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Safety precautions

Use hotel safes to store your valuables.
Use hotel safes to store your valuables.

South African safety precautions are not unlike those recommended when travelling to other countries and major cities. More common sense than hard and fast measures, safety precautions in South Africa mostly require vigilance on behalf of the traveller and sound travel preparation.

Important South African safety advice includes avoiding deserted areas at night; securing valuables such as photographic equipment and wallets on your person; and leaving expensive, flashy jewellery in your hotel safe while out and about.

Other safety precautions you may want to consider include:

  • Locking valuables and luggage away in the car boot while travelling (never leave handbags or cameras on car seats)
  • Being vigilant of your luggage and other belongings (never leave them unattended).
  • Storing valuables in your hotel safe.
  • Limit the amount of money you carry on your person. Also, don't accept offers of assistance at ATMs and keep your pin numbers secure. 
  • When using a credit card in restaurants, ask the waiter to bring a portable credit card machine to your table.  Report stolen or lost cards immediately.
  • Carry a current road map with you. If you're in any doubt about a place you wish to visit or how to get there, have a word with your hotel concierge first or contact the National Tourism Information and Safety Line on 083 123 2345 for assistance.
  • Only use reputable tour operators and travel and transport services. If you're not sure, ask your hotel to recommend a service provider for you.
  • In rural areas, watch out for wild or farm animals - road signage will warn you when you need to take care.
  • If you intend travelling to malaria areas, take the necessary prophylaxis before you leave home.