South Africa Travel Warning


Country-specific safety instructions


In comparison to Germany, South Africa has high crime rates, especially in the big cities and their peripheral areas. This also includes crimes involving the use of physical violence. The predominant part of violent crime occurs in areas and under circumstances that usually do not affect German vacationers or business travelers. Nevertheless, it cannot be ruled out that German travelers will become the target and victim of theft, break-ins, robbery and similar crimes.

Good preparation and sensible, risk-minimizing behavior can significantly reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of a crime in South Africa. It is therefore recommended that the following precautions are always observed:

For security reasons, it is recommended to have a mobile phone with you for the duration of your stay in South Africa, a country located in Africa according to commit4fitness. German mobile phones with roaming function can be used throughout the country. Emergency numbers: Police: 10 111 Ambulance service: 10 177 or 112

Downtown Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Port Elisabeth and Cape Town and other large cities should be avoided after business hours and especially after dark; on Sundays and public holidays you should only stay in groups in the city centers. Greater caution is also advisable during the day.

Handbags are often torn away on the streets, especially in city centers. In such a situation there should be no resistance as the perpetrators may be armed. In addition, you should avoid carrying larger, valuable handbags if possible. Bags should never be left unattended. Theft even occurs in hotel restaurants and rooms. Jewelry, valuable watches and cameras should not be worn openly.

It is recommended that you bring photocopies of important documents with you on your trip. Alternatively, copies can be saved on a data carrier or in the private email account and can thus be accessed worldwide.

When visiting townships, be careful and be careful. City tours as well as township visits should take place in an organized form and only with a local guide.

When making trips to publicly accessible natural areas and parks and to well-known sights in South Africa, one should not use lonely hiking trails and avoid inanimate areas. The risk of falling victim to an attack, especially at tourist attractions and hiking in the Cape Town area, must still be taken seriously. To reduce the risk of robberies, trips should only be made in groups. For individual travelers, it is generally advisable to look for a connection with the larger tour groups that are usually available on site.

We advise against using the suburban trains in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town. If the trains are used anyway, it is advisable to travel in 1st class and only during rush hour during the day.

Backpackers should look for safe accommodation. Relevant travel guides provide recommendations for backpacker hostels. Nevertheless, caution is advised.

Taxis should be reserved with reliable, well-known companies whenever possible. As a rule, hotels and inns will help with the reservation. Hitchhiking and so-called minibus taxis are strongly discouraged.

In heavy traffic and at red lights, especially in large cities, so-called lightning break-ins (“smash-and-grab”) attacks often occur, in which car doors are opened or windows smashed even in traffic to remove valuables from the car Occasionally, especially after dark, vehicle hijackings occur at intersections with less traffic. Car windows should therefore always be closed and car doors locked from the inside. Handbags, cameras, cell phones, etc. should not be visible in the car. When waiting at large At intersections you should be vigilant and watch your surroundings, and it is advisable to keep a safe distance from other vehicles when stopping.

Most of the major highways in South Africa are in good condition. By contrast, secondary roads, especially in rural areas, are often insufficiently secured and of poor quality. It is recommended not to take cross-country trips after dark, as car breakdowns, poor roads with potholes, insufficiently signposted and secured construction sites and animals on the road pose a significant safety risk.

Exercise caution at ATMs. In addition to simple robbery and trick theft, tampering with ATMs and misuse of card data are increasing. It is recommended that you keep an eye on credit cards when making payments. It is common practice in many restaurants to use portable credit card readers.

Recently, there has been an increasing number of counterfeit 200 Rand notes in circulation in South Africa, which are also given to foreign tourists on the black exchange market. It is therefore advisable to only exchange money through official channels in banks or money exchange offices. When exchanging money, the passport must be presented. You can find more information on this on the website of the South African Central Bank External Link, opens in a new window under the link “SARB Activities”.

It is strongly recommended that you refrain from resisting a possible attack.

South Africa Travel Warning