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Reasons To Be Careful: South Africa

Clifton-Cape-Town

The murder this week of a young honeymooner in Cape Town has once again put that troubled nation's crime levels in the spotlight. A good World Cup and a drop in the murder rate (from 18,528 in 2005/6 to 16,834 up to March 2010) have been good news, but the carjacking-killing has once again reminded us that if you're thinking of going, you need to be extra careful.

Car-jackings across the country are up 1,000 to 13,902, according to South African police records, meaning they occur at a rate of 38 a day. And 187 sexual offences per day were reported in the same period.

The Western Cape (the area of which Cape Town is capital) has the nation's second-highest murder rate, at 42.4 killings per 100,000 people, 10 above the national average. 

Some tips for the traveler determined to visit South Africa: don't hike or walk alone, ask for advice on safe areas at your hotel, never stop to assist apparently stranded motorists and make sure you don't LOOK like a tourist, with carelessly slung videocameras and money belts.

And choose your beaches carefully: this is not a country to seek out a secluded empty stretch of sand. Instead, opt for somewhere busy, well policed and managed, such as Cape Town's Clifton suburb. The beach, shown above, is regarded as safe. Clifton's 3rd Beach is a favorite gay spot.

Clifton-Cape-Town

The murder this week of a young honeymooner in Cape Town has once again put that troubled nation's crime levels in the spotlight. A good World Cup and a drop in the murder rate (from 18,528 in 2005/6 to 16,834 up to March 2010) have been good news, but the carjacking-killing has once again reminded us that if you're thinking of going, you need to be extra careful.

Car-jackings across the country are up 1,000 to 13,902, according to South African police records, meaning they occur at a rate of 38 a day. And 187 sexual offences per day were reported in the same period.

The Western Cape (the area of which Cape Town is capital) has the nation's second-highest murder rate, at 42.4 killings per 100,000 people, 10 above the national average. 

Some tips for the traveler determined to visit South Africa: don't hike or walk alone, ask for advice on safe areas at your hotel, never stop to assist apparently stranded motorists and make sure you don't LOOK like a tourist, with carelessly slung videocameras and money belts.

And choose your beaches carefully: this is not a country to seek out a secluded empty stretch of sand. Instead, opt for somewhere busy, well policed and managed, such as Cape Town's Clifton suburb. The beach, shown above, is regarded as safe. Clifton's 3rd Beach is a favorite gay spot.



The murder this week of a young honeymooner in Cape Town has once again put that troubled nation's crime levels in the spotlight. A good World Cup and a drop in the murder rate (from 18,528 in 2005/6 to 16,834 up to March 2010) have been good news, but the carjacking-killing has once again reminded us that if you're thinking of going, you need to be extra careful.

Car-jackings across the country are up 1,000 to 13,902, according to South African police records, meaning they occur at a rate of 38 a day. And 187 sexual offences per day were reported in the same period.

The Western Cape (the area of which Cape Town is capital) has the nation's second-highest murder rate, at 42.4 killings per 100,000 people, 10 above the national average. 

Some tips for the traveler determined to visit South Africa: don't hike or walk alone, ask for advice on safe areas at your hotel, never stop to assist apparently stranded motorists and make sure you don't LOOK like a tourist, with carelessly slung videocameras and money belts.

And choose your beaches carefully: this is not a country to seek out a secluded empty stretch of sand. Instead, opt for somewhere busy, well policed and managed, such as Cape Town's Clifton suburb. The beach, shown above, is regarded as safe. Clifton's 3rd Beach is a favorite gay spot.

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