Under normal circumstances, South Africa generally makes for a fantastic summer holiday. But since the pandemic, is it safe to travel to South Africa right now? We answer all your questions so you can make an informed decision about your next travel.
South Africa is currently under Alert Level 1 of lockdown, which has certain restrictions. While international travel to and from South Africa has resumed, only certain countries are allowed.
Furthermore, once you’re in the country, expect the usual night-life to be quieter than usual. Current capacity restrictions mean it might be harder to enter an establishment, and there’s a curfew from midnight to 4AM.
International travel is currently limited to Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, the primary airports. That shouldn’t be a problem for most tourists, as you will likely want to start in one of these cities as your starting point.
If you choose to travel to South Africa, you will require a negative COVID-19 test (PCR) taken 72 hours before you arrive in the country. If you fail to provide a test, you will be put under quarantine at your own cost. You will also require travel insurance before boarding your flight as the airline will check for this.
In general, South Africa has an issue with crime and violence. You can expect small and serious crimes to occur on a regular basis. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a beautiful country to visit – just make sure you’re aware of your surroundings and don’t visit the wrong areas.
ATM fraud is also a common issue. If you can, rather make your purchases on a credit or debit card which is readily available at all establishments. If you need to withdraw cash, make sure it’s only small amounts (under $100 USD).
South Africans are friendly in general. It’s a different culture that’s beautiful. But please be aware that not everyone has the best intentions. Scams are common too and they will try pick out tourists.
Avoid waving your phone or camera around. Don’t take out large amounts of money in public view. At the moment, COVID-19 still remains a risk, so social distancing methods are suggested. You must wear a mask in public.
If you require medical assistance, rather head to a private hospital. They will provide you with better healthcare in comparison to a public hospital, and your insurance should cover this.