Johannesburg South Africa
I'll be heading off to South Africa in a couple weeks... I'm doing some safari tours for my aunt's company out there indefinitely.
No idea what to expect.... I'm white and I'm a small framed girl. My brother lived out there for a few years and I've heard some ummm.... interesting... stories. I want to shoot the hard stuff, like the poverty, but of course it's probably a bit dangerous...
Is it as bad as they say? Worth the risk? I was considering hiring a bodyguard...
Anyhoo any advice/stories about South Africa or spots to check out would be totally appreciated! Cheers!
I haven't been there yet, but many of my colleagues...in fact, one is from South Africa. He's told me some.....interesting (meaning scary).....stories also. Particularly in Johannesburg, the crime can be a significant problem. Capetown is better. I'd say wait until you develop a network of local friends who can help you to understand where it is safe and where it isn't. Like any other city, just don't look like someone worth robbing and you'll be halfway there.
Back from Africa! It's an amazing place. I did South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Just thought I'd mention a few things in case anyone does end up going down there and randomly reads this thread...
1) Joberg was my least favorite city... pretty not safe, particularly for white females. If you're a guy you're a bit better off, but not completely. Stay behind the electric fences and you're fine... be super careful if you plan on wandering off because chances are you will be robbed... Everywhere else is amazing, so you're not missing much if you skip that town.
2) BYO film. Southern Africa has pretty much given up on film entirely. There's Superia 200, which is just about the only film you're going to find in 90% of photo stores. finding 4 different isos took me through 8 photography shops and an entire day in cape town, and there's only one analog photo store in Johannesburg apparently. I wouldn't even count on finding anything North of SA. In SA, You're lucky to find anything generic for film really, let alone be able to CHOOSE what brand you'd prefer. And if you do somehow discover some unexpired pro film, it'll be around $15usd a roll. ouch!
3) BYO spare lenses, just in case. Photography equipment there is literally twice what you'd pay in the US. You also run a 50/50 chance of not getting things in the mail, so you can't count on that either.
4) Southern Africa is a photographers paradise. Seriously. Highly recommended <3