UK and Australia have both already issued a travel advisory, now China is joining them and has issued a travel advisory for South Africa over the recurring xenophobic violence since the last two weeks. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government issued the travel advisory via its website on April 20th with the following detail: “Residents intending to visit the country or who are already there should monitor the situation, exercise caution, attend to personal safety and avoid protests and large gatherings of people.”
South Africa and China have an important travel trading relationship and the latest problems in South Africa will further disturb tourism in this beautiful but troubled country. There has been a notable decline in tourism as a result of these problems.
The UK and Australia have also added warnings of the recent xenophobic violence taking place highlighting localised disturbances and violence in Johannesburg, Durban and other parts of Kwa-Zulu Natal province. The Australian government advises a high degree of caution in South Africa due to the high level of serious crime. “There have been reports of race-related violence in the villages of Kwa Mushu and Umlazi in Kwa-Zulu Natal, and in the central business districts of Durban and Johannesburg.”
So should South Africa remain on your 2015 destination list? It would certainly be a shame to miss out on the beautiful hotels like the Four Seasons West Cliff, Johannesburg where we experienced no problems whatsoever and forgo amazing experiences like Rovos Rail and of course the spectacular safaris, but this is definitely a time to be vigilant. Keep an eye on the local press in this region and if necessary, to be prepared to change your plans accordingly. We can only hope that things improve soon.
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