Safety & Security – South Africa

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip lives in South Africa and has authored many guidebooks to African destinations, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip lives in South Africa and has authored many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip is the author of many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip is the author of the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Travel Alert

Please visit our coronavirus page to stay informed about the latest developments in South Africa.

Travel Alert

South Africa is generally a safe country to visit, in our opinion. All the more so if your visit is primarily an organized safari or tour. More than 10 million tourists visit South Africa every year, and most visits are trouble-free. South Africa does have, however, a high level of both petty and violent crime. Most crime is committed in big cities, such as Johannesburg and Durban but issues can usually be avoided by following basic safety precautions.

Below are tips on staying safe in South Africa.

Staying Safe on Wildlife Viewing Activities

To stay safe on safari, always listen carefully to your guide’s instructions, follow the rules of the park and respect wild animals. When on a self-drive safari, only leave your car where it has been designated as safe to do so, and don’t drive too close to animals. For additional tips:

Staying Safe in Cities and Towns

There is a fair amount of crime in South Africa’s big cities. Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town are crime hotspots but you are very unlikely to encounter any issues on guided visits. Cape Town and Durban are fine to visit independently as well as long as you avoid ‘bad’ areas and you follow basic safety precautions: seek advice from your hotel before taking a walk in the city; don’t wear valuables and only take the money you need with you; don’t walk after dark, rather take a taxi. For more safety tips that apply to African cities in general:

Other Tips on Staying Safe

Please read the pages below regarding malaria and vaccination information for South Africa and general travel safety precautions.

Governments' Travel Advice

Please use the links below for governments' travel advice on South Africa.

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