Telegraph confusion

Following the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, The Telegraph newspaper (more specifically, hack Francisca Kellett) has helpfully put together a list of the twenty most dangerous places on earth to visit. And there, right behind Afghanistan, Iraq and Chechnya and just missing out on a medal is our dear own South Africa, although, as Kellett admits, seemingly almost with an air of disappointment:

 …most visits to the country are trouble-free.

which doesn’t sound ever so dangerous, now does it?
South Africa beats some tough competition to finish so high up the list though, including the DRC, Sudan and world homocide leader, Columbia. Iran is apparently fine, while Somalia doesn’t even warrant a mention, so I assume it’s safe to go there too. I wouldn’t advise arriving by boat though.

Indeed, it seems that something of a dichotomy exists within the ranks of The Telegraph, since it was less than 6 months ago that they were giving away 90 tickets to travel to South Africa. And it was less than 6 days ago that Cape Town, in… er… South Africa won the award for Readers’ Favourite World City from… er… The Telegraph. Doesn’t seem quite right, does it?

Look further into the Telegraph’s extensive Travel section and you will find Jeremy Vine‘s verdict of Cape Town:

I realised it was the perfect place to be in the middle of the British winter: you leave a damp, grey Britain, and 12 hours later you’re in a sunny Cape Town. Fantastic!

Or Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ “Heaven on earth“:

I have an abiding love for the area – known as Cape Province when I was a boy – and I go back as often as possible. All in all, the Western Cape is just a fabulous part of the world and will always have a special place in my heart.

All of which makes Kellett’s rating of 4th most dangerous place on the planet seem slightly lonely, slightly foolish, slightly… well… bewildering, really.

I could stop there, but – hey, they don’t – so neither will I.

  • Novelist John Fullerton loves Cape Town for its laid-back atmosphere, beautiful setting and rich mix of cultures.
  • Douglas Rogers returns to South Africa’s Karoo to find it transformed into a hip new tourist destination.
  • Katie Derham: South Africa. You’ve got to go there. The beaches, the food, the vineyards, the animals.
  • When you’ve done the Big Five, hunt for mementos in Cape Town’s great craft shops, says Lisa Grainger.
  • Ant’s Nest, a private game reserve three hours north of Johannesburg, is the perfect place to stay with a child, writes Clover Stroud.

I’m not denying that SA has a crime problem – that would be simply foolish. However, I don’t think that it rates as being more dangerous for a tourist than, for example, Iran or Somalia. 

Francisca Kellett knows better, of course. Her winter break this year will be in safe and sunny Mogadishu.

25 thoughts on “Telegraph confusion

  1. I don’t think this is entirely fair. The article does state that info is from the FCO travel advisory website which only focusses on problems/travel warnings and in no way is meant to promote a country. It is perhaps inappropriate and lazy for them to reproduce the information without a broader perspective.

  2. South Africa is gradually becoming a true African country. The ANC leadership is unethical, immoral, confused, incompetent, aloof, arrogant, and extremely dangerous. They constantly threaten to “kill” people who disagree with them or dare criticize their corrupt and unethical leader Jacob Zuma who has no respect for the country’s Constitution and laws. He is not yet the president but he is already abusing power and threatening Cabinet and Parliament. No wonder South Africa is one of the top 20 the most dangerous countries in the world. Zuma is unethical, corrupt, immoral, anti-jews, and a very dangerous racist criminal. Yet he is compared to Jesus Christ. I think all Whites, Blacks, Indian, Coloreds, who love South Africa and respects it’s Constitution and laws should join and vote for COPE next year. Please save your fatherland and motherland.

  3. What on earth? That’s just crazy.

    Some of the places on the list I would expect my plane to be shot at when on approach. Can you remember the last time that happened coming into CTI?

  4. I wonder what she based her findings on..? Perhaps she took the murders/rapes/robberies per capita over the past 2 years or so & based her list on that..? If so then yes, SA is not the safest place on earth, but tourists (who do not ignore the do’s and dont’s of travelling in SA) are generally safer.
    Rather silly to have us up there in fourth place though.

  5. The information comes from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website. But it’s cherry picked from that site. For example, look at Eritrea. “There is an underlying threat from terrorism.” Well, if you look at the FCO website description for France, it also states that.
    So why isn’t France on that list?

  6. Francisca Kellet sounds like an idiot – and if she ever came here, I’d happily prove her correct by mugging her.

  7. Jz, you sound like a true Beeld reader.
    Take your ridiculous view on SA and shove it.
    Honestly, morons like you should NOT have access to the internet.
    You plainly don’t use it to broaden your knowledge, but rather to spew racist rubbish.

    Apart from anything else, South Africa has 9 million tourists a year, practically incident free!

    It is right up there as one of the most visited countries on the planet – but you seem to agree that it is in the same basket as Somalia and perhaps the Congo.

    Saints preserve us…

  8. I will be in CT this weekend.

    So i shall let you know next week just how dodgy your city is!!

    JHBPRINCESS´s last blog post was: This Morning (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  9. So I guess all our tourists must be the adventurous type then, seeking out the thrills and dangerous of a crime ridden country. The type of tourist that goes to war zones for the excitement of it all?
    Yip, that would explain the “purple rinse” variety we see sipping on their champagne on the decks over looking the Indian Ocean in Plett, or the families that travel with young kids?
    Living on the edge – got to love it!

    Ordinarylife´s last blog post was: She wishes she were me! (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  10. Delboy » So that’s Jenni Murray, Sir Ranaulph Fiennes AND Jeremy Vine who all describe SA as “Heaven on Earth” in the Telegraph.
    Francisca prefers Rwanda though.

  11. So should I consider Rwanda as a retirement destination?

    It hadn’t crossed my mind until now.

    Anyone know what house-prices are like there?

  12. The Telegraph is staffed entirely by idiots these days. One of my minions at work is being whisked away for a romantic weekend in SA tomorrow (how the other half live). If she comes back we will know that Kellett is an imbecile.

    Fleet of Worlds´s last blog post was: Puffling (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  13. Fleet of Worlds » Nice. I shall be at the airport to say hi.
    Does she look like Francisca Kellett at all? Rumour has it that she is not welcome over here anymore.

  14. Delboy » She has. More than one, in fact.
    Why bother? Because it [sending people to their certain doom] will make her money, I guess.

  15. Maybe it’s a case of “Told you so” journalism.
    Tell people it’s dangerous, then get them to go and if something bad happens then she can write an expose on how right she had been.

    Or it’s case of covering her bases.
    Write a glowing review in a book and then list it as a terrible place to go, either way she wins.

    Would have expected an article like this to be in the News of the World or maybe the Guardian.

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