As a fellow South African myself, I’m aware of the false assumptions people tend to make when thinking about Africa.
Impoverished nations, danger around every corner, rogue animals on the loose! – but I’m here to debunk some of those crazy myths and fears.
#1 Let’s start with the one thing people always go to when concerned about travels to Africa –Safety.
Yes, Africa has its fair share of crime and everyday dangers, but it’s not as scary as you think. One thing I always tell travelers is that no matter where you go, you need to be smart and know the do’s and dont’s. For example, walks alone at night are a definite no-no. And wearing flashy jewelry when out in a rural area is not a smart idea. When you think about it though, those are normal precautions people take naturally, right?
So, if crime can happen anywhere, why do we glorify Africa as the crime capital of the world?
Well, we shouldn’t. For many tribes, family and friendship are likened to wealth. They have such rich cultures, and in my experience, they can be some of the kindest people you’ll ever meet! Make friends with the local Africans and you’ll be friends for life!
Here at TravelJoy, we have very experienced local guides who will ensure your safety and make your time in their care most enjoyable! You don’t have to worry about anything!
#2 Wild Animals Don’t Run Loose.
Africa is proudly known for its beautiful wild animals, but contrary to what some may think, you won’t just see the Big 5 roaming around the city… haha
Growing up, whenever I would travel outside of Africa people would joke and ask if I lived in a hut or rode an elephant to school! Although that would have been awesome, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Yes, in places like South Africa you can often see big beautiful baboons walking about, but they are often watched by guides who keep them and the public protected. Out in Simon’s Town, you can also see African Penguins crossing the street quite often – But let me assure you, you won’t be encountering any wild lion’s out and about unless you’re traveling through a protected reserve or through the wild!
#3 AND lastly – Not All African Leaders are Corrupt.
If you’ve kept up with history and current affairs in Africa then you would know that this spectacular continent has gone through a fair share of war, poverty and corruption. Especially at the hands of their leaders – but not ALL African leaders are corrupt.
How about Nelson Mandela, ever heard of him? He was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served as the first black President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. Before his presidency, he spent 27 years in prison for conspiring to overthrow the state and was released in 1990 by President F.W. de Klerk in hopes that doing so would stop growing international and domestic pressure, and quiet fears of a potential racial civil war. De Klerk and Mandela later came together to try and end apartheid which resulted in the 1994 Multiracial General Elections – in which Mandela was elected as President of South Africa. It was a long walk to freedom, but South Africa will forever be grateful for what Nelson Mandela did to bring peace to his beloved country.
One thing you should always take into consideration is that no place is perfect. Yes, by all means, be cautious – but don’t let fear stop you from having an amazing experience!