Liveability: South Africa @ 70


South Africa comes in at 70, stellar in all that is diversity and exploration.

Vibe/Ambiance: 3
The scenery is spectacular, wildlife amazing, as people kind as can be, but I find the sense of fear so dominant, it colors much of what I see and do.

Personal Safety: 2
Although it definitely depends on where you go and why, I was reminded by my Bergville pals that personal safety is still a big issue here. You are not free to move about the cabin at your own discretion without seriously looking over your shoulder.

Transportation: 3
The BazBus is a hit for backpackers, going to all the major stops, and the greyhound and other buses link major cities, as well as a train from Capetown to Joburg.

But, a personal vehicle is the way to go if you aim to explore the untamed.

Cost of Traveling: 2
Africa’s expensive. Safaris cost close to a grand for a week, and a day trip into Kruger, guided, is in the neighborhood of $200. Prices are similar to budget restaurants and hotels in Europe.

Weather: 5
Summers are hot and winters are cool, and in-between, there’s enough to tickle your seasonal fancy.

Diversity: 5
South Africa has something like 27 national languages and infinitely more tribes and native people. It is an anthropologist’s wet dream and a nature lover’s fantasy.

Language: 5
English all the way.

Living Conditions: 4
Housing for the white folks is just like we know it in the West … with a massive security system of protection.

Career Potential: 4
I don’t really know, but I think it’s alright since South Africa remains less rocked by the global recession thanks to its more internalist policies.

Nature/Environment: 4
There is so much wilderness to explore and so many animals to see, but it’s tough to do it. A total tease, of you will, but with enough foresight, it’s manageable.

Cuisine: 3
ZA definitely has awesome gourmet food, but all in all, I found that the type of food accessible to me at my budget wasn’t particularly healthy.

Sports/Play: 1
Yes, there is loads to do, but being able to do it is the major battle. Freedom of movement is severely limited.

Animals/Dog Friendly: 3
Poaching is a big problem, but there’s also a strong level of awareness and doing-something-about-it.

Family Focus: 3
Not too sure, but it seems there’s a mix if individualism and family.

Women: 4
For educated and white women, I think it’s a completely different ball game than for the local black women, relegated to occupying a standing barely above that of property. Here, it felt alright to be a SWF on her own; it didn’t seem to clash with local values.

Art/Culture: 5
See diversity.

Communication Technology: 2
For a country as “westernized” as South Africa, I found the access to wifi and the cost of Internet limiting and unpredictable. Contrary to Asian countries, the network is poorly developed and costs an arm and a leg.

Exploration: 5
Check. Check. Check.

People: 5
Generally-speaking, people are uber accessible, welcoming, curious and patient with us foreigners

Overall: 2
Seeing as how I’ve now been to South Africa twice and plan to come back a third time–in five years, as I told the airline representative–I find it an incredibly cool place to visit.

However, I don’t think I’d want to set up shop here. Between the apparent lack of personal safety and restriction of mobility, I think I would find it a very difficult place to live in.

This entry was published on December 16, 2012 at 09:00. It’s filed under Liveability, South Africa and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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