Pretoria Warnings and Dangers
South Africa offers an exciting array of destinations. It also has a stark juxtaposition between wealthy and poor, which can cause an elevated level of crime. Here are some of the dangers you need to watch out for.
High Crime Rate
Most of South Africa has suffered from an elevated level of crime as about 10 percent of the population holds 90 percent of the money. There is a stark contrast between middle class and the poor, with very few opportunities to move out of the poorer classes. Due to this, you will see an elevated level of crime. Due to this, you need to practice caution at all times. While not as dangerous as most other nations in Africa, you need to be smart about what you do.
High crime levels are not just due to locals though. As South Africa is one of the wealthier nations in the entire continent, many individuals migrate from neighboring countries, which has increased crime in recent years.
It usually is pretty easy to identify tourists in Pretoria, as is the case with most of South Africa. With that said, you don’t want to mark yourself as an overtly wealthy visitor. This only heightens the chance of you being robbed. Put away your valuable watches and jewelry. Wear comfortable but not outlandish clothing so you blend in without showing off your money.
Renting a Car
Car travel in South Africa is pretty cheap when you rent a car. In Pretoria the traffic is not as bad as in Johannesburg, so traffic accidents are not as common. Driving in South Africa is very similar to that in rural Great Britain, including driving on the left side of the road. Buses do not stick to a set schedule so these can be unreliable, dirty and time consuming. There also is not an extensive train system either, so you’ll save both time and money by renting a car.
If you are out at night avoid walking down dark streets. Stick to populated areas and you should be fine. If you have to walk more than a few city blocks it is best to hail a cab. Make sure the cab is clearly marked and that the driver has his or her identification readily visible. If either the cab is not marked or they don’t have their ID on display you need to step out and look for a different cab.
The most common crime in Pretoria is a pickpocket. If you have a wallet, place it in your front pocket. You can wear a travel belt or money protector, although these can become more of a nuisance than anything else. You can wear a purse as well, just make sure the strap is over both shoulders so it is not easily snatched.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about dangers and warnings in Pretoria, South Africa.