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Safety Tips for Visitors

Crime exists in South Africa as it does everywhere else in the world.  We recommend the following precautions for a hassle-free holiday:

At the bank

Do not accept help from anyone at an ATM under any circumstances. If you run into problems, retrieve your card and walk away.

Beware of scams at ATMs and banks relating to payment of any tolls or fines.

If you suspect that you have been scammed, inform your bank immediately.

On the street

Do not publicize your valuables, e.g. jewellery, camera etc.  Visibility encourages theft.

Use credit cards where possible and carry small amounts of cash

At night, stay away from isolated dark places and ‘empty’ car parks.

If you need any information, a police officer will be able to assist you

In the car

As it is anywhere in the world, your safety in South Africa is strongly dependent on you

Always know where you are going

Fasten your seatbelts and lock your doors

Never pick up any strangers or hitchhikers

It is illegal to use your cellphone/mobile when driving

Never display your valuables in the car e.g. handbags, clothes, cellphone/mobile phone etc.

Close your windows before locking and leaving your car. Check that all your doors are properly locked, especially when using a remote. The effectiveness of a remote can be compromised by potential thieves using ‘jammers’.

The only tolls are on the N4 and are payable at official tollgates only. There are no tolls on any other road. Do not believe anyone who tells you otherwise.

As a motorist

If you are stopped by a policeman or traffic officer, request to see his/her South African Police Service identification card and make a note of the officer’s name and number

Be aware that if you are issued with a citation for any traffic violation, you are not permitted to pay over any amount of cash direct to the Officer.  Fines for a traffic violation may only be paid at a Magistrate’s Court or Traffic Department where the official receipt will be issued.  If you are denied these rights, report the matter IMMEDIATELY to the nearest Police Station or Tourism Information Office.

As a consumer

Help us to preserve our indigenous flora. It is illegal to purchase or collect live plants or seeds from the roadside. Please purchase any live plants or seeds from a licensed nursery. You will not be able to export them UNLESS the item has an associated Cites export permit or the required quarantine certificate.  

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Reference: Chris Harvie, HCBT Daily Mail 20 Jan 2015