Safety tips for tourists

The city of Durban. FILE PHOTO

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

 

  AUTHOR
Phoenix Sun

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