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This page is intended to dispel any concerns travellers might have on visiting South Africa in terms of crime, useful tips, what to expect, rich versus poor and some highlights that are a must for the first time visitor to South Africa.
In particular it cover the key areas of the Winelands, the Garden Route, the battlefields and wonderful valleys of Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Cape Town area.
The South African people are welcoming, friendly and very proud of their country. Yes, some are very poor and it tugs at your heartstrings to see some living in shanty towns and small functional homes, walking miles each day to/from work and school but, hopefully the investment will continue in building proper accommodation to replace the shanty towns and to encourage them into a broader field of education, and eventually the gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots" will lessen.
Nevertheless, even the have-nots are still friendly proud people who openly welcome you to their country, so smile back and acknowledge them and they will give you a big warm smile back and a wave in return.
The sights and scenery of South Africa are truly spectacular, the food is excellent and very reasonably priced compared to UK standards and the wine in restaurants and bars is less in price compared to the UK for example.
If you have time, leave the cities and visit the surrounding countryside to experience all that South Africa has to offer; and you will want to return soon for more.
Of course, you need to be sensible, but if you take the same precautions that you would if you were travelling in big cities at home, then you will have a wonderful time and return home with many memories to treasure.
And be sure to try local foods such as Ostrich and game such as Springbok/Impala etc, which are not overpowering and surprisingly tender.
Where to be cautious:
Where should you go and for how long?
For those of you contemplating your first trip to South Africa. This should hopefully give you a flavour of what to expect and what to do, so have a wonderful time in this diverse and exciting country.