This is a following up on a previous post about travelling South Africa and some basic tips on what to do and expect.
Money and the ATM
- Plastic money (ie credit and debit cards) is widely accepted. However, make sure you have some cash on you for tipping parking attendants, etc.
- Do not you stuff your wallet with a wad of notes where everyone can see it. Just keep a small amount in your wallet where it is visible to the public. Keep the wad stashed at another secret place. This also ensure that you have money left if things turn out for the worst!
- Take care when drawing money at ATMs. In busy areas, there will be a security guard on duty. Of course, Avoid ATMS that are in dark corners. Be aware of accepting help from persons at the ATM as a lot of scams happen in this way.
- It is safer to draw money at the ATM at the bank. If your card gets stuck, go inside immediately and ask for assistance from a bank official.
- It is a good idea to keep some small change in your pocket in the event that you get mugged. If you just hand over the small change they will probably take it and leave. Do not resist and fight! Things could turn out ugly. Report the incident to the nearest police station, because this is not acceptable behaviour in South Africa. Here we respect each other.
- When on the beach, and enjoying the African sunshine, make sure that at least one person stays behind at your belongings otherwise you might go back to your hotel in your swimming suit. It is a really an easy target for pick-pocketing. Nowadays there are lockable storage containers available at some beaches. Try them out!
- Do not walk around and advertise your expensive jewellery and valuables exposed. Be discreet with valuables when wandering the streets. This means dress accordingly to where you are and be streetwise.
- Ask the staff at your accommodation regarding safe areas to walk if you are in doubt – they will know the how, what and where of the city or town.
- Rather leave your valuables in the safe at your accommodation and just take what is necessary and needed.
- If you wander in dark alley ways after a night out that will be an open invitation to get robbed. It is not worth the risk.
- At night rather spend the money and make use of Uber.
Do not be put off to travel South Africa – keep it on your bucket list. Bad things do not happen as a rule if you are vigilant and streetwise.
I invite you to come and experience the warm hearts of the complex Rainbow Nation!