Go To South Africa

by Johnny

We’ve been in Thailand for over a week now (which is amazing, by the way…if Anna and I were any more relaxed we’d be in comas), but we wanted to say a few last words about South Africa.  To be honest, even after we booked our flights to South Africa we had some apprehension about traveling there.  Whenever we would discuss our round-the-world trip itinerary with anybody, the South Africa segment would almost always elicit a “oooh…be really, really careful” response.  One American woman we met in Croatia (who had never been to South Africa) went as far as to tell us, “If you get lost driving around South Africa, chances are you will get murdered.”  Gee, thanks for that.  Well, while we certainly kept our wits about us and used common sense (didn’t walk around alone at night, didn’t pick up hitchhikers, researched driving directions, etc.), we can’t recall a time where we felt threatened or unsafe.  To the contrary, we found South Africa to have such a joyous culture (which is amazing considering how little the majority have), and we found all the locals we met to be friendly and welcoming.  I mean, we didn’t even get murdered once!

South Africa does have a high crime rate…there’s no denying that.  But if you’re putting off visiting the country because of some preconceived notions about safety, don’t.  Our advice is to go.  Take some necessary precautions and exercise some common sense, but go.  Go for one-of-a-kind Cape Town and its Neighborgoods market.  Go for the stunning scenery of the Cape Peninsula.  Go for Bohemian Kalk Bay.  Go for the food and wine in Franschhoek.  Go for the Karoo’s magical landscape.  Go for the gorgeous coastline of the Garden Route.  Go for the culture and the smiling Xhosa people of the Wild Coast.  Go for one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world in the Drakensberg.  Go for the mind-blowing wildlife in Kruger National Park.  Go for the craftwork, art and music.  Oh my…the music.  Everywhere you go there are kids drumming, clapping, harmonizing and dancing.  Try starting your day off with this and see if you’re not grinning from ear to ear (Soweto Gospel Choir – Seteng Sediba):

Go for some perspective.  Go to South Africa.

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