Whether travelling on business or pleasure the beauty and diversity of South Africa will result in an amazing once in a life time experience. Unfortunately, like any country in the world, South Africa has its fair share of crime.
ATMS / Cash Withdawals
- Do not draw money from an ATM on the street, always draw money from inside a shopping centre
- Be aware of your surroundings and who is standing near you when drawing money from an ATM
- If you feel that someone “looks” suspicious, consider drawing money later or find another ATM
- When you enter your pin code make sure you cover the numerical pad so that people standing near you cannot see the code you have entered. If a criminal sees you enter your pin code they could follow you and mug you
- Your money will be withdrawn from your account before you know it!
- Do not wear expensive (or even fake jewellery) jewellery as muggings are commonplace especially in the cities and major shopping areas
- Smash and grabs and vehicle hijackings (car-jackings) are relatively common when driving in high density areas such as cities and townships
- Be vigilant when your vehicle is stationery at a set of traffic lights (or Robots as they are called in South Africa) as there may be criminals standing at the side of the road waiting for a target to rob
- To reduce your risk, make sure you always drive with your vehicle doors locked.
- Drive with your windows up – rental cars have air-conditioning so there is no need to drive with your window down if you are hot and do not talk on your mobile phone when waiting for traffic lights to change
Driving / Vehicles
- Keep valuables in the boot (trunk) of the car if you have nowhere else to store them
- Do not leave valuables in your vehicle – they will just tempt a criminal to steal them
- When you leave your vehicle make sure that it is locked
- “Remote jammers” are commonly used by criminals in shopping centre parking areas
- Criminals will wait for you to lock your vehicle, when you push your remote they will simultaneously push their remote jammer. You will think that your vehicle is locked when it is not
- Always check the door handle to ensure the car is locked before leaving your vehicle unattended
- Try to avoid driving at night
- If you must drive in the dark make sure you know exactly where you are going and plan your route
- Travel on well-lit roads and park your vehicle in a well-lit area
Wildlife on the Road
- In rural areas, be on the lookout for animals
- Road signs will usually warn you but occasionally animals will wander onto the road
- Hitting a Springbok (a small deer) will severely damage your vehicle and could cause injuries to passengers of the vehicle
Going out at Night
- Don't walk alone in unsafe areas
- High density areas, such as cities and townships should be avoided
- South African Police Service (SAPS) is 10111 from a landline
- If you have a mobile phone the emergency number is 112
If you are lucky enough to experience a trip to a Game reserve do not, under any circumstances, get out of your vehicle while watching game. Remember you may not be able to see a camouflaged animal, but it most certainly can see you!
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