I spent a month in Venezuela this past winter, and my husband is from there. I would say it is safe to visit, but only if you use caution. For example, I would not recommend any one of you walking around alone, even during the day, since kidnappings are unfortunately not uncommon. Also, I would recommend not wearing flashy jewelry or carrying valuables around with you, especially at night. If all you carry around is a disposable camera and a few bolivares, probably no one will bother you. At night, either stay in or only go out with Venezuelans you trust. Venezuela is so incredibly beautiful and full of wonderful, fun people, so it would be a shame to let a few criminals keep you away, but just take extra caution to stay together or with people you trust. Also, I didn't encounter any issues concerning political turmoil, but just follow 2 simple rules and you'll be fine - stay away from any political demonstrations and keep your opinions to yourself. As far as personal experience, I did not walk around alone or carry valuables and had no problems. My husband got robbed twice (but not hurt), because he likes to always have his digital camera and iphone and wads of cash with him and sit out by the street at night, and because he is overly trusting. Go enjoy Venezuela (especially it's beaches- wow), but please use common sense.
Hi there. I'm a Saffer by birth and got UK citizenship through my mother. I'm currently living in the UK. Last year my SA passport expired and I got the usual four month waiting time crap from London. I thus flew into Jo'burg without any problems on my UK passport. Strange thing though when I left to come back to the UK I was asked by the immigration official at ORT airport where my SA passport was as I was born in Jo'burg. I said it had expired and I was waiting for a renewed one to arrive. He informed me that it is now an offence to arrive or leave SA on a foreign passport if yr a South African citizen. This time around (Jan 2011) to avoid the four month stint, I arrived on my UK passport again and the day after I arrived, I applied for my SA passport. On the new application form it asks if you have acquired foreign citizenship. I left this blank as I know first hand a friend of mine who allowed his SA passport to expire and when he went to London office they asked for his old passport and confiscated it permanently when they realised he had another citizenship and he hadn't asked for permission prior to acquiring that UK citizenship. Anyway I collected my new passport the day before I was dure to leave but left on my UK passport to avoid being accused of flaunting SA immigration rules should I return on my UK passport. If I return to SA I will now arrive and leave on the Green Mamba.