Attitudes Towards Women
There's a high level of sexual assault and other violence against women in South Africa, the majority of which occurs in townships and rural areas. Given the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the problem is compounded by the transfer of infection.
- Many women travel alone safely in South Africa.
- The risk depends on where you go and what you do: riskiest (and not recommended) are hiking alone, driving after dark, hitching and picking up hitchers. On the coast, casual dress is the norm, but elsewhere it's culturally appropriate to dress modestly (full-length clothes that aren't tight)
- Don't go out alone in the evenings on foot; always take a taxi, preferably with others.
- Even during the day, avoid isolated areas, roadsides and quiet beaches.
- Carry a mobile phone if you'll be driving by yourself.
- Consider buying a can of pepper spray or similar to keep with you.