Seven Things Not To Do in South Africa

Seven Things Not To Do in South Africa

by Carson eCommerce Collaborator January 29, 2019

South Africa is one of the top tourist destinations in the world and there are thousands of people, blogs and magazines telling what you should do in South Africa. There are, however, very few that tell you what not to do. Knowing what not to do in South Africa could save you a lot of hassle or you could just save face. So, here are 7 things not to do in South Africa.

South Africa is not so wild

There is a common misconception that South Africa is overflowing with wild animals. This is not so. So, do not expect to see Lions, Giraffe and Elephants on landing at O R Tambo in Johannesburg or Cape Town International Airport. You will be amazed how many people expect this, of course, many South African’s will joke about having a lion in their back garden but only a very few are telling the truth.

Be tech savvy

Tourist, South Africa, Flashy, rich

Your fancy cameras and mobile phones are like magnets to opportunistic thieves in South Africa. It is easy to flash your tech around and in many cases, it is instinctive but do not do so, instead, be very wary of who is around you at all times and keep the closest of close eyes on every piece of technology.

Do not forget South Africans tip

One of the things that many tourists fail to understand is that tipping your waiter or waitress is the norm in South Africa. Not tipping is seen as impolite and almost an insult and unless the service was diabolical you should not forget to tip.

Don’t flash the cash

In the same manner as not showing off your technology, your cash should never be made overly visible. Cash is king among thieves in South Africa and presenting a wallet full of cash can soon see it disappear leaving you penniless. Plastic and mobile app payments are taken nearly everywhere in South Africa, so instead of carrying wads of cash consider other payment options.

Don’t touch the animals

Dasie, South Africa, Tours Africa, Animals

Even though you will not find the Big 5 on the runway of the main airport you land at, wild animals are, nonetheless, very much a part of South Africa. Some wild animals can get very close to you, even in the wild and in so-called safer safari type situations. However, the biggest word of advice that can be given is to not touch the animals. Even stray cats may seem tame in the street but if they scratch, you could contract anything from rabies to HIV.

Don’t be in a rush

In South Africa, there is such a thing as African time and things tend to go slower. In Cape Town, Capetonians take this to a completely new level of chilled. Don’t be in a rush in South Africa, remain patient and keep cool. Rushing will get you nowhere fast, and plus you are on vacation so what are you hurrying for?

Don’t call it a ZeeBra!

This is the one big thing not to do in South Africa, and game rangers and tour guides frown at this. The horse-like animal with stripes, yes that one, the one that gets chased by lions and leopards. It is a “Zeh-Bra” not a ZEEbra. So please, when in South Africa do not forget and do not get it wrong.

Welcome to South Africa!


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Carson eCommerce Collaborator
Carson eCommerce Collaborator


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