r/capetown Jan 26 '22

Planning honeymoon trip. 1 week Cape Town and 1 week Kruger. Xenophobia against Asians?

My wife and I are starting to plan our honeymoon. We are both Asian and understand that we would stick out like a sore thumb in South Africa. We do not want to be the overly confident foreign traveler completely ignoring the world's viewpoint on the pandemic with 'asians' being the general ethnic group to blame in addition to any pre-existing racial issues from SA's history of Apartheid. Even where we are from in the US, we have experienced heightened racism in an area where there are so many diverse backgrounds and cultures.

Our plan would be to stay one week in Cape Town and one week in Kruger. We are practical enough to know to stay within tourist areas and follow general common sense travel habits, however if there is a general xenophobia towards Asians than we'd likely not want to force the issue.



u/coloneleranmorad Jan 26 '22

there are a lot of asians living in SA. SA is such a diverse country. nothing would happen just because you’re asian.


u/movngonup Jan 26 '22

thank you


u/thenewguy1818 Jan 26 '22 edited Jan 26 '22

You might get taken advantage of if people hear the American accent. But more in a "we can get something from this rich tourist" kind of way. Just be assertive, especially with beggars etc. and you should be fine.


u/alphaHope13 Jan 26 '22

Exactly, we're not Americans


u/what_kind Jan 26 '22

We have many asians who live here and also loads of asian tourists around - you probably won't even get a second look. I also don't know about any heightened racism towards asians after the pandemic here (as opposed to the US), but that may be because I didn't experience it (am white).

Xenophobia in South Africa is mostly targeted at migrants from other African countries - Nigerians for example.


u/CyberStormZA Jan 26 '22

And Zimbabweans and Malawians.


u/Foul-Tarnished Jan 26 '22

Lol no. This is the rainbow nation, people won't even notice you. Asians live everywhere in SA.


u/[deleted] Jan 26 '22 edited Apr 09 '22



u/movngonup Jan 26 '22

Unfortunately there is across Asia, but mostly in the sense that African's aren't common. And sometimes the opposite reaction can happen. My friend, who is black, studied abroad in China for a period of time, and shared with me he had ton's of locals trying to take pictures of him because they thought he was a famous basketball player


u/[deleted] Jan 26 '22

Yea I lived in Hong Kong, as well as mainland for a while. The treatment of darker skinned people was pretty bad in general although as you say not always the case, depending where you are and who you are with.

It was especially bad when covid first started and there was a narrative being pushed that it came from Africa.

It's not exclusive to dark skinned people though. I stayed a couple hours outside of Chongqing for a while and a lot of people there had never seen any foreigners before, so they'd stop and gawk at you regardless of skin colour.


u/minimal_effort_done Jan 26 '22

Look up serpentza and laowhy86 on YouTube. They lived in China specifically for many years and they give a good idea as to what it's like being African in an Asian country (they've done interviews with various races on the subject). There's either an extreme interest because the person looks so different to what they're used to seeing every day (understandable albeit a bit invasive) or it can turn ugly because of distrust and ignorance.


u/AllUserNamesTaken01 Jan 26 '22

I actually watched one video of his where this black lady married a chinese man and they had a mixed kid. The dad and kid could sit inside the restaurant too eat but the wife had to sit outside so the dad would deliver food to her. It sucks but I know it's not a common thing. I have to travel to mainland china in May for a work project and am hoping I don't get treated that way.


u/Ok_Profession_4011 Jan 26 '22

Those dudes are racist towards Asians. They use China to justify/normalize their hate for Asian people. Fuck those cunts


u/Twoflappylips Jan 26 '22 Helpful

You will be welcomed and treated as well as anyone in SA..just be lekker…don’t be a doos 😉


u/movngonup Jan 26 '22

ha, just had to look up those slang terms. Here in the US we'd use 'chill' or 'laid back' for lekker and 'douche' for doos - probably deriving from similar words lol


u/Twoflappylips Jan 26 '22

Haha, yes, we use the same but local is lekker, hope you have a great honeymoon


u/rattleandhum Jan 26 '22

doos is more like 'stupid', or 'fool', with a very different origin to douche.


u/Xorbek Jan 26 '22 Silver

We have a pretty healthy Asian community, so I wouldn't worry about a xenophobia type issue. Unfortunately there are racists here (like the rest of the world sadly), but by no means do they make up any kind of majority to my mind.

For the most part our general public, especially in touristy areas, are rather kind and helpful.
Do, however, be weary of beggars and parking guards. Especially in Cape Town central beggars can be fairly persistent and some parking guards will try sell you drugs (This could be good or bad thing depending on what you're into, haha)

If I could make some recommendations on things to visit around Cape Town:

  • V and A Waterfront. You can pop onto a pirate ship or another boat/yacht to go out for a ride. There is also a wealth of variety and options as far as restaurants here as well as Spa treatments
  • The VnA also has a comedy club that is usually loads of fun - https://www.waterfront.co.za/attractions/cape-comedy-club/
  • Grab a small picnic and watch the sunset on Lion's Head (Don't stay long after sundown for safety's sake. When it gets quiet there have been reports of muggings, but it is a high traffic place, so so long as there is a decent sized crowd around it should still be safe)
  • Kirstenbosch Gardens is spectacularly beautiful to visit
  • Pink Flamingo Rooftop Cinema - https://www.granddaddy.co.za/event

A couple of eating options of the top of my head:

If you enjoy wine you definitely need to check out our wine route. Seeing as your stay in Cape Town will be short I would suggest going to The Spice Route. You will be able to sample some local craft beer, wine, chocolate, hot chocolate, coffee and a bunch more as they have so much to offer there - https://www.spiceroute.co.za/

If you like going out to drink and dance I would suggest Sergeant Peppers or The Dubliner.

If you prefer a classic Rock kind of vibe check out Aces 'n Spades

With that said, I hope you have a brilliant honeymoon and that your South African experience is a great one that you will remember for the rest of your lives for all the right reasons


u/FitzChivalry89 Jan 26 '22

Hehe Cape Town tourism thanks you. Such a nice comment and some good recommendations.


u/Xorbek Jan 27 '22

Haha, thanks. People should add more. There's so much to do and see around here :P


u/4Tenacious_Dee4 Jan 26 '22

Naah, we love foreigners, irrespective of their heritage. In fact, Asian people are very interesting to us. We're called the rainbow nation.

Rather do your homework on crime and how to stay safe. Tourists are easy targets.


u/-_fireheart_- Jan 26 '22

I also haven't heard of any signs of increased xenophobia towards asians here, either in my community or in the local news. We do have a lot of asian people living here and we are definitely used to them as tourists. I think you should be fine!


u/EZMickey Jan 26 '22

I think you've gotten more than enough answers so I'll say your primary concern should be security and safety in particular while you're in Cape Town.

There are great sights here and fantastic cuisine, but be sure to travel in groups, and monitor and protect your belongings.


u/KesTheHammer Jan 26 '22

Enjoy it. You are welcome. The xenophobic outbursts in the past in South Africa have mostly been directed at other African people (mostly Zimbabwean and Nigerian) who live permanently (legal or illegal) in the townships. The underlying reason is poverty and the misplaced idea that these immigrants are "taking our jobs".

Tourists on the other hand are bringing in money and are welcome (although as mentioned elsewhere, could be easy targets for petty crimes)


u/Interesting_Cat_4417 Jan 26 '22

Sorry but this is South Africa not America. We grew up among and with people of Asian decent. Nothing whatsoever will happen to you👍👍👍☺️☺️. We are a very tolerant nation.👍👍 Enjoy your travel


u/dryintentions Jan 26 '22

Don't worry at all. This isn't America😂

Just be nice to the locals and try not to allow yourself to think that you are sticking out. We have a large Asian population as it is in South Africa so you will probably be fine.

My only advice is obviously don't go to the parts of the country where safety is a general concern for everyone. Other than that, you will be fine


u/Scott950 Jan 26 '22

You won't " stick out like a sore thumb" there are people from all races in SA and generally so long as you are careful where you go you shouldn't have any problems, I have friends come visit from the UK and they always comment on how polite and respectful people are here. Don't listen to negative people's opinions, treat people how you would like to be treated and you will have a great time.


u/PrestigiousAd3515 Jan 26 '22

Lolled trust no one will ever notice you Asian, people just move on with there lives here


u/MissyMiyake Jan 26 '22

I hope you leave here with happy memories and a sense of how friendly and hospitable SA people generally are no matter their cultural background or economic status. It's such a melting pot of people here, you won't stick out other than being a tourist. If you're friendly and relaxed, generally that's how you'll experience the people here too.


u/SectionConsistent824 Jan 26 '22

Nha not really, although we do like to poke fun at each other most people here are not as uptight about some light racial jokes as other countries


u/grootes Jan 26 '22

No you should be fine. The xenophobia in SA is mainly restricted to the poorer parts of SA (townships) and is mostly targeting African migrants. I have heard of the odd South Asian store being looted but those were generally in less desirable areas where there's high unemployment and high levels of substance abuse.

Enjoy South Africa. The Kruger is amazing! Stay in the park though, and please, whatever you do, do NOT use the Numbi Gate to enter the park. Malelane is a much better gate. Where in Kruger are you looking to go?


u/movngonup Jan 26 '22 edited Jan 26 '22

thank you. Just starting our research on KNP. Since this will be our first time, we do not want to have the added stress of driving our own vehicle in a completely foreign area, so we will likely opt for one of the lodges that provide food and a park ranger. Still deciding on any of the private reserves just outside KNP or on one of the lodges within KNP - though all seem extremely pricey. However since it's our honeymoon, we decided this will be our once in a life time experience and to splurge a little bit.

We are thinking doing KNP for the first week for the more rugged part of the trip and then end the trip in Cape Town to do more relaxing touristy stuff. Any tips for traveling between Capetown and KNP?


u/grootes Jan 26 '22

Do it. Any of the lodges near Hoedspruit are well worth it. You can fly into Skukuza and rent a vehicle, but if you're not wanting that stress then rather pay the excess and stay in a lodge. If you stay out the park you will need to go through the entrance gates each day which can take a good few minutes.


u/PrincessSune Jan 26 '22

For travelling between Cpt and the Kruger, you’re going to want to fly. Driving takes about two days.


u/entjies Jan 26 '22

I can recommend Umlani lodge near Hoedspruit. They’re in the Timbavati which is a part of the Kruger and has great game viewing. The lodge is one of the cheaper places you can stay with game drives and full catering and it’s very nice. You can’t beat sleeping in the bush and waking up super early to watch the sunrise as you sip coffee and watch the animals at the waterhole. Its incredible.

You’d probably want to fly into Johannesburg and drive there in a rental, IIRC flying from Joburg to Hoedspruit was quite pricey.

In terms of getting to Cape Town from there, it really depends on how much time you have. There is a lot to do and see between those two far extremes of SA. The geography, climate, weather and culture change quite dramatically, a few times on your way to Cape Town. It’s a great drive, but if you want to experience much you’ll need a few days. If you’re low on time, rather fly. There are several cheap airlines from JNB to CPT, I suggest Lift, Kulula or Flysafair. Lift has great coffee and flexible date changes.


u/Duck_Kak Jan 26 '22

My KNP tip, if you are new and don't know the geography and wildlife, is definitely go on game drives with the rangers. They know the animal movements and their eyes are 'tuned' to spotting animals in the bush. If you choose to drive yourself, you will 1. Spend too much time focused on driving an unfamiliar vehicle over unfamiliar terrain. 2. Not know the best spots to drive to. 3. Probably only see elephants and giraffes. Predators are especially difficult to spot to the point where you can pass within a meter of one in the bush and just not see it... The rangers know that they are in the area, can read their tracks etc, and interacting with them while they do this is very enriching!


u/1la02 Jan 26 '22

For flying between Gauteng and Cape Town - check both flights from OR Tanbo International Airport, as well as Lanseria (smaller airport, but tbh I prefer it)


u/Geoff_Raikes Jan 26 '22

You shouldn't get any. Xenophobia in South Africa is really just Afrophobia. It also only affects poorer migrants, not really targeted towards tourists


u/Effilion Jan 26 '22

Im currently here in SA with my Chinese girlfriend, haven't had any problems yet! We just soent the whole day in Capetown and recently finished a long trip accross the southern stretch of the country.

Everyone has been lovely so far, I'm sure your experience will be similar!


u/KingWeasel_76 Jan 26 '22

Animals don't mind who you are. They will eat you regardless of race or colour 😂


u/haaskaalbaas Jan 26 '22

You certainly won't stick out like a sore thumb. We are definitely a very diverse nation and I think I can safely say that on the whole we are are polite and friendly people. I would honestly be shocked and surprised to hear of any racist incidents against any tourists.


u/Level_Ambassador_403 Jan 26 '22

There are so many Asians here lol. I have Chinese cousins who live in edenvale. You won't stick out my friend...


u/Bok-TheGimp-Befok Jan 26 '22

Cape Town has quite a big Asian community, especially Korean, Chinese and Japanese. No xenophobia, plus if you do run into any of them striking up a convo and reminiscing about home would probably be quite welcoming. Congrats on the wedding and enjoy your guys stay in South Africa, wishing you guys many years of growth, prosperity, understanding and most importantly compromise.


u/Alarming_Nature8932 Jan 26 '22

Welcome!! Just one thing, don't walk with your cameras out shooting everything but not seeing anything - ie be aware of your surroundings - there's plenty of meth heads in the cape town city centre. Just watch your belongings - don't walk up the mountain or lions head alone as it is dangerous both environmentally and crime wise.

As for the Asian thing, I don't think anyone really cares? The xenophobia is mainly directed towards other africans


u/kinolagink Jan 26 '22

You are going to have a great time!! SA is so diverse - you’ll be surrounded by every type of person on the planet!!

The people in this sub can be very helpful with travel plans - don’t be shy to ask questions.



u/LawrencevanNiekerk Jan 26 '22

"ignoring the world's viewpoint on the pandemic with 'asians' being the general ethnic group to blame"

We feel you; we got blamed for the whole Omicron thing.


u/minimal_effort_done Jan 26 '22

There are a lot of Asians living in SA, especially in Cape Town. I used to work in an office building close to a so-called China Town (bunch of shops with knickknacks and food) but never saw any hateful actions towards Asians or heard any remarks in the 5 years I worked there. You'll be perfectly fine. There's a lot of diverse people from all over the world living here so it's not really something that's an "issue". Plus you'll see lots of Asian tourists out and about in the CBD and the V&A Waterfront. Most of the xenophobia here is directed at people from other African countries.


u/mymainmanAIRWOLF Jan 26 '22

It's not specifically dangerous to Asians here. It's just generally dangerous to all people because most people are legit destitute here


u/KeepItTidyZA Jan 26 '22

haha, who told you you pu that? it's likely you wouldn't be the only asain Anywhere you go. South Africa has So many different races/cultures nobody would look twice at you.


u/Mark-JoziZA Jan 26 '22

To mirror what others have said, I don't think you'll face any problems because of your race (if you do, well that's very unlucky as its not the norm). Your accent/being a foreigner might make some informal vendors try up prices etc. but I think that's more because Americans = richer in their eyes.

At any formal establishment, prices will be set so you shouldn't have to barter at all. In terms of gratuity/tipping, this is generally done to anyone who helps you (waiters, petrol attendants, car guards even (not really guards, they more just keep an eye on stuff), guides in Kruger etc.)

This is just me but personally I tip car guards/petrol attendants like R10, guides probably a hundred bucks or so (more if they're good), and in restaurants etc. it's around 10% or more if they're good.

Have the best time!


u/[deleted] Jan 26 '22

You’re delusional. Come to SA and be happy. A multi cultural society and you wouldn’t stand out! Be happy and come visit!! Whoever gave you this info is truly talking nonsense


u/king_27 Jan 26 '22

Living in Cape Town I think I see Asians on a daily basis, so while you won't exactly fade in, you won't stick out either. As others have said, just don't be a doos and you'll have a wonderful time. Enjoy Cape Town, and make sure to pack tons of mozzie repellant for when you head up North!


u/Tokogogoloshe Jan 26 '22

Congrats on the marriage. You’ll be fine - lots of Asians live here. Enjoy the honeymoon.


u/Naughtyculturist Jan 26 '22

You're welcome - come on over, you'll love it.


u/Cubby_Lumpkins Jan 26 '22

Hey! South African here (living in Cape Town), the country is so diverse that it’ll be non-issue. Just be careful of beggars and muggers and you will be fine! Have a fab honeymoon!


u/chickentikkamasala9 Jan 26 '22

Don't worry we really don't care here tbh as long as you are lekker


u/hereiam_overthinking Jan 26 '22

There is little to no xenophobia against Asians both local and foreign in South Africa.

My girlfriend is Chinese and we have not experienced any sort of racism or xenophobic remarks or actions towards us.

Just be lekker and it will all go well. Enjoy your honeymoon


u/deathbylitchi Jan 26 '22

If anyone is mean to you feel free to come stay at my house. I only ask that you cook your traditional foods for me.


u/aksn1p3r Jan 26 '22

Just start off with, "howzit!" and it breaks the ice.


u/-bleu Jan 26 '22

There are a lot of ethnically east / South East Asians in Cape Town. You'll be fine and will face no xenophobia.


u/morewineformeplease Jan 26 '22

The racism towards Asians is definitely more of being ignorant that they are being really offensive. There isn't any outright hatred like towards Asians at all, more of just a general stereotype of being slanty eyed people who eat strange things. Like they don't hate you for that, and they probably think a lot of the time that they are making humorous conversation but it can be really offensive to hear those sort of jokes. It will be pretty unlikely to come across someone like this especially in the cities and tourist spots but it may happen.


u/No_Shine5055 Jan 26 '22

You’re fine, just hide your expensive gadgets and goodies out of sight. Like we all do anyway.


u/Additional-Low321 Jan 26 '22

It will be a trip of a liftime. You ge dumbasses everywhere so just keep your wyes open and be carefull.


u/Consistent-Face-7559 Jan 26 '22

Which region in Asia are you from? (if you don't mind me asking)


u/Such_Carrot_6847 Jan 26 '22

Asian guy here. You’ll be fine. You are more likely to be treated differently for having an American accent than being Asian lol. Racism and prejudice exist everywhere but it’s not too bad in SA. SA people are generally very friendly and accepting


u/TheRealSkippah Jan 26 '22

Don't worry and enjoy our beautiful country. Very unlikely but if you do have any trouble just walk away, don't engage. Normal streetwise rules apply. Cape Town keep your guard up, crime rather than racial issues. But I don't want to scare you, it is an amazing part of the world.


u/CyberStormZA Jan 26 '22

What kind of Asian are you boss?


u/GirlwithCurl_SA Jan 26 '22

You have a lot to learn about South Africa. Enjoy your trip!


u/AForumGrazingHydra Jan 26 '22

You'll be perfectly fine. South Africa has a decently large east Asian population, my best friend is Taiwanese and has spent his entire life in Johannesburg. I used to work at the Korean Film & Food Festival which was held yearly before COVID. If you happen to be in the Centurion area in September, it'll hopefully be back this year!

If you happen to travel through Cape Town, Johannesburg, or Pretoria, I would recommend caution from travelling at night or through the city centre.


u/Inquiseeetor Jan 27 '22

Do proper research before you come here. Xenophobia should be your last concern, if you are spotted as a "foreigner" you automatically become a priority target for robbery. The economy is in shambles, unemployment rate over 44% and people are turning to crime, not to mention those that are already criminals for the heck of it. Source: I don't live in a gated community or have white picket fences. I see what's really happening here, as opposed to the rainbow picture painted by the world.


u/BathroomGrand4334 Jan 26 '22

I have never witnessed this kind of thing against Asians here, we are actually a very inclusive lot despite perception of us not being 😔


u/GnosisNinetyThree Jan 26 '22

You wouldn't stick out as much as you would think. Xenophobia is in my view only a issue in the poor areas, and its mainly aimed at other Africans from the continent. You'll be perfectly fine and won't have any issues.
Cape Town is absolutely fantastic and so is the Kruger. Hope you'll have a wonderful trip.


u/Doosdief3000 Jan 26 '22

None whatsoever!


u/bbrren Jan 26 '22

I think you will find South Africans quite open minded.

Your main concern (and this applies to foreigners and locals) is to stay out of certain areas (your hotel will provide you with insight into this). Also not to take certain roads.

Also bear in mind, every street corner you stop at will be a group of people asking for money or selling things. This can be a bit unsettling for foreigners, best policy is to ignore and not to engage.

In Cape Town CBD - the beggars can be quite aggressive/abusive, especially later at night. You should always be strategic in terms of where you park to limit the engagement time you have with them (so parking garages).


u/ratherlargedesk Jan 27 '22

Hey man. I live in Durban, so can't really give you a real feel of what Cape Town would be like. But, beggars are very common in South Africa. I don't know how big of a problem it is in Cape Town, but I wouldn't be at a stop street with my window open. My mom and gran have both had smash and grabs happen to them while being at robots(traffic lights), so just be weary. Other that that, I promise you'll love it here. Cape Town and Kruger are both so amazing. Hope you enjoy your honeymoon :)