Planning a trip to South Africa - things you should know
For some Chinese people, a trip to beautiful South Africa is a dream holiday. The country has a diverse range of activities and destinations such as wildlife safaris, marine safaris, magnificent landscapes, colorful culture, great food, and amazing people.
South Africa [Photo: cnhubei.com]
However, before embarking on an exciting African adventure, there are a few things you should look into, as you might encounter some of these situations during your tour.
South Africa has one of the highest crime rates the world, but it is not as bad as the media portrays it to be. It should be noted that there are specific hot spots for crime. For example, avoid leaving the hotel after dark by yourself if you are in Johannesburg, but if you are on the beachfront of Camps Bay at night you should still be fine. When facing a robbery, it would be in your best interest to comply with the robber's demands. Therefore, it is best to carry only a small amount of cash and rely more on credit cards.
The second thing to take note of is the "tipping" etiquette in the country. The majority of food servers, tour guides, and hotel assistants make little or no salary. Their entire income is dependent on the tips they receive from customers. The giving of a tip shows that you are grateful for their service and you respect their professionalism.
In terms of issues regarding health precautions, you will be happy to know that you require no vaccinations prior to arriving in South Africa. Infectious diseases are under control in the country and only break out in small regions away from anywhere you are likely to visit. However, do be careful during wildlife interactions as a bite or scratch can result in injury and infections. There are certain areas where malaria remains a threat, but as mentioned, those aren't usually the areas a tour guide will take you.
It is also considered quite rude to discuss the ancestry of some traditional tribes, as they show great respect to their ancestors and do not take a liking to people who make inappropriate comments. The country is also quite sensitive about race issues as it previously suffered at the hands of the Apartheid regime.
Lastly, please take note that it is illegal to smoke indoors in public areas and also illegal to drink in public unless you are at a restaurant or bar that has a liquor license.