South Africa 2018 - Safety & Security
Please Read: Emergency Serivces & Assistance in South Africa
Generally speaking, South Africa is as safe a destination to travel as anywhere in the world. True, there are great crime records however much of this is limited to isolated township fracas, inter-clan rumblings, and close friends. Saying this, do not go strolling through any township unless you are familiar with the area and in the company of a local or on an organised tour, the same said for inner-cities.
In city centres, especially Cape Town* with high tourism concentration, it is not uncommon for people to be violated for the shirt on their back in broad daylight so basic common-sense precautions must apply. I strongly suggest you do not to walk alone anywhere after dark, and be wary about your amount of visible expenses and cameras or phones you carry. No matter how close 'home' is, take a taxi if you feel it necessary.
*Many drop their guard in Cape Town believing it the 'safest city in South Africa' just because it looks beautiful. It should surprise many to know Cape Town records more tourism crime than any other city in South Africa; largely because more tourists visit Cape Town so the opportunity for more bad eggs to violate you increases. In Cape Town 2009 my mate Peter got rolled twice in one day, so please be careful.
When using ATM's or going to a bank to change money, if you can, always take someone with you to watch your back. Try not to use ATM's after dark unless you are with multiple persons or in a safe environment such as a shopping mall or at bank with armed security. And do not let any one 'help you' at the ATM including the security officer as a number of Flaggers in the past have received very costly 'help'. Importantly, there are many ATM tricks that result in you losing your card and it's contents so please adhere this:
TIP: After you insert your card and before you type your PIN or select anything on the screen, cancel the transaction. If your card comes out, the ATM hasn't been tampered with. If the card is withheld, the machine has been fixed to hold your card and copy your PIN. Once you have stormed away in distress the thief retrieves your card and subsequently empties your account, surprisingly taking more money from your card illegally than your bank permits you to do legitimately!
Before leaving home, independent travel advice regarding health, safety, and security in South Africa should be obtained through Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website Smartraveller and where you should also register your travel plans.
That is all. Be Safe!!