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When you think of safaris and majestic wild animals, where does your mind take you? There are certainly many destinations that tick the box; India, Canada, Ecuador and  Antarctica? But what is the one location that really stands out as a premier safari destination?

The majority would answer the question with a unanimous ‘Africa’. Safaris have become synonymous with Africa and South Africa is one of the most popular safari countries in Africa. Time and again, it has been included in the top 10 most-visited countries in the world.

Although South Africa is known as the ‘land of safaris’, it also has had its troubles and is not without safety concerns. We’ll talk about the realities of the country and provide information on the safety measures to be taken during your trip. Some of these travel and safety tips can also help you during safaris in other countries.

How Dangerous is South Africa?

To say that South Africa isn’t dangerous would be a lie. But the risks of visiting the country aren’t any higher than visiting some of the other countries around the world. Many  countries have crime with varying threat levels.

Remaining alert and keeping your belongings in sight are the most important things to remember while visiting foreign countries. Make sure you use a trusted travel partner as they will have a better understanding of the local security issues and offer invaluable advice. Another essential aspect of travel safety  is getting vaccinations and ensuring you are fit and healthy. As such, we’ll also take a look at the list of vaccines required to enter South Africa.

South Africa Safety Tips For Cities And Towns

The South Africa travel advisory has recommended the following safety measures for the safety of both the tourists and nationals.

  • First and foremost, do not separate from your tour groups. Follow your tour operator’s/guide’s instructions to the T.
  • Make a copy of your passports and visa for the trip. Keep that copy on you at all times.
  • Avoid going out alone at night. Remain conscious of your surroundings and stay away from deserted areas.
  • Avoid the display of wealth such as cash, jewellery, or any valuables. Store the valuables, including original passport and visa in your hotel’s secure vault.

South Africa Safety Tips For Safaris

Now, we’ll share some South Africa travel advice and safety tips for tourists who self-drive as well as tourists with guides.

  • Trust the guide as they take you to locations with frequent animal sightings. Follow their advice for a safe and fulfilling safari experience.
  • When camping, do not leave food lying around, carry only what’s necessary. Avoid leaving the tent open, zip it closed when  inside or when you leave camp.  These measures are to ensure that you don’t get a surprise visitor.
  • Walking about at night isn’t recommended.
  • Be considerate of the environment and animals  during the safari. Speak at low volume and try not to startle them. Maintain a safe distance from the animals and move back when the tour guide suggests
  • Keep windows and doors on your vehicles closed. Your guide will let you know what you can do.
  • Avoid leaving your vehicle, leaning out of the windows or standing on top of it.
  • Photographers should turn off the flash at night, as it can startle the animals.

Vaccinations Before Entering South Africa

  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) Vaccine: Children, more importantly, infants (6 to 11 months old), need to get the MMR vaccine. Children, 12 months or older, may need two doses of MMR vaccine.
  • Hepatitis A and Typhoid Vaccines: Hepatitis A and Typhoid spread through contaminated food and water.
  • Hepatitis B Vaccine: Hepatitis B is transmitted via blood, contaminated needles and sexual contact.
  • Malaria Medicines and Preventions: Get in touch with your doctor for prescribed malaria medicines and to learn about preventive measures.
  • Rabies Vaccine: Rabies can be contracted from bats, dogs  and other mammals in South Africa.
  • Yellow Fever Vaccine: Yellow fever vaccine is required if you come from a country with the risk of yellow fever virus transmission.

For more information regarding these vaccinations, visit CDC guidelines.

Instead of thinking of these as South Africa travel warnings, why not think of them as preventive measures that will keep you safe during your travel. Following a couple of simple rules will make your safari experience much better. Remember, if in doubt, ask your guide and stick to their advice, they are the experts after all!

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