Like many other country’s in today’s world, crime can be a problem, but all one really needs to do when travelling, is be aware and take sensible precautions by following some basic safety tips. Here are some basic safety tips when visiting The Bay.
Always know where you are heading to before you leave your place of stay, especially in the evenings, be sure to watch your possessions and keep then close, for the ladies, personally I can recommend using a small sling bag that slings across your body which you can tuck under a jacket or jersey rather than a bag over your shoulder. Don’t ever walk alone, be cautious in keeping your doors locked at night. Like anywhere else, there are some areas of the major cities that are known to be more risky than others. It is easy to avoid these and still have a good time.
If you are unable to avoid such areas, do not wear any visible jewelry, carry cameras or larger bags over your shoulder. Always be sure to limit the amount of money that you carry and keep your mobile phones and wallets completely out of sight. Try checking beforehand that the areas you would like to visit are safe by asking the hotel or bed and breakfast staff, family and friends or even local police. Some word of advice is do not hitchhike, always use a reputable mode of transportation. I recommend Uber always. Be sure to always check the vehicle registration.
If driving a privately owned vehicle, hired or borrowed, take some simple precautions to avoid car hijackings or “smash-and-grabs”. As a driver, always be on the alert when coming to a halt at traffic lights or stop streets, as well as when arriving at or leaving any premises. Car doors should always be locked, and valuables are better kept in the boot or under the seats. Plan your route beforehand. Make sure the map you consult is a current one or use google. Knowing and planning your route is always advisable.
When parking in the evenings, choose well lit or security-patrolled parking areas. Street security guards will usually ask whether they can watch over your car, and in return should be paid a small fee – I usually pay anything from R5 upwards but that is up to you and at your discretion.
In the more rural areas, please be on the look out for wild or farm animals – road signage will warn you when you need to take precaution.
Please only use reputable tour operators and travel and transport services. If you’re not sure, ask your place of stay for a recommended service provider or contact the National Tourism Information and Safety Line on 083 123 2345.
When using automatic teller machines (ATMs) within The Bay and throughout South Africa, practice the generally accepted safety precautions you would employ when at home. Never accept assistance from a complete stranger to help you with your transaction. Stay alert. If your ATM card is withheld by the machine, approach the bank to release it, or call the helpline number that can be found at the ATM.
Do not leave your luggage and other possessions unattended and always know where your valuables are. Remember to make use of the safety deposit box and keep your room locked at all times. Don’t leave your room keys lying around, rather hand the key in at the desk when you leave.
Police 10111. This call is free from any phone box or landline. If you are using a cellular phone dial 112 and your call will be transferred to the appropriate emergency service.
National Tourism Information and Safety Line on 083 123 2345.
It’s a good idea to travel with certified photocopies of your valuable documents, keeping the originals in a safe place.
If you lose your passport, report the loss as soon as possible to the South African Police Service, as well as to your country’s embassy or consulate in South Africa. For a full list of embassies and consulates, visit the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
Source of content: Dirco, South African Police Service, South African Tourism
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