Important Safety Tips for Travelers to South Africa

Newspapers, both local and international, report daily on crime in South Africa, often creating the impression of uncontrollable criminal activity on the streets. Some web sites on the internet devote entire web sites to the reporting of crime in this country. While crime is a factor to consider when visiting, a few common sense rules will prevent tourists from becoming part of the statistics.

How to Protect Valuable Items at Airports In South Africa

Tourists arriving at OR Tambo International Airport, South Africa, often fall prey to pickpockets and bag snatchers. To avoid valuables being snatched, travelers should carry items such as cameras, cellular phones, laptop computers and wallets out of sight. Do not place a laptop computer case on the baggage trolley and if possible, put the carry case inside another generic suitcase.

Valuable items left in plain sight inside motor vehicles often lead to the windows being broken and the items stolen. Lock items of value inside the baggage compartment of the car when leaving the vehicle unattended.

How to Avoid Hijacking While Driving on South African Roads

While driving on unfamiliar roads, tourists concentrate more on finding their way than to be on the lookout for possible hi-jacking. Keeping the doors of the vehicle locked while driving will prevent attackers from entering the vehicle while stationary at an intersection or along the road. The locked doors will also afford the driver the opportunity to drive away from danger the moment he or she becomes aware of the threat.

Motorists should be vigilant when approaching an intersection and pay specific attention to people loitering around close to the intersection. This is especially important when driving along country roads where traffic volumes are low as criminals often wait for victims not paying due attention to the surroundings. Should the motorist fear an attack, the motorist should try to negotiate the intersection as quick as possible, while adhering to the traffic regulations.

Motorists should avoid stopping next to the road, unless unavoidable. Several intersections and stretches of road in the metropolitan areas have been identified as high crime zones and the local Government erected road signs to the effect. Tourists should heed these warnings and attempt to stop only at well – lit busy rest stops along the major routes.

If stopping along the road is unavoidable, motorists should attempt to stop in a well – lit, open place with no tall grass obstructing the view. Do not stop for longer than necessary. Checking the rear view mirror often for followers, ensures motorists are not surprised after parking.

Avoid Theft of Valuable Items Inside South African Hotel or Lodge Rooms

Visitors should take all valuable items with them when leaving their accommodation for the day. Although all owners and managers of accommodation establishments take all possible precautions to prevent theft of the patron’s possessions, most of the lodging contracts state the owners are not responsible for theft or loss of items left inside the rooms.

Attempt to find accommodation where the patrons offer the use of a safe to store valuable items like cash, jewelry and cameras. Lock the door when entering or exiting the room to avoid unwanted visitors barging in.

Keeping these tips in mind, visitors will decrease the chances of falling prey to the criminal element present in South Africa.