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Taking the Cape

For many avid travelers venturing to the far-flung regions of Africa is something that has been etched on their bucket list since an early age. However, many people are often deterred from traveling to developing countries for a myriad of different reasons. In the case of South Africa, the region has often been documented for its various dangers, such as car jacking, by seasoned travel industry journalists.

While the journalists do have a point to a certain extent, the country’s government is doing their best to eradicate the problem. After the problem seemed to increase in 2012, Africa Check reported that the government saw to a wholesale clamp down on such issues due to it having a detrimental affect to the citizens of South Africa and its travel industry.

But with South Africa’s tourism board claiming that there annual inboard travelers is approaching the 10 million mark, it seems that the country’s tourism industry is beginning to gather some steam once more amid all the perils that are rife within the country. So, without getting too consumed by the risks of traveling in unsafe areas, we are going to concentrate on the marvels that the country has to offer.

Kirstenbosch_-_View_from_the_Botanical_Gardens

Photo from Wikipedia

One of the most wondrous and rural sights that you can take in while in South Africa is the Cape region where rolling hills are abound, vegetation, beautiful scenic backdrops and wildlife litter the coastline and countryside. Millions of tourists visit the Cape region predominantly to get away from the hectic scenes of places such as Durban and Johannesburg where urban life can be quite overwhelming.

Cape Town isn’t without its artsy areas either, the Old Biscuit Mill is testament to this. Albeit, the Mill is situated in a nearby village called Woodstock, it is an amalgamation of workshops, night markets, farm stalls, designer artsy outlets, there’s even the odd festival that’s held at the Mill. But it’s probably the unique myriad of people that frequent the Mill that will captivate most visitors as it exhibits a very warm-hearted and welcoming atmosphere. And its pretty much gems like the Mill, which make South Africa a lovely place to visit amid all the controversy.

For the historians among us, or politically minded, Telegraph journalist Gavin Bell lamented on the useful political tours that offer and insider’s view on the rigors of South Africa’s past and present governments. Museums such as District Six Museum and Robben Island are much-visited establishment that aim to teach visitors about the apartheid which ended in 1990.

And the list is endless – the country is truly beautiful if you peel away the murky skin besmirched by the media that has tarnished the country’s name for many years. Like every country there are downfalls and complexities to its nature. However, underneath such revelations is a beatific country that offers you once in a lifetime opportunities such as catching a cable car up Table Mountain or to swim in the revered Beta Beach.

To help aspiring visitors of South Africa we have also included some other tips below that will try and help with your budget constraints while in the country and also to avoid some other hurdles along the way, too.

Be wary of hidden taxes with internal flights
If you are catching internal flights while in South Africa, the cheapest flights aren’t always the best. Parking4Less, a UK-based company documented on their website that many small airlines add hidden costs to their flight tickets to make amends for the initial low costs. Hidden taxes such as these can impact on your budget.

Always used authorized travel…
It goes without saying, but at no point while you are in South Africa should you be traveling in a vehicle that isn’t authorized to offer public transport.

Always hide your pin…
Make sure when using an ATM in the country that you hide your pin number as you are inputting it. Credit card fraud is rife in the country and this is something you definitely have to be wary of during your trip.

Try to blend in…
In many African countries, frequent visitors will say that you should do your best to blend in and not look like a tourist. Try not to flaunt and valuables – you should avoid wearing them in busy cities or at least conceal them.

Avoid walking in isolated areas…
Whenever you are traveling to somewhere you are unfamiliar with, make sure to ask hoteliers first what are the “safer” areas of the place you plan to visit. Do not walk down streets that are isolated alone, or even with company for that matter.

Hopefully, the above article will have provided you with the insight you need if you are planning to visit Cape Town or any other region of South Africa. If not, then hopefully it will have at least intrigued you to engage in some more reading about the wonders that the country possesses.

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