South Africa is a beautiful country with a lot to offer. It has a wonderful climate, spectacular scenery, 1600 miles of coastline and it’s affordable compared with most first world countries around the globe. Sadly, it does have serious crime issues but that doesn’t stop millions of South Africans enjoying life.
The public healthcare system is in chaos, so private healthcare is essential. Compared with other countries, it’s affordable and the system doesn’t discriminate against age. There are excellent private hospitals dotted around the country, with highly trained specialists and state of the art facilities. Never forget that the first heart transplant took place at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town and this pioneering spirit still exists today within the medical profession of South Africa.
If you are moving from the UK to South Africa, you’re in for a treat. For the same price as a three-bedroomed semi in a reasonable part of London, you can buy a five -bedroomed house on a large plot, with a swimming pool and tennis court. Due to the crime problem, gated communities are very popular. They have the added advantage that children can play safely outside without having to contend with traffic.
South Africa’s public transport system is not the best, and, although efforts are being made to improve it, a car is a necessity.
South Africa can offer you anything and everything at reasonable cost. Outdoor pursuits are followed by almost everyone, from running and cycling and playing sport, to bungy jumping, white water rafting and mountaineering. With its 1600 miles of coastline, marine sports, such as fishing, diving, sailing and surfing, are also very popular and well supported.
For the wine lovers and foodies among you, South Africa will seem like Utopia. Quality wines paired with fine dining can be found in most cities but especially in the Cape and in Johannesburg.
South Africa also has a vibrant art and music scene, followed by people of all cultures. It’s the ‘in place’ to shoot movies at the moment. Not only is it cheap but the variety of locations is endless.
Let’s not forget the game parks. South Africa is full of game parks, both private and government run. The private games can be exceptionally expensive as they are geared to the overseas tourist. A fantastic experience if you can afford. The government parks, such as Kruger, are affordable, well run and offer the visitor an insight into wildlife in Africa.
Safety – a final word
Security and safety are serious issues. Problems do exist and they can’t be ignored. Like most countries, crime is more concentrated in the cities – particularly Johannesburg. If you talk to a South African, he/she will have a story to tell about a violent crime which happened to them or to someone close to them.
Simple preventative measures can help ensure that you’re not a victim.
• Live in a secure area.
• Have a security system fitted in your house (if it doesn’t already have one).
• Remember to lock doors and windows.
• Keep car doors and windows locked while driving.
• Keep valuables in the boot
• Don’t stop your car for anyone. If someone is flagging you down, report it to the police and let them sort out the problem.
• Keep a good distance between you and the car in front, so you don’t get boxed in
• Don’t drive in unsafe areas, especially at night
• Not advocating that you break the law but, very few South Africans stop at red lights late at night. They just proceed slowly over the lights to ensure they don’t hit something coming the other way!