5 Important Tips to Help You Plan Your Trip to South Africa
South Africa, popularly known for its Wildlife Safaris, Big Five Game Reserve, Winelands, Sun-Soaked Coasts, and Vibrant Culture attracts millions of tourists every year. Naturally, if you’re planning to visit South Africa, you may have concerns about your safety or just have general questions. That’s why we have put together these 5 Travel Tips to help you as you plan your journey to the beautiful South Africa.
First, the tourist attractions in South Africa can be expensive and very crowded. To avoid spending too much and having to wait in long queues, book them online well in advance. The Two Oceans Aquarium is very popular with kids.
Also, when going through a game reserve – as much as you would like to get a better look at the magnificent creatures, they are wild animals and you are a guest in their home. Stick to the path outlined and do not stop except at designated rest areas. Follow the instructions for every park carefully and avoid shouting at the animals.
The telephone number for emergency services in South Africa is 10111. Keep your cell phone on you at all times in case of an emergency or if you get lost. It is very easy and inexpensive to rent a cell phone upon arrival in South Africa.
Cell phones are essential for your safety and you cannot afford to move around without one. Even if you have an international number with roaming, it is still essential to get a local cell phone as calls would be very expensive from your international number.
There are inexpensive Taxis around South Africa. If you’re at a Restaurant or Bar, just ask them to call one for you, avoid hailing just any taxi outside. There are metered taxis and taxis without a meter. Try to generally stick to a metered taxi but if you ever get one without a meter, ensure you agree on a set price before you embark on your journey.
It is common practice to haggle over prices so if you think the price called by the driver is too high, don’t be afraid to speak your mind. You can also download the Uber App before your travel to South Africa. There is Uber coverage in the major cities.
Driving in South Africa is quite safe. However, you might want to brush up on their local laws and speeding limits to ensure you don’t get stopped. South Africans drive on the left side of the road, so if you are used to that, driving yourself in South Africa should be relatively easy.
It is also easy to rent a car in South Africa but for safety reasons, don’t get a car that is too flashy. Stick to a normal vehicle and everything would be fine. Also, always keep your car doors locked, even when driving within the city.
When you park your car, do not leave any valuable possessions in plain sight, always lock them up in the trunk. There are official car guards in the city that help ensure the safety of your car, but you are expected to tip them when you return to your car.
Accessing the Internet
It is easy to access the internet by connecting to a Free Wi-Fi when you visit a Restaurant or Coffee Houses. You can also get Free Wi-Fi at libraries and some shopping areas such as the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
However, when you access the internet at places like this, hackers might be lurking in proximity, ready to steal your passwords, credit card details and other sensitive information in what’s called a Man-In-The-Middle attack.
MITM attacks are commonplace on unsecured networks as your internet data is sent in plain text, which makes it vulnerable to interception. If you know you love the convenience of free Wi-Fi, you’re advised to install a Virtual Private Network, or a VPN, to encrypt your traffic from the moment you connect.
Also, when abroad, banks or email service providers might freeze your account upon your login from South Africa as a fraud preventive measure. To make sure that you’ll be able to access your work email or access online banking, a VPN is indispensable in South Africa.