Yes it is. Just like all other countries it also depends on where you go. Mid cities are the most dangerous but if you're coming to South Africa I assume its to see all the beauty our country has to offer. People here are very warm and friendly. If you need help with anything all you have to do is ask. Still, be alert and observant. Tourists like anywhere else are seen as easy targets as they tend to carry money and expensive cameras and so on. So take all the same precautions you usually would and enjoy your trip! about 8 years ago
I agree, yes it is - with a few notable exceptions. As Nicole said, mid-town in any of the big cities can be intimidating, especially after dark. Best thing to do is ask your hotel concierge or locals about the places to avoid.
If you rent a car to drive down to the Cape of Good Hope (outside Capetown) watch out for the baboons, they're very aggressive and have been known to smash their way into cars to get food!
Also, in Capetown - people hiking Table Mountain have been mugged and robbed. Plus, best to avoid the mountain at night.
Pay the parking attendant a couple of Rand to look after your car at tourist destinations. NOT paying is tempting fate, if you know what I mean.
Durban beachfront is a notorious crime spot.
Hailing cabs on big city streets is for the adventurous. More cautious travellers should ask their hotel to organise transport (they'll also provide you with a phone number to call when you're ready to return). The car won't be marked as a taxi, but you'll pay a very reasonable rate. The same applies with taxis from Jo'burg and Capetown airports.
Sightseeing at any "township" ( a polite word for the shanty towns where the majority of black South Africans live) is safest with an organised tour.
South Africa is a place where you need to be aware of where you are, and act appropriately. Having said that, it's a brilliant place to visit.
I've written a couple of journals about my travels there and you can read them here: http://journals.worldnomads.com/philsylvester about 8 years ago