Safety And Security When Traveling To South Africa

safety security travel south africa


Lock your valuables such as passports, wallets and jewelry in the safe of your room where you are staying or keep them on you at all times.

Carry these valuables discreetly when walking in the cities. Walk confidently, enjoy the city but remain alert.
Watches, sunglasses and other jewelry being offered to you by street vendors are most likely FAKE – Don’t even get into a conversation or price negotiation with them. Simply IGNORE them!

Keep an eye on your possessions. Don’t leave bags, valuables and wallets unattended especially on beaches or at sidewalk cafes. These are hot spots for bag snatches and petty thieves. They won’t try their luck with the smart and vigilant tourist!

Plan your movements

Before setting off on your journey, especially in the evenings, plan your movements and your trip. Know where you are going and let someone know at the place where you are staying, where you are going and more or less, when you will be back.


  • Most public beaches are patrolled by lifeguards so swim when they are present and where signs indicate it is safe.
  • Don’t swim on isolated beaches. Preferably, swim in areas where other people are present.
  • Some beaches have strong currents so check with the lifeguards and read the sign boards before venturing into the water.
  • Do not swim out too far.
  • Do not drink alcohol on the beach and don’t swim if you have been drinking. On some beaches, especially in Cape Town (see car hire in Cape Town), it is illegal to drink alcohol on the beach.

Sun Protection

Always apply sunblock when venturing into the sun. Visitors with fair skins should apply sunblock regardless of whether the sun is shining.


  • Always let someone know where you are going and when you’ll be back.
  • Travel in a group, never alone.
  • Take along plenty of water and warm clothes.
  • When walking in nature reserves stick to the marked routes.
  • Don’t dive or jump into pools unless you know how deep they are.
  • Adhere to the local rules and regulations and consult the local authorities before starting your trip, hike or nature walk.
  • Do not litter!
  • Do not pick wild flowers.
  • Fires are strictly prohibited.
  • Protect your skin with sunblock.

Mountain Rescue Register

Extremely important that hikers fill in the register before setting off and sign in when returning. This will assist a potential rescue operation if something should happen. See Maloti Mountains


Keep all your belongings inside your tent or cabin at night. Do not leave valuables unattended.

Water, Food and Hospitality

It is very safe to drink tap water anywhere in South Africa – no need for bottled water!

Avoid drinking water from dams or rivers though as Cholera and other borne water diseases are common in certain parts of the country, especially in KwaZulu-Natal.

South African accommodation establishments and restaurants maintain a strict and high standard of hygiene and food preparation is no different. Eat all the fresh fruit and salad You want!

Hunters Rest