13 Safety Tips For Tourists In South Africa in 2022

This article will list several safety tips for tourists in South Africa in 2022. A big issue that concerns many tourists is crime. It is an issue everywhere, including in South Africa. And there are valid reasons Nigerians are concerned about their safety while visiting South Africa, considering the almost yearly incidents related to xenophobia and police brutality. Nevertheless, South Africa is safe if you use common sense! I have written this piece with you in mind if you want to know how to stay safe in South Africa. These safety tips for tourists in South Africa will address your safety in areas such as airports, hotels, streets, roads, in the car, safety at the ATM, avoiding mugging, safety during sightseeing and entertainment, and how to report a crime in South Africa. These tips will help you avoid incidents such as robbery and violent attacks.

In the hotel, store your valuables in a safe deposit box

I believe the desire of most Nigerian tourists is to leave South Africa with great memories and hope to return over and over again. South Africa is actually as safe as any other tourist destination in the world. Just as in other countries, there are a number of basic precautions you should take to ensure that your stay is as pleasant and safe as possible. Please use the table below to navigate the areas in South Africa regarding your safety.

At The Airport

  • Make sure your bags and luggage have locks
  • Do not allow people to unlawfully tamper with your bags
  • Whenever you seek directions, proceed to marked information counters only
  • Watch out for staged mishaps, for example, someone bumping into you or spilling a drink, it may often be a ploy to divert your attention and steal your bag or passport
At the airport, do not allow people to unlawfully tamper with your bags

In The Hotel

  • Do not leave your luggage unattended unless it is locked in your room
  • Ensure that identifiable staff assist you with your luggage on arrival at your naccomodation establishment
  • Store valuables in a safe deposit box
  • Keep your room locked at all times
  • Hand the key in at the desk when you leave the hotel – it is advised that you tell someone at the reception where you are going
  • If someone knocks, check who it is before opening the door.
In the hotel, if someone knocks, check who it is before opening the door

In The Street

  • Plan your route beforehand.
  • Avoid stopping at remote areas
  • Dont stop people to ask for directions, or check your map on the streets
  • It is better to explore in groups and stick to well-lit busy streets
  • If you want to go on a trip, your accomodation establishment or the nearest tourism information office can recommend a reliable service
  • It is not advisable to carry large sums of money around.

On The Road

  • Practice the same prevention skills you apply in parking lots or garages at home
  • Become familiar with your route before you start the trip
  • Get a map of the route and study it
  • Keep doors locked while driving
  • Store luggage in the car’s boot (trunk) where it is out of sight
  • If your car is bumped by another car, think before you get out. If you are in doubt or feel uncomfortable, signal to the other driver to follow you to the nearby police station or a busy, well-lit area where it is safe to get out of the car.
South African Road Tip: Before you start your trip, become familiar with your route by studying your map/route.

In The Car

  • Keep the doors locked and windows up at all times
  • Do not use cell phones unless you have a hands free kit
  • Lock your valuables inside the boot before departure
  • At night, park in well-lit areas
  • If in doubt about the safety of an area, phone a police station for advise.

Safety At The ATM

  • Be alert at all times and if you see anything suspicious, stop your transaction and leave
  • Never give your pin to anyone, not even a bank official or security personnel
  • Never accept assistance from a stranger.

How To Avoid Mugging

  • Look around you and be aware of your surroundings. Remember, an area is not safe just because you are familiar with it.
  • Carry your bag around your neck and diagonally across your body. Do not carry it hanging over one shoulder. You may as well clutch your bag and hold it to the front.
  • Walk in well-lit busy streets and walk in a group if possible.
  • If you know or suspect that a pedestrian is following you, go to the nearest well-lit or busy area and call the police.
  • Avoid taking short-cuts through deserted areas such as parks, empty areas and passages.
  • Do not exhibit your valuables.
  • If you are being followed by a suspicious vehicle, never try to outrun it. Turn and walk in the opposite direction. React by yelling or shouting if possible.
  • Do not ask strangers to take a group picture, no matter how friendly they may seem.
  • Hide your cellphone and do not walk around talking on it as it will distract you.
Safety tips South Africa
At all times, ensure your phones are fully charged before leaving your hotel room. You may need it in an emergency. See South African emergency phone lines below

Tips When Going On Sightseeing Or Entertainment

  • Use registered, qualified tour guides, identifiable by a certified tour guide badge and card.
  • Do not leave valuables on chairs, under tables or on restrooom hooks.

13 General Commonsense Safety Tips For Tourists In South Africa

1. If you are staying in a hotel, ensure that your room is always locked and be cautious about those you open your room to.
2. When going out, leave a bulb light on in your hotel room so you can see what you are doing on your return.
3. If you are at a resort or beach and want to swim, never leave your valuables unattended. Ask someone you trust to watch over your things or do not swim.
4. Wear your shoulder bag across your body and not on your shoulder. Ensure it is well zipped.
5. Resist the temptation of traveling with expensive gadgets like a gold Rolex watch.
6. Photocopy and certify your passport biodata page and the visa page. Carry these copies with you at all times and leave the passport booklet in a safe place in your hotel.
7. Be conscious of your surroundings
8. While driving, keep your phones or cameras out of sight. Smash and grab is very common in South Africa.
9. Don’t brag about how much you have or the expensive things you have in public.
10. Always inform someone about your destination
11. Before hopping on a Uber or Bolt ride, always make sure the vehicle’s number plate and color correspond to the ride-hailing app’s details.
12. At all times, ensure your phones are fully charged before leaving your hotel room. You may need it in an emergency. See South African emergency phone lines below.
13. Install mobile apps that will make traveling within South Africa easier for you. See here for a list of recommended apps.

How To Report Crime In South Africa

  • Dial the telephone number 10111 anywhere in South Africa.
  • A call centre operator will answer the incoming call and take all necessary particulars.
  • The complaint is then assigned to the local South African Police Service, Community Service Centre’s Sector Vehicle or to the nearest Flying Squad vehicle.
  • For compliants of a less serious nature and for general enquiries, the nearest police station should instead be called. It is therefore very important that numbers of one’s nearest local police station be on hand.

South African Emergency Helplines For Tourists

See the table below for a list of helplines related to any emergency you may be confronted with:

Agency/ServiceTelephone Number
South African Tourism helpline083 123 6789
South African Police Service (SAPS) Emergency Number10111
Crime Stop (report criminal activities anonymously) or for general emergencies08600 10111
Mobile phone emergency number112
South Africa’s National Tourism Information and Safety083 123 2345
Fire Department10177
Emergency Helplines For Tourists in South Africa

I hope you have a great day and a great stay in South Africa! You may please leave your South African travel experience below. Also, dont forget to please share this article if it has been helpful to you.

Akindele Olunloyo


I love travelling. I cherish my Lagos. And I adore my new home in Johannesburg. Lagostojozi Blog is my passion project which strives to promote cooperation, healthy relations and social cohesion between the people of these two great African megacities of Lagos and Johannesburg.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.