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Young foreign white woman alone in Durban..

edited June 2013 in - South Africa
Hi guys! I am Australian who has lived in Johannesburg for 4 months. I am doing a month of travel then back to Aus. Unfortunately I don't have a travel buddy every step of the way. The first place I must venture on my own is Durban.

I am a petite, white, young blonde girl.

I have traveled to Cape Town and done the Garden Route, to Swaziland and to the Karoo, I have hired cars and driven and had no problems. I've never been alone though!

I am planning only 2 days in Durban, hoping to spend a few hours of the first day at the flea market and a few hours of the second day at a beach, hoping to look into a horseriding tour or something so I am not totally alone. I plan to get taxis organised by the backpackers to and from both the market and the beach. I do not plan to go outside after dark and I plan on doing no exploring on my own.

I am aware of risks and have a few strategies up my sleeve. However I just typed into google 'Durban Reviews' and it sounds AWFUL. Like, you're going to get mugged, raped or murdered.

I remember people saying this about JoBurg before I arrived and by staying out of the 'dodgy' areas and making intelligent decisions I have been fine. Is it the same situation in Durban? I think I need some reassurance that I will be OK!! I get there on the 16th when they have a big sports thing on so it will be a busy time...


  • I am a petite, white, redheaded woman, and I lived in Durban for seven years without any problems. You'll be absolutely fine. Listen to the recommendations of the people at your backpackers, and avoid the beachfront or South Beach area at night. I'm sure you know all the usual tricks: don't show valuables like cell phones or cameras on the street, always walk like you know where you're going, etc.

    Which flea market are you going to? I'm not sure exactly which days you'll be there, but there are some nice ones. The best for tourists is the Victoria Market, which has everything from schwe-schwe fabrics to Indian spices and hand-carved drums. It's in a bit of a dodgy area though, and some visitors find it intimidating to walk through the taxi ranks and muti (traditional medicine) sellers, so if you can find someone else who wants to go I'd recommend it... having said that I've been there alone without hassle.
  • You should be absolutely fine. It sounds like you're doing your research - it helps a great deal to know a bit about areas to avoid and common crimes in the city etc. Durban is a fun city and less intimidating than Joburg. Enjoy!
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