South Africa is a fascinating place which travelers will love to explore. However, to make your trip truly enjoyable you need to make it safe first and foremost. There are quite a few things you need to consider and prepare for this trip to ensure your safety. These range from learning where the water is safe to drink to set up a line of money transfers for emergencies.
Know your water
Buying bottled water all the time will add a lot to the total cost of your trip to South Africa. And yet, ‘don’t drink tap water’ is one of the rules of thumb for travelers who visit various countries in Africa, Asia, and South America. It’s definitely one of the basic safety tips for visiting Egypt. However, South Africa is much safer in this regard, at least in heavily populated areas. Tap water in cities meets the WHO standards, but you should never drink from rivers, streams, or wells unless you are 100% sure in the latter. If you set out for a hike in the wild, be sure to stock up on water purifying pills.
Be advised that South Africa is one of the countries with a severe water shortage. Many places don’t have running water at all or have only a limited amount of available water. Therefore, you should always have a hand sanitizer on you. It’s also essential to use water very sparingly while you are in the country.
Only go for legit rides
If you need to get somewhere on a taxi, use an Uber or find a certified car with a meter in it. This isn’t as much of a safety concern because South African rides are considered low-risk compared to some other parts of the continent. However, without a meter, you are most likely to get ripped off. Note that the locals love to haggle. Therefore, if you are feeling bold, feel free to try and negotiate your taxi fare beforehand.
Prepare for emergencies
Being prepared can save you in a pinch, so you need to know how to act in an emergency before you board the plane to South Africa. Start with compiling a list of contacts for emergency services in the country:
Emergency – Ambulance (10177)
Emergency – Cell phone (112)
Emergency – National (10111)
Have them on speed dial during your trip.
You also need to research hospitals and hospital protocols the foreigners need to follow to receive help. Focus on the healthcare service providers in the area you will be staying. Do not forget that you need to make several inoculations before visiting South Africa. You also need to find the best way to send money to South Africa and teach your trusted contact at home about how to use it. This way, you will be able to get money fast in case of an emergency. Money transfers can be lengthy and banks take huge fees. Therefore, finding an alternative method is essential if you want to be able to get help from home immediately.
Keep an eye on your stuff
The majority of restaurants and shops in South Africa don’t accept cards. Therefore, as a tourist, you’ll have to stock up on cash. This makes you a pickpocket magnet. The situation is made worse by the fact that travelers are easy to pick out from the crowd. They also often carry expensive tech and jewelry. If you want your valuables and money to stay safe, you need to practice ‘constant vigilance’. It’s easier to keep your stuff safe when exploring cities because you can use specialized anti-theft bags. However, when you are on the beach, there is no other way but to watch your valuables.
Stay in during the nights
South Africa is amazing and welcoming, but it’s not a 100% safe destination. To reduce the risk of having an unpleasant incident ruining your trip, avoid walking the streets at night. If you want to enjoy the local nightlife, be sure to book a trustworthy taxi to get you directly to and from the club.