights. Make sure you look around now and then; being aware of any suspicious looking people can help prevent thefts and other crimes.
  • Get hold of the phone numbers for the local authorities whenever you travel to a new destination. Report a crime over phone the moment it occurs and follow it up with a written complaint.
  • Use a GPS if you are unfamiliar with the roads or carry a map with you and check your route so that you know exactly where you’re going and how to get there.
  • Travel with pairs as much as possible. Solo travelers are usually targeted more often by criminals than those in a group.
  • Avoid walking around in a strange area during the night.
  • In countries where the crime rate is high, manage your foreign exchange, taxi booking and other necessities with government approved agencies. Resist dealing with currency exchangers, gypsy taxis and street vendors.
  • Don’t get into a battle of words with people you don’t know. This is how con people operate; they try to engage you in a conversation and try to lead you astray.

Try To Blend In

  • Blend in as much as possible to avoid standing out as a tourist. This reduces your likelihood of being targeted for theft.
  • Learn a bit of the local language, at least enough to get answers to basic questions.

Select the Right Accommodation

It’s best to stay at a hotel/Lodge/Self Catering establishment recommended on the internet or by friends. Have a look at Moonflower Cottages if you are looking for something central in Johannesburg’s Northern Suburbs which is safe and has reasonable rates.

Things To Keep In Mind About Accommodation In Johannesburg

If you are visiting Gauteng, South Africa, Johannesburg can be described as need to see. It really is just about the most vibrant and additionally among the largest cities in South Africa. It might be regarded as the economic growth capital of Gauteng because many businesses now have their head offices here or wish they could afford to have their head offices there.

As a result accommodation in Johannesburg is at prime, and, the more central you want to go, the more costly it gets. Here are a few things you might want to be informed about regarding acquiring accommodation in Johannesburg.

Whatever accommodation you go for would depend on how long you are going to stay. For many who mean on staying just one or two days, the ideal option could be one of many hotels or bed and breakfasts which are scattered across the city.

The key difference concerning a bed and breakfast and a hotel would be the quantity of service you will get. A hotel will give you everything you would like and also at least three meals every day while a bed and breakfast will give you a place to rest plus a morning meal, however , you are left behind to fend for yourself for the remainder of the day. Often, a hotel will likely be more pricey than a bed and breakfast, nevertheless, you do get your money’s worth.

For individuals who intend on staying longer, it could be the best idea to consider renting a self catering apartment or garden cottages on a monthly basis. Not surprisingly, they’re in short supply on account of the number of people that stay in other provinces and then work in Johannesburg.

This will mean that they may be expensive, nonetheless they will still work out more affordable than staying in a hotel every day. No matter what kind of accommodation in Johannesburg you are looking for, the web will be your friend. By browsing intelligently and taking the time to compare the results, you will find the things you will need for a reasonable price, reasonable, that is, for accommodation in Johannesburg.

Within your search criteria, especially for apartments, check how far away each option is from your places of interest, no matter whether they be work or entertainment or maybe both. The closer you can get yourself around the places you prefer to be, the more you could cut down on travel expenses and so the more viable it will probably be to spend such a lot to get a place to stay.

You need to also however, contrast these fees with the running costs of staying a little bit further away. The apartment will likely be cheaper, however , you will use more petrol getting around town, nonetheless it might still be cheaper than staying two minutes from work and having to pay double the total amount of rent for the same size apartment.

Finding accommodation in Johannesburg seriously isn’t as simple as doing a search and choosing the very first place that pops up that you can afford. It is advisable to take into account aspects such as time spent in Johannesburg and how much your travel expenses will likely be. Visiting Johannesburg is undoubtedly an item for every South African’s bucket list though.

Check out Moonflower Self catering Cottages which offers ‘home from home’ nightly, weekly and monthly accommodation at very reasonable rates and is situated in Victory Park which is right in the center of the northern suburbs of Johannesburg with easy access to surrounding suburbs, shopping malls, business centers, hospitals, conference centers and the most exciting nightlife that ‘Jose’ has to offer.

Romantic Getaways in Johannesburg

The effect that South Africa and in particular Johannesburg will have on each individual can only be described as magical.  From a romantic standpoint it is an extraordinary destination.  In fact, there is no better way to share a city escape that will remain in your heart forever.

The freedom that people get to enjoy their stay here is any which way they want is another major attraction of the place. Such is the provision that people can even cook their own food here or share that homemade romantic stir fry.

These simple preparations can help you have a grand romantic escape with your partner for all those special occasion like ‘you time’, proposals, honeymoons, engagements, marriages, anniversaries or even just the opportunity to spend quality time with your loved one, even if it only lasts for a weekend.

Difficulty: Easy

Time required: the minimum is a weekend and 3 days is perfect.

Here’s How:

  1. The first decision is where you want to go on your romantic getaway. If your answer is simply “somewhere romantic,” you have many more options to consider — but they’re fun options!
  2. Moonflower Cottages offers a magical round ‘hobbit’ garden cottage with a large window overlooking the pool and garden and is situated in the central northern suburbs, close to all amenities should you wish to explore the quaint antique shops, coffee shops restaurants and bars that abound in this area and are perfect for getting in ‘touch’ by sharing those special moments
  3. Moonflower Cottages offers a special “romance package “. It offers a 3 night pay for two nights break and includes a bottle of red/white wine on arrival and fresh flowers in the room. The room has a Queen-size bed and is very private
  4. Don’t cram too much activity into the weekend. Romance and a busy schedule rarely mix.
  5. Ask for cozy/romantic restaurant recommendations and make reservations in advance.
  6. Plan something different. We know all about quiet picnic locations, secluded walking paths, and other romantic excursions or even adventures to be had in the area.
  7. Bring those special romantic amenities — scented candles, bubbles and massage lotion.


  1. Make the trip a surprise.
  2. Try something new together on your vacation, such as taking a midnight bus trip around the old and ‘supposedly’ haunted mining magnate houses of Johannesburg, guaranteed to bring you a lot closer to your partner!

Victory Park, the real ‘Jem’ of the Northern Suburbs

Just north of Rosebank and Parkhurst, you’ll find the delightful, tree-lined suburb of Victory Park. It’s nestled in the centre of a number of stylish settlements and villages being Linden, Parktown, Craighall Park, Rosebank, Parkhurst. Hyde Park, Greenside, Melville and Cresta, Victory Park is one of the safest and quietest areas in the Northern suburbs which is also thanks to the introduction of CAP or Community Active Policing which has reduced crime in this area to virtually zero and allows neighborhood children to walk or ride their bicycles through the suburb.

Close to arterial roads such as Jan Smuts Avenue and Barry Hurtzorg minutes from the Jozi city centre, and features a delightful green area of Delta Park and the Braamfontein Spruit which also attract cyclists that ride along this scenic and beautiful treed route.

The area’s within a 5KM radius is a real win –

With lush-green parks, stunning sidewalk cafés, gorgeous old homes, and plenty of character – and that includes the residents. The funky Rosebank Mall, The Zone, Hyde Park and Cresta are the closest mega amenities around. It’s here that you’ll find a fantastic rooftop market on a Sunday and plenty of activity at Zoo Lake and Moyo’s restaurant for hob nobbing with the trendy set. There are a number of cinema’s in the area including a Cinema Noveau , Ster Kinekor and New metro for unending entertainment.

You will find loads of trendy stores for those ‘different’ and unique shopping experiences and a host of fabulous, famous eat outs like Cranks in Rosebank, Tiffinies in Hyde park, Expresso in Parkhurst and an entire main street of funky restaurants and eateries in Greenside. Victory Park and Moonflower ‘self-catering’ Cottages are a stones throw from King David School.

Schools, Clinics, Amenities and Safety

There are also a host of good schools, tertiary institutions, hotels and hospitals like Milpark and Sandton clinic. The area seems to have attracted a great eclectic mix of yuppies and families, widely reflecting the rainbow nation. So it’s not unusual to spot trendy types in skinny jeans, and bohemian mommies and daddies pushing prams – all strolling about the suburbs.

People don’t walk much in Jo’burg bar the trek from the parking lot to the mall entrance, so it’s good to witness all the activity in Victory Park as well as seeing the Jewish residents walking to the Synagogue on a Friday and Saturday. There is also a Mosque for the Moslem residents and numerous Christian churches. This all gives the suburb a super vibe. There’s a buzz and you’ll feel it from the minute you arrive.


This is not your typical complex-cluttered Johannesburg suburb, which is probably why so many Victory Park homeowners are holding onto their properties. According to property experts the majority of homes in the area are freehold. The rest is sectional title schemes. Lightstone’s analysis of the area indicates that its investors are doing very well.

A property in a sectional title scheme in Victory Park in 2004 would have set you back a mere R283K. Now, five years later, your property could fetch R1,67m. That’s a nifty R1,3m return on investment. The same is true for freehold property owners who moved into this suburb in 2004. An average house back then would have cost about R1,6m. These days, it would sell for about R2,9m – again, a neat R1,3m increase in value. If, for whatever reason, you won’t be purchasing property but only visiting in Victory Park, don’t let that keep you from the hood!


The marvelous Jozi (food) Market happens every Saturday in Parktown North, on the corner of 3rd and 7th Avenue and the interesting villages of Parkhurst, Melville and Greenside have regular happening catering for all tastes. Do yourself a favor, pop past and soak it all up – It’s refreshing to see so many residents of these areas, outside of their electric-fenced homes, soaking up the some vitamin D as they peruse all the interesting items on offer.

It’s always worth a visit, if only for the Schwarma’s from Mi Vami or the nightly music at the new Cool Runnings bar and restaurant, the vibey bars up the road in Melville, Parhurst and Greenside and of course, organic goodies from the Rosebank market and … well, the whole of 4th avenue in Parkhurst, and the nostalgic feel of Lindens main drag, as both are a veritable treasure trove of boutiques, antique shops and more.