Travel to South Africa. South African DH flatly refuses - says its too dangerous(16 Posts)
Our kids (12,9,6) are desperate to return to SA. DH is South African, I am English (grew up in SA and left in my late teens).
We returned to SA after many years but it didn't work out - we found the crime, poverty and corruption to be deal breakers. We moved to Australia and love it here.
It's been 5 years and the kids are constantly nagging - especially the older one to go back for a holiday.
The problem is that in the past 2 years, our closest family friends were shot in their home, DHs uncle was shot outside a shopping centre and there have been a number of lesser things happen to other friends/relatives. All miraculously survived.
Because of this DH flatly refuses to consider a holiday. I see his point but feel badly because the children are missing out on know their family.
Relatives house - which is a big part of the problem. DH says there he is no way he is paying good money for a holiday behind an electric fence.
Where in SA? As that would make a big difference to me. My DH is from Cape Town and things aren't so bad there, at the moment, anyway. It must have been hard to leave.
Cape Town. Sadly it's getting worse there by the day.
The gang violence and drug culture, whilst very well disguised from tourists in glitzy hotels is out of control.
Arrange a cheap holiday in Mozambique and get your relations to drive over.
We always stay with relatives in their homes and so far have been very lucky not to have experienced any of the horrors you read and hear of ourselves. We took then 8 month old dd back last February and I must say I was very anxious about it, although all was fine.
Is it getting worse? We were hoping to go again next year.
Do you think it would be painful to go back for your DH? I mean, it must have been very difficult for you all to uproot.
Bump - not a bad idea. Mozambique is a helluva drive from CT though
Yes it is definitely getting worse. Violent crime is statistically on the increase - latest report came out a few weeks ago. Cape Town, which has always been a bit of a "haven" is not as protected as it once was.
To be honest we left and other than missing family have never looked back. Criminals are opportunists in the extreme in SA. The final straw for us was an attempted home invasion on the very day DH had been admitted to hospital. I triggered the alarm and the armed response came out, which disturbed them. I shudder to think what would have happened if I had not been sleeping with one eye open.
We have been several times as tourists and both my children spent a term in a South African boarding school on an exchange programme a few years ago. We have found South African homes to be very well guarded and I would not want to live like that. However, we found the Garden Route to be far less security conscious, eg Knysna was pretty relaxed. I think on holiday, you can stick with tourists and tourist destinations and then you are less vulnerable. We hired a car and drove on roads where we saw few other cars but never felt unsafe. Lots of South Africans talk about security all the time, as you will know, but I think it would be a real shame to never go back. SA friends of ours have now left SA for London but they go back to see friends and family and they had suffered a murder in the family too. We stayed in relatively inexpensive guest houses which were fabulous. They were not glitzy hotels. Guest houses are the best bet. Not an electric fence in sight. We were well aware of no go areas and had been well briefed by our SA friends. No townships for us! I would not have missed SA for anything and the school my children went to was fabulous although DC thought the guards at the school and high fences were to keep the children in!!! The innocence of youth.....
I think I have answered my own question. I am usually pretty relaxed and not terribly risk averse, but I'd never forgive myself if something went wrong.
DHs family point out that we have travelled with the children in China, India, Cambodia. I suppose ignorance is sometimes bliss.
Yours was my viewpoint. I am so torn.
I would love to go to South Africa. But I hear so many scare stories...
Spent 3 months travelling around Kenya in the 80's and West Africa (Mali, etc.) in the early 90's...
Weird, I can't find my Lonely Planet Cape Town... is that a sign?
I can understand your concern. My H is South African too but from Jo'Burg. He last went (when his father died) 2 years ago and I was beside myself with worry. We've promised the children we'd take them on safari but I'd avoid any of the cities. Is there anywhere you could stay which is more touristy which isn't too far for your relatives to come to meet you?
I'm from Kenya. Been in the UK for a long time. Would love to take the DC's on safari and to Mombasa. But we wont be doing it. Things have changed a lot since I used to go to Kenya for my summer holidaya. It is a much more volatile and unpredictable region and it simply is not worth the risk to go there just for a holiday.
I took my DC to Cape Town a couple of years ago. We did lots of touristy things within an hours drive of the centre of Cape Town and always felt safe. In fact it was my fave holiday. So beautiful, good value, so much to do and see, lovely food and warn, wonderful climate. I'd wanted to go for years and Cape Town far exceeded my expectations.
We go every couple of years (with DS now 7) and stay with family and friends. Based in Western Cape so visit CT a lot. Always have a great time and feel safe. To be honest it's not much different to some areas in the UK/USA....
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