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Please Note:  The "Namibia-1on1-group" sites are all about relevant information that you, as a prospective visitor to the Southern African Region, should be made aware of, and I think it would be negligent of me to omit the following warnings. However, the below information is in no way intended to deter you from visiting here. It is simply to make you aware of the some of the dangers that exist. This is Africa, and you would be wise to adopt the attitude that even most of the animals have to, "Stay alert at all times as there are 2-legged predators at around."


South Africa and Namibia are two beautiful and wonderful countries with breathtaking scenery. It's a special part of Africa. Apart from the criminal element  you'll generally find us, regardless of colour or creed, to be a fun loving, friendly and helpful people, so come - enjoy us and the lands that we love, so much. We wouldn't live anywhere else!


  South Africa 

Many overseas visitors to Namibia transit through South Africa either landing in Cape Town or Johannesburg. The following information should be read and understood.

Johannesburg's Oliver Tambo International Airport: The busiest airport in Africa. Modern, with all the fancy tiling and cosmetic decor to lull you into thinking that you have arrived in a place that functions efficiently. Do not be fooled. This airport is a National Disgrace insomuch that ... Your baggage simply isn't safe. The 'convenient' problem is that more than one companies are involved in the baggage handling, thus they all blame the other, and nobody, not even the Airport Authority who outsourced the task to these companies will listen to your complaint. Typically, nobody wants to be held accountable or responsible for honesty and integrity. Following announcements that the problem was being attended to, there has been a nearly 40% increase in baggage theft during the past year.


British Airways / Comair took the initiative to handle their passengers' baggage by themselves. The theft rate of their passengers baggage has seen a dramatic decrease and they seem to be leading the field at the moment.


My strong recommendation is that you only make use of good quality baggage that can be securely locked. Using baggage that close by the use of a zip having a cheap lock could lead you into deep problems.

Car Hi-Jacking: South Africa, and particularly the Western Cape and Johannesburg surrounding area, in some perverted way, sports the macho-image of being the car-Hi-Jack-Capital of the world. Be warned. Hi-Jackers in South Africa are usually armed with either hand-guns or military assault rifles (AK47s). It is difficult to give advice as to what actions you should take if you fall into this most unfortunate of predicaments. Remember that down here, a life is worth nothing. People get shot and killed, just for fun, so please be careful. Don't pull over onto the road-side. Don't allow a car to pull along-side you and then try to push you off the road. Drive defensively and remember your vehicle, if used correctly  can be used as a pretty formidable defensive weapon if needs demand. A dent or two (or even worse) could be better than the alternative. Should you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of peering down the wrong end of a gun barrel, then possibly the approach of,  "OK. Take my car and goods, but leave us alive", is the most pragmatic.


Plan Your Route: If you haven't got a map of the Cities you are visiting you are strongly advised to get one up-front and thus pre-plan the routes you will be taking. If you have a travelling partner with you who can act as a good navigator, you should work together as a team. The Golden Rule is Do Not Get Lost and pull over to the side of the road to ask directions. Never allow a group of people to surround your car when you stop.


Driving in Cape Town: As you leave the Cape Town Airport you will access the N2 Freeway that runs between Somerset West and Cape Town. You will see thousands of squatter dwellings along-side the Freeway. The mass migrations of rural dwellers to the city's surrounding areas have brought with them imported unemployment, poverty and thus an increased and unchecked crime level. This stretch of road is dangerous. You must not pull over and stop on the side of this road. The chances of you being mugged or even worse, if you stop are considerable, so beware.


Driving in Johannesburg Area:  This area is the business hub of South Africa. It is busy, fast moving, and aggressive. Your driving skills will have to meet these requirements. Avoid the business rush hour traffic, if at all possible.



Consider this:  All of the nice friendly South Africans that you will be meeting have, over the past 10 years or so, of the 'New South Africa" have had to learn to live with this lawlessness as part of their daily lives, and in the knowledge that the existing situation isn't going to be 'put right'. You, as a visitor, just want to 'get on' with your vacation, so my advice is, once again, 'Stay alert at all times as their are 2-legged predators around'.


Law and The African Judicial Systems: A casual study would reveal that the collapse, appears to be either a lack of "Political Will" or just simply a lack of capability to make the system work. In Africa things tend to go rotten from the top down. It's reckoned that over 80% of crimes for which charges are laid and cases opened never even get to court (and these include: murders, rapes, armed robbery, hi-jacking, assaults etc.)



The situation in Namibia is not as bad as in South Africa. However, keep the above in mind. Crime has also been a boom industry here for more than a decade, and along with this general state of lawlessness there has also been a boom in industries supplying all kinds of security services from the latest electronic surveillance equipment, manufacturers of burglar bars and gates, and the supply of security guards. You'll see the latter just about everywhere.


Taxis in Namibia: In Windhoek, the local Taxi-Drivers-Association estimate that about 60% of taxis operating are illegal. Many of these vehicles are involved in crime and used as get-away cars, and there are instances where tourists have been mugged and sometimes assaulted. If you intend using taxis in Windhoek, the management of the accommodation establishment where you will be staying can advise you of a reputable service. Alternatively you could print out the Shuttle Operator page from our Namibia-Tour-Guide site (link below)

 Golden Rule:  Always negotiate and firmly establish the price of the ride before you get in the taxi or shuttle bus. I have spoken to many tourist who have been charged up to 5 times the accepted cost of the ride.


Self Drivers: If you are on a self drive holiday, you should remove all goods from the passenger area of the car and place them in the trunk, where they can't be seen, when leaving the vehicle parked and locked. In the larger Namibia towns you may be approached by a person offering to 'Guard your vehicle while you are going shopping or to a restaurant'. Make sure that these persons are 'Car-Guards' they should be wearing an SMOCK bearing the name of the organization they represent.


Car Guards and "How much should I tip them.  "How much should we tip them?" ask the visitors. If I go into a shop for 30 minutes or so I pay them one-Namibia-Dollar (1NAD) . If I go into a restaurant and take a couple of hours I pay them five-Namibia-Dollar (5NAD).


OK. That's the bad-news, and it's usually outweighed with the good, so now you can get on with the planning of your holiday.

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