South Africa Travel
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South Africa Safety Tips

South Africa Safety Tips


This is a basic guide for safety tips whilst in any of the South African cities or on a safari in the African bushveld. Traveling around South Africa can and most probably will be safe, but as in any destination on the planet - listen to your instincts and use common sense.

South Africa News Websites

The following websites offer the latest in news updates and are updated every few minutes;

South African Emergency Services Contact Numbers

Emergencies from your cell phone – 112
Medical emergencies – 10177
South African Police Services (SAPS) – 10111
Cell C - 084 140
Vodacom - 082 147
MTN - 083 112

Safety Tips For When You Are In The Bush

Always listen to your guide!
Guides are experienced and professional individuals who have a very intimate knowledge of wildlife and the bushveld.
When visiting wildlife areas do not walk into the bush without your guide.
Do not approach any wild animals: If it is wild it bites!
Do not swim in any rivers, dams or lakes within or nearby wildlife reserves, the presence of crocodiles and hippo's is real!
Never feed animals: they get used to people feeding them and eventually have to be put down as a result!
Never leave the surrounds of you safari lodge or camp unattended.
Always have a torch with you at night.
Give you room a once over whenever you enter, we personally have had snakes, scorpions and monkeys as unwanted guests.
Respect Africa's wildlife at all times and the wildlife will respect you.
Disrespect the wildlife and there will only be one winner (hint; it is not you).
Whether staying in a lodge or camping it is always recommended that one has a small first aid kit with you. Nothing like having a headache at 3 in the morning and all the staff are sleeping!
When traveling between lodges, never drive above 80kph on gravel roads. This is the quickest way to spoil your safari by wrapping your car around a tree.

Safety Tips For South Africa Cities

Using ones common sense is always a good start.
Ask locals to give you a run-down on all safe and unsafe areas and of course dress codes.
If you are not feeling safe, get out of there.
One does need at all time to be vigilant when traveling around.
When going out at night, always try not to travel alone, keep to small groups.
Always read the local news and keep up to date on current happenings in and around the areas you are currently staying or going to in the next few days.
Always use licensed taxi companies, your hotel will know which ones are good.
Let the hotel know approximately what time to expect you back and your contact details.
Lock you car/ taxi doors when on the move.
Never keep your travel documents on you, that is what the hotel safe is for.

Safety Tips For When Walking Around South Africa

The larger cities do have a criminal element that preys on unwary tourists (as in any city in the World)!
Do not walk alone in apparently deserted places (especially at night); wherever possible walk with a group.
Be on the look out for pickpockets and bag snatchers.
Do not carry more cash than required.
Do not wear your finest jewelery.
Wear a money belt that fits under your clothes.
Don't carry a lot of camera equipment especially in the major cities.
Keep a photocopy of your passport, visa and air tickets and itinerary separately from the original documents (or copy them to them to a, Google Drive or Itunes account so that they are accessible anywhere, anytime).

Safety Tips When Driving In South Africa

Drive carefully and slowly (speed kills).
Stick to the speed limits; 120 kph on highways and a maximum of 80kpm when traveling on gravel roads.
Never drink and drive.
Always fill up with fuel when you get the chance, South Africa is a big country and distances are vast.
Always have your drivers license on you at all times.
Never try to bribe a officer of the law, no matter what they say.
Try your best not to drive at night, animals and humans can cross the road at any time (quite often just in front of you).
Stay alert as rural roads are often poorly maintained and pot holes can to be found.
Always wear you seat belts.
Keep the doors and windows of your vehicle locked while driving in the major cities.
Stay aware of what's going on around you and you have a very good chance of enjoying a problem-free safari!

Popular Self Drive Travel Options

    Effortless South Africa

  • Effortless South Africa
  • Follow the trail of the Big Five from the prestigious and game rich Sabi Sand to the lush reserves of KwaZulu-Natal. Relax on golden beaches, from the subtropical warmth of Durban to the surfing mecca of Plettenberg Bay and the meeting place of two oceans in the spectacular Cape.

    Sabi Sand Self Drive

  • Sabi Sand Self Drive Safari
  • A six day safari to without a doubt one of the best private games reserves in Africa, this being the famous Sabi Sand as well the the Mpumalanga Scenic route. All within a comfortable drive that will not leave you tired or drained, 5 to 6 hours being the maximum drive time one can expect.

    Land of Legends

  • Land of Legends Self Drive
  • The perfect 13 day self drive safari for which to explore South Africa's famed KwaZulu-Natal Province, home of the Zulu nation. Experience the Drakensberg Mountains, the Natal Battlefields of Spioenkop & Isandlwana, the "Big 5" Phinda reserve and the scenic and remote Zululand coast line.

    Kruger Walk & Timbavati

  • Kruger Walking & Timbavati
  • This is the perfect 7 day safari in which to the "Timbavati Reserve" and a private concession within the "Kruger National Park". Both of these areas offer up superb game and bird viewing either while on foot or in a custom game drive vehicle. This safari is very popular so book as soon as possible.

    Cape Town & Malaria Free

  • Cape Town & Malaria Free
  • A 13 day self drive safari that is ideal for families as well as those with concerns over Malaria. Explore all that Cape Town has on show before flying up to Johannesburg to self drive between the "Big 5" Madikwe Game Reserve and the Marakele National Park.