Safety Tips for Tourists

Umhlanga Tourism Office

General Safety Tips for Tourists

Take note of the following safety tips for tourists:

  • Do not attract unwarranted attention by openly displaying cash, expensive jewellery, cameras and other valuables
  • Carry your wallet, credit cards, passport and other travel documents in your inside and front pockets
  • Try not to carry large sums of money, particularly foreign currency
  • Avoid strange, dark, poorly illuminated or isolated places
  • Avoid travelling and exploring on your own
  • Plan your travel routes beforehand
  • Practise safe sex
  • Carry certified copies of your passport, ID and travel documents
  • Tag your luggage and belongings for easy identification and contact procedures

Motor Vehicle Safety Tips for Tourists

Helpful safety tips for tourists and motor vehicles:

  • Follow the applicable general tips above
  • As for anywhere in the world, remember that your personal safety in a vehicle is strongly dependent on YOU.

Make sure:

  • All windows are fully closed
  • Doors are locked (be careful of remote jamming when doing this)
  • Gearlock is secured when parked
  • Alarm is switched on
  • Valuables are locked away – AT ALL TIMES, EVEN WHEN TRAVELLING!

More advice:

  • Plan your route in advance
  • Ensure you have sufficient fuel and that your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition
  • Fasten your seatbelt, lock your doors and keep your windows shut
  • Avoid displaying valuables openly in the vehicle to avoid smash-and-grab crime; Lock your valuables in the boot (trunk)
  • Be alert at traffic lights and stop streets
  • Leave enough space around the vehicle for a quick getaway
  • If you are softly bumped from behind and the individuals involved looks suspect, proceed to the nearest police station to report the incident – do not get out of the car
  • NEVER pick up strangers
  • NEVER entertain the advances of street beggars and ‘ladies of the night’
  • It is illegal to use your mobile phone whilst driving – use a hands-free kit
  • At night, park in well-illuminated areas; when returning to your vehicle, have your keys ready to unlock your car
  • If you are lost and concerned about the safety of the area you are in, phone 10111, 0829111 (24 Hours) or 112 on your mobile phone

Safety Tips for Tourists at Hotels/Accommodation

Helpful safety tips for tourists while staying in Umhlanga:

  • Do not leave your luggage and belongings unattended
  • Store valuables in the hotel’s safe deposit box at reception or in your room’s safe
  • Keep your hotel room and any sliding doors/windows locked at all times
  • Never open your room door unless you have identified the person who has knocked on your door; if in doubt contact reception for verification
  • It is advisable to hand in your room keys at reception when going out
  • Do not entertain the unwarranted advances of undesirable, strange or suspicious persons; report such persons to management
  • Use the main entrance of the hotel when you arrive late at night

Safety on the Streets

Safety tips for tourists to follow while out and about:

  • Follow the applicable general tips above
  • If possible, plan your route before going out
  • Where possible, explore the streets in groups and stick to well-illuminated, busy streets
  • Beware of your surroundings; be alert
  • Walk on or close to the kerb and face oncoming traffic
  • Avoid alleyways and dense shrubs/bushes
  • Use credit cards instead of cash where possible
  • Avoid ostentatious displays of wealth
  • If you require any information approach a policeman, traffic officer, security officer or shopkeeper
  • Avoid jogging or cycling alone and at night – plan your route beforehand
  • Vary your daily routine
  • Should you wish to use a taxi ask your hotel or the local tourism information centre to recommend a reliable service

Safety tips for Automated Banking (ATM)

Safety tips for tourists when dealing with money:

  • Follow the general tips and other street tips above
  • Have your ATM card out and ready to use
  • If you are suspicious of anything or anyone – cancel your transaction and leave immediately
  • Avoid ATM machines which are isolated or poorly illuminated
  • Never allow strangers to assist you with your transaction
  • Keep your secret code to yourself and do not let anyone look over your shoulder whilst keying in your code
  • When your transaction is complete, secure your cash and move off immediately; you can count it later

Safety on the Beach

Safety tips for tourists to remember when on the beach:

  • Swim at the beaches manned by life guards and between swimming beacons
  • Avoid bringing valuables to the beach
  • The African sun can BURN – use a high sunscreen factor sun-protection cream
  • Do not take breakables (e.g. glass bottles) to the beach
  • Avoid mixing alcohol and soft drinks before swimming

How to React in an Emergency

Safety tips for tourists to follow in an emergency:

  • Do not panic
  • Think laterally
  • Talk your way out of the situation
  • Do not resist unless you know that such resistance will lead to your escape
  • If your instincts are to physically resist – do not hold back
  • If circumstances dictate that you must not resist, concentrate on noting the physical description and other notable features of your accoster
  • In a robbery or hijacking situation – do as you are told
  • Do not argue or challenge your accoster and do not look directly into his eyes
  • Keep your hands still and visible
  • If you need to undo a seatbelt – ask first
  • Remember you can replace your valuables and your vehicle, but not your life

Umhlanga Emergency Numbers

  • SAPS Durban North 031-560-8004 or 031-560-8009 or 031-560-8101
  • Flying Squad 10111
  • Crime Stop 0800 111 213
safety tips for tourists
Umhlanga Tourism team