Cape Town - Travelling can sometimes be stressful and tiring - and coupled with a busy time of year when theft and scams are prominent means that travellers are easy targets, especially when in a foreign territory.
To help you enjoy a smooth vacation with your loved ones this festive season, here are tips, warnings and information you need to know. From ensuring blissful beach days to making sure that you are also a responsible tourist, here's what you need to know:
Travellers are advised to plan their journeys carefully and avoid last minute rush and late night driving.
The rainy weather is another risk in some parts of the country in this period and motorists must adjust their speed in consideration of wet road conditions. Click here to keep up to date with your local weather
Government has partnered with Community Safety Councils in every province to bolster its efforts to reduce road crashes. There will also be an a 24-hour shift for traffic officers this year over the festive season peak period.
SEE: Stay safe this festive season: Here’s your emergency need-to-know info
Officials are expected to be tough with those who drink and drive on the roads. Motorists can expect to be stopped at mobile testing stations where officials will test the roadworthiness of their cars. Drivers will also be tested for alcohol levels at all road safety law enforcement activations.
Click here for more details on road safety.
Public transport + Uber
Public transport was also given a warning to ensure they comply with all road regulations for their sector. Public transport would receive special attention because minibus vehicles and buses account for about 10% of motor vehicles that get involved in fatal crashes on South Africa roads.
ALSO SEE: City of Cape Town launches safety plan ahead of festive season
Meanwhile Uber has initiated driver safety sessions at their Greenlight Hubs over the last two months in major African cities. Together with police representatives and safety experts, the ride-sharing platform equipped drivers with safety tips specific to them. This is especially important following the violent conflict drivers have experienced with metered taxis this year. Click here for rider and driver safety tips.
SEE: Safety tips for your festive Uber rides
With more holidaymakers expected to flock to South Africa's beautiful coastal areas, authorities are taking greater measures to ensure that there's an increase of lifeguards at beaches, and that more awareness is created around beach safety this summer holiday.
This year the Mother City had to consider contingency plans to accommodate the drought crisis and its impact on normal operations. Only one-third of all swimming pools open and the number of beach lifeguards in anticipation has been increased.
The onus is also on visitors to ensure that they take necessary measures to have a comfortable and enjoyable vacation. A responsible tourist will respect human rights, preserve the natural environment and be open to other cultures and traditions when travelling. Click here to find out how you can be a responsible tourist.
ALSO SEE: 2018 in Public Holidays: Do your leave planning like a pro
Who to call In Case of Emergency
Report incidents to either the South African Police Services (10111) or the National Traffic Call Centre (NTCC) on 012 665 6075.
Arrive Alive can be contacted on 0861 400 800 to report cases of bad driving, as well as poor road conditions.
The Automobile Association Rescue can be reached on 080 001 0101.
For emergencies, you can call 112 from any cell phone in South Africa. You will then reach a call centre and they will route you to an emergency service closest to you.
Traveller24 Tip: Download the new emergency resonder app MySOS. It's a one-stop solution for access to the closest and most appropriate emergency services in South Africa. Be sure to link up your family and friends to strengthen the network of assistance. Read more about MySOS and how it works.
Save these emergency numbers on your cell phone:
- South African Police Service and National Emergency Response
Phone from cell phone: 112 (automated response)
- Ambulance Services
Emergency - Ambulance Phone 10177
Emergency - From Cell phone 112 (automated response)
Phone 021 981 9890
Missing Children Emergency
Phone 072 647 7464
- National Sea Rescue Institute
NSRI Cape Town - Phone 021 449-3500
NSRI Saldhana - Phone 022 714-1726
NSRI Mossel Bay - Phone 044 604-6271
NSRI Port Elizabeth - Phone 041 507-1911
NSRI East London - Phone 043 700-2100
NSRI Durban - Phone 031 361-8567
NSRI Richard's Bay - Phone 035 753-1991
- NSRI Inland Dams and Lakes
Vaal Dam – Dick Manten – 083 626 5128
Hartbeespoort Dam – Rod Pitter – 082 990 5961
Victoria Lake – Graham Hartlett – 082 441 6989
Witbank Dam – Dean Wegerle – 060 962 2620
- SANParks - Table Mountain National Park
In case of emergencies - Phone 021 957 4700
- SANParks - Kruger National Park
In case of emergencies - Phone 013 735 4325
- SANParks general call centre
Phone 012 428 9111
- Airports emergency numbers:
Bloemfontein International - Phone 051 433 2901
Cape Town International - Phone 021 935 9745
Durban International - Phone 031 408 1990
Polokwane International - Phone 015 288 0083
OR Tambo International - Phone 011 941 6200
Lanseria International - Phone 011 659 1229
Kruger Mpumalanga International - Phone 013 750 2937
Pilanesberg Airport - Phone 014 552 2320
Port Elizabeth Airport - Phone 041 404 8323 or 082 809 5237/38
Upington Airport - Phone 054 332 3117/8 or 076 987 3944