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Tips for travellers in South Africa

travel tips south africa

South Africa carries a very unlikable tag of having some of the highest crime stats in the world. For tourists and travelers around the country, there is always a question of how best to stay safe and what kind of precautions one must take to avoid being caught up in the crime wave.

Any security expert will always advise that small things matter in safety.There are basic rules you must always bear in mind like knowing where you are going before you leave especially at night, avoid walking alone in dodgy areas, locking your doors at night, don’t wear visible jewellery or carry cameras and bags over your shoulder at night, limit the amount of money you carry on you, keep mobile phones and wallets tucked away where no one can see them. Below are also some major safety ideas you can always consider.

Vehicle safety – Vehicles are highly sought after by criminals.The common crime occurrences with vehicles include smash and grabs as well as hijackings.To avoid being a victim, plan your route beforehand, be alert on traffic lights or stop streets, always lock your doors, when parking choose well lit or security patrolled parking areas and if you want to hire a motor vehicle, only use reputable tour operators and transport service companies.

ATM safety – ATM’s are crime hot spots across the country. It is therefore important to observe certain safety measures and precautions such as never accepting assistance from a stranger when doing the transaction, being alert and jealously guarding your card, when using a credit card in restaurants ask the waiter to bring a portable credit card machine to your table and if your card is withheld, approach the bank to release it.

Hotel safety – Hotels should be places of guaranteed safety, but with criminals getting more and desperate and super sophisticated, there is always a chance they can strike anytime and anywhere.To ensure your safety, you must never leave your luggage and other possessions unattended, store your valuables in the safety deposit box and your room must be locked with keys securely kept.

Emergencies – Emergencies while traveling can never be ruled out, keeping emergency numbers in mind is therefore of utmost importance.You can contact the police free of charge from any phone box or landline on 10111, from a cell phone you can simply dial 112. Front desks at hotels are also always ready to assist with emergencies.

With regards to passports and IDs, you are always in a safer position to travel with certified photocopies and put originals in a safe and secure place. Any loss of these documents should be promptly reported to the South African Police Service, country’s embassy or nearest consulate. Over and above the listed emergency contacts, the National Tourism Information and Safety Line is reachable on 0831232345.

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