One response really jumps out. We’ve collected feedback from thousands of foreign tourists who came to South Africa for a safari or sightseeing trip.
The one thing that we hear the most, that surprises a lot of people, is related to the number one fear that many tourists have before they come to South Africa:
Is it safe?
And the response we get most often is wow, I never thought I would feel so safe while visiting South Africa! We never had any problems and I never felt unsafe.
Or variations of this theme:
Wow, I can’t believe how calm and stable the country is! We only hear about crime, protests and violence on the news back home!
I can’t believe how friendly everyone is!
Another common theme is about South Africa’s development. It is a country of contrasts, but most of the infrastructure is first world.
Wow! The cities, the highways, the malls, the infrastructure! This is not how I pictured South Africa.
We didn’t know what to expect, but our mental image was dirt roads with potholes, mud huts and wildlife roaming the streets.
And thirdly, the economic contrast also surprises people, and saddens people. When tourists drive past exclusive suburbs with beautiful mansions, and a few minutes later they pass informal settlements (slums) with home built shacks made from scrap materials, they cannot believe that millions of people live like this, in such poverty, in such a mineral-rich and well developed country.
South Africa will surprise you and touch your heart deeply.