Welcome to the rainbow nation of South Africa. These safety tips are provided for your safety and that of your loved ones.
General Safety Tips
- Do not attract unwarranted attention by openly displaying cash, expensive jewellery, cameras and other valuables.
- Carry your wallet, credit cards, passport and other travel documents in your inside and front pockets.
- Avoid carrying large sums of money, particularly foreign currency.
- Avoid strange, dark, poorly illuminated or isolated places.
- Avoid traveling and exploring on your own.
- Plan your travel routes before hand.
- Practice safe sex.
- Carry certified copies of your passport, ID and travel documents.
- Tag your luggage and belongings for easy identification and contract procedures.
Motor Vehicle Safety Tips
- Follow the applicable general tips above.
- As in anywhere in the world, remember that your personal safety in a vehicle is strongly dependent on YOU. Make sure :
- All windows are fully closed
- Doors are locked
- Gearlock is secured when parked
- Alarm is switched on
- Valuables are locked away - AT ALL TIMES, EVEN WHEN TRAVELING!
- Plan your route in advance.
- Ensure you have sufficient fuel and that your vehicle is ina roadworthy condition.
- Fasten your seatbelt, lock your doors and keep your windows shut.
- Avoid displaying valuables openly in the vehicle to avoid smash-and-grab crime. Lock your valuables in the boot (trunk).
- Be alert at traffic lights and stop streets.
- Leave enough space around the vehicle for a quick getaway.
- If you are softly bumped from behind and the individuals involved looks suspect, proceed to the nearest police station to report the incident - do not get out of the car.
- NEVER pick up strangers.
- NEVER entertain the advances of street beggars and "ladies of the night".
- It is illegal to use your cell phone whilst driving - use a hands free kit.
- At night, park in well illuminated areas. When returning to your vehicle, have your keys ready to unlock your car.
- If you are lost and concerned about the safety of the area you are in, Phone 10111, 0829111 (24 Hours) or 112 on your cell phone.
At Your Hotel / Accommodation
- Do not leave your luggage and belongings unattended.
- Store valuables in the hotel's safe deposit box at reception or in your room's safe.
- Keep your hotel room and any sliding doors/windows locked at all times.
- Never open your room door unless you have identified the person who has knocked on your door. If in doubt contact reception for verification.
- It is advisable to hand your keys of your room at reception when going out.
- Do not entertain the unwarranted advances of undesirable, strange or suspicious persons. Report such persons to management.
- Use the main entrance of the hotel when you arrive late at night.
On The Street
- Follow the applicable general tips above.
- If possible, plan your route before.
- Where possible, explore the streets in groups and stick to well illuminated, busy streets.
- Beware of your surroundings, be alert.
- Walk on or close to the curb and face on-coming traffic.
- Avoid alley-ways and dense shrubs/bushes.
- Use credit cards instead of cash where possible.
- Avoid ostentatious displays of wealth.
- If you require any information approach a policeman, traffic officer, Security officer or shopkeeper.
- Avoid jogging or cycling alone and at night - plan your route before hand.
- Vary your daily routine.
- Should you wish to use a taxi, your hotel or the local tourism information centre will recommend a reliable service to you.
Automated Banking (ATM)
- Follow the general tips and other street tips above.
- Have your ATM card out and ready to use.
- If you are suspicious of anything or anyone - cancel your transaction and leave immediately.
- Avoid ATM machines which are isolated or poorly illuminated.
- Never allow strangers to assist you with your transaction.
- Keep your secret code to yourself and do not let anyone look over your shoulder whilst keying in your code.
- When your transaction is complete, secure your cash and move off immediately. You can count it later.
On The Beach
- Swim at the beaches manned by life guards and between swimming beacons.
- Avoid bringing valuables to the beach.
- The African Sun can BURN - use a high sunscreen factor sun protection cream.
- Do not take breakables (e.g. glass bottles) to the beach.
- Avoid mixing alcohol and soft drinks.
How To React In An Emergency
- Do not panic.
- Think laterally.
- Talk your way out of the situation.
- Do not resist unless you know that such resistance will lead to your escape.
- If your instincts are to physically resist - do not hold back.
- If circumstances dictate that you must not resist, concentrate on noting the physical description and other notable features of your accoster.
- In a robbery or hi-jacking situation - do as you are told.
- Do not argue or challenge your accoster and do not look directly into his eyes.
- Keep your hands still and visible.
- If you need to undo a seatbelt - ask first.
- Remember you can replace your valuables and your vehicle, but not your life.
Umhlanga Emergency Numbers
- SAPS Durban North (031) 560 8004 or (031) 560 8009 031 or (031) 560 8101
- Flying Squad 10111
- Crime Stop 0800 111 213