South African Travel Safety Tips
Safety has become an important issue throughout the world. The Tourism Safety Task Group of South Africa has compiled the following tips for tourists and migrants who come to the country:
In the street:
Avoid ostentatious displays of cameras and expensive jewellery, especially valuables such as necklaces that is easy to snatch.
It is definitely not advisable to carry large sums of money around (rather, we recommend using URCard, a safe, convenient prepaid debit card designed specifically for travellers)
- At night, steer clear of walking in dark, isolated areas, use taxis instead
- It’s better to explore in groups and to stick to well-lit, busy streets
- Plan your route beforehand
- A policeman or traffic officer will be glad to direct you if you get lost
- If you want to call a taxi, your hotel or the nearest tourism information office can recommend a reliable service
In a car:
- Leave nothing visible in a parked car – NOTHING, not even an empty carrier bag
- Do not pick up strangers when driving.
- Keep windows up at traffic lights.
Keep cash and documents (as flight tickets. passport etc) in your hotel’s safety deposit box.
Leave your valuables at home, your luggage may be opened and your valuables missing from your bags when you collect your luggage from the check out area.
- Do not wear expensive jewellery.
- Do not allow yourself to be separated from your hand luggage.
- Laptops, camera’s, mobile phones and handbags are targeted items.
- Do not allow yourself to be distracted by one person while another person runs off with your possessions.
If you are hiring a car and intend driving from the airport be sure you know the exact route you should take so that you need not stop to ask for directions making yourself vulnerable and an easy hijack target.
Avoid walking in deserted areas on your own during the day and particularly at night.
South Africa is not the only country where the above list applies, it applies to many destinations and innocent tourists are caught up in unpleasant situations because they are not vigilant and do not apply wisdom because they are “on holiday” and in a carefree mood.
Please also avoid giving money to beggars; you are more likely to lose your whole wallet in this type of situation. Poverty breeds crime!
You may know that our region of the country is experiencing extreme drought conditions.
We are told that by March 2018 we will likely run out of water altogether! A VERY SCARY THOUGHT.
The city fathers are looking into desalination and underground water sourcing are being explored to help avoid a complete disaster.
You will find at all responsible hotels that you will be asked to participate in our water saving measures. Taking a bath is no longer permitted by the regulations and we must be a lot more careful of water wastage when taking a shower.
- Close the tap whilst brushing your teeth.
- Toilet Flushing – if it is YELLOW, let it MELLOW, if it is BROWN, flush it DOWN.
THE MIGHTY 2 MINUTE POWER SHOWER
1 – Tap On and rinse.
2 – Tap Off.
3 – Lather (with tap off).
4 – Tap On to rinse off .
How do we save water?
In your en suite bathroom at the Villa you will find a small container in which to collect the cold water which would normally be wasted before the warm water arrives. This is used to top up our swimming pool.
Did you know that we offer a travel planning service for the whole of South Africa? If you’re travelling elsewhere in the country, run your itinerary or wish list by us. Not only can we recommend excellent and unusual places to stay but we nearly always get better rates than you would going direct. Put us to the test!
- GETTING TO THE VILLA FROM THE AIRPORT
We can arrange a bespoke transfer for you from the airport. Ask us about our safe and efficient pickup service. We would need your flight number. Just in case there is a last minute change to your itinerary (a change of flight for example) it would be your responsibility to let the pickup company know the new number by email or SMS – we will give you the mobile number of the relevant company. (If the driver ends up waiting for you at the airport and you have not notified him you will be responsible for paying for the transfer as contracted.
- You could also take a taxi (this will be little cheaper but you take the chance that the driver cannot find the Villa).
- An Uber is the cheaper. They pickup on the ground floor of the free pickup parking to the right of the airport entrance.
- There are Airport Shuttles which fill up with passengers for various hotels (it can be a long ride – Google: citishuttles.)
- The Municipal Myciti Bus service is good, but you need to buy a bus card for each passenger at their kiosk and load it with sufficient funds to travel to the city terminus. You then heed to take a cab (there is a taxi rank across the road to the right of the terminus exit) – we do need t recommend this at night.
TAXI OR UBER? Taxis are generally less efficient than the Uber service which is quick, cheap and reliable. We recommend that you download the UberApp onto your Smartphone. It will make your life much easier in Cape Town.
CAR RENTAL? You can walk most places from the Villa so we don’t suggest you hire a car for your full stay. You need a car to drive to the Cape Point Reserve and penguins etc and also to The Wineland region, both very well worth a visit. We recommend that you hire a car for the last two days of your trip. Take look at our Rates page for the CAR RENTAL icon.
PARKING is free in the street outside the Villa. A guard patrols the street but there is no guarantee your car will not be pilfered IF YOU LEAVE ANYTHING VISIBLE INSIDE.
It makes sense to book for the following activities in advance during the high season. For Robben Island try to reserve a ferry seat a day or two before your departure date in case bad weather causes changes in departure arrangements.
- ROBBEN ISLAND BOOKINGS
- TABLE MOUNTAIN BOOKINGS
- KIRSTENBOSCH BOTANICAL GARDENS CONCERT BOOKINGS
These can all be reserved on the following website: http://www.webtickets.co.za/
When asked for a telephone number in case of cancellations or updates, give th guesthouse mobile number: 082 579 3987.
- VERY IMPORTANT IF TRAVELLING WITH UNDERAGE CHILDREN: please read very carefully the following website http://www.dha.gov.za/files/Brochures/Immigrationleaflet.pdf
As things stand, parents travelling with children under the age of 18 years must produce an original, unabridged birth certificate and if adopted, an adoption certificate. If travelling without the other parent, concent in the form an affidavit from the other parent to travel to South Africa. Please familiarise yourself with these regulations as we have had clients turned away at passport control on attempting to enter the country.
- To enter South Africa, a passport valid for at least 30 days after the intended date of departure is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.
Requirements for entering South Africa
You will need the following if you wish to visit South Africa:
- A valid and acceptable passport or travel document for your intended stay
- At least two blank page in your passport for endorsements
- A valid visa, if required
- Sufficient funds to pay for your day-to-day expenses during your stay
- A return or onward ticket
- Yellow fever certificates if your journey starts or entails passing through the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America.
Adaptors: we can lend you an adaptor plug which will allow you to connect plugs of non-South African appliances (we do NOT have Transformers which convert appliances from 220 Volts (SA) to 110 Volts ( USA) for example.
Hairdryers: there are hair dryers in all of our rooms.
- Curling Tongs: USA curling tongs will not work on our 220 Volt energy output – you will blow up your appliance!
Computers and mobile phones have built in transformers which will allow them to be charged using our wall plug outputs.