Welcome to South Africa!
As always, personal safety is a matter of shared responsibility between authorities and the individual visitor. To ensure that your visit is special and safe, the SAPS offer a few suggestions based on international guidelines– for your assistance.
At the airport:
- Make sure your bags and luggage have locks and name tags.
- Do not allow people to tamper with your bags.
- When seeking directions, proceed to marked information counters only.
At the hotel, guesthouse, other accommodation
- Report any suspicious, unattended luggage or parcels to the personnel at reception.
- Never leave your luggage unattended unless it is locked away in your room.
- Store valuables in the safety deposit box.
- Keep your room locked.
- If someone knocks, check who it is before opening the door. Contact reception if you have any reason for concern.
- Hand your keys in whenever you leave.
- Make sure that luggage is only given to the bell staff and a receipt is issued for stored luggage.
On the street:
- Avoid an ostentatious display of expensive jewellery, cameras, mobile phones and other valuables.
- Keep your handbag with you, keep it closed or zipped, and do not leave it unattended.
- Keep your mobile phone with you and do not leave it unattended.
- Do not carry large sums of money with you.
- Exchange your currency at a bank or at the hotel – never exchange it on the street.
- Carry your wallet in an inside pocket – never in the rear pocket of your trousers.
- Credit card transactions must be processed in your presence.
- At night, stay away from dark, isolated areas.
- It is always better to explore in groups and to stick to well-lit, busy streets.
- Plan your route beforehand and, as far as possible, do not ask directions from strangers.
- A police officer or traffic officer will be happy to direct you if you get lost.
- Should you want to call a taxi, your hotel or the South African Tourism helpline (contact number: 083-123-6789) can recommend a reliable service.
In your vehicle:
- Plan your route in advance.
- Keep the doors locked and wind the windows up at all times.
- Do not leave your mobile phone or other valuables where they are visible from outside the vehicle.
- Lock valuable items in the boot (trunk) before your departure.
- At night, park in well-lit areas.
- Never pick up strangers or hitchhikers.
- If in doubt about the safety of an area, phone a police station for advice and help.
- Make sure you have the number of the car rental company at hand in case you get stranded.
On hiking trails:
- In the interest of personal safety and having assistance in the case of a physical or medical emergency, it is advisable to explore trails in groups.
- Steer away from isolated areas unless accompanied by a guide.
Credit: South African Police Service website