Is South Africa dangerous? A tourists’ focus on health, security and traffic accidents

06 September, 2018

Is South Africa dangerous?
In short, yes.  Yes, it is.  South Africa is not without fault.  We have problems that need to be addressed urgently, but so do many, MANY other countries.  Let’s put it this way – if there was one country that was perfect in every way imaginable, would we all as humans not try to go and live there?  So is South Africa dangerous?  Well, let’s find out how it stacks up against other countries in Africa and around the world.

The report
In a recent report by International SOS, the company delivered an interactive map on what they consider a country’s health, security, and traffic accident status is.  According to Bored Panda, the data has been collected from “the WHO (World Health Organization) and other institutions”.  The report can be viewed here.

South Africa vs. the rest of Africa
Using the interactive map from International SOS, it is clear that South Africa is an ahead of its African counterparts.  Although nestled at the most Southern Point of Africa, South Africa is constantly in the top 3 African countries in regard to its GDP.  This is one of the factors that has made South Africa a tourist haven as many tourists feel safer in South Africa than the rest of Africa or even the world.

In the International SOS graph, South Africa ranks as low in regard to its Medical status.  South Africa has some of the best hospitals in Africa and believe it or not, the first heart transplant was done in Cape Town.  This being said, certain areas of South Africa are more prone to the deadly disease malaria than other areas.  Please consult with your doctor before visiting South Africa.

Travel Security
In this category, South Africa is ranked as a medium risk country for travel security.  That being said, fellow African countries to the north are ranked as extreme or high-risk travel security countries.  South Africa has no terrorist groups.  It should also be mentioned that if common sense is used and one does not go and look for trouble, you will not find it.  See it this way; you will not go hiking in Afghanistan in ISIS territory.

Road safety
In this category, South Africa receives the highest and most dangerous score.  In my honest opinion, I have to disagree.  Having traveled to a few other countries, South Africa’s roads are some of the safest I know.  Looking at the map provided by International SOS and the countries I’ve been too, I have to disagree with them.   Although you might get the occasional road raged driver, driving in South Africa is a lot better and easier than driving in most other countries.  Yet again, common sense will get you far when driving in South Africa.  Read our articles on a South African self-drive vacation here and here.

We all have problems
On a personal note, I’d like to talk about the time I worked as an English teacher in South Korea.  When I first arrived in South Korea, I noticed a lot of things were very different than South Africa.  After my first 12 month contract, I was convinced that this country is way better than South Africa.

  • Less crime
  • Better public transport
  • A higher paycheck
  • More travel opportunities
  • The list went on and on…

But it was during my fourth year that I started noticing all the smaller details that did not make South Korea so much better than South Africa;

  • Rubbish was everywhere
  • Suicide rates were one of the highest (if not the highest) in the world.
  • The air was dirtier than South Africa
  • There were very little open spaces
  • The list went on….

It then dawned on me that even though I loved South Korea, it was not the utopian country I thought it was a few years earlier.  And this was when I decided to return to South Africa and start Xplore English.

So is South Africa dangerous?
Yes, it still is just like it was at the beginning of this article.  But I hope that this article has proven that all countries are dangerous in their own way and that these will not discourage you from visiting South Africa.  We have some amazing things here and want you to come visit us.  And when do finally come to South Africa you are more than welcome to join me on the Xplore English Animal Encounters and Adrenaline Rush Tours.

*Please note that the lion in the picture is not growling or about to attack.  It’s yawning!

Contact us

Xplore English,
P.O. Box 845
George, 6530
South Africa


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