Intrepid takes the safety of our travellers extremely seriously. We're in constant contact with staff on the ground and our itineraries are designed with safety as the number one priority. While South Africa is generally a safe destination for travellers, there are some issues you should be aware of.

Is South Africa safe for tourists?

Overall, South Africa is a safe country to travel to as long as you remain vigilant. The crime rate is high and incidents including petty theft, armed robberies and carjacking are common. Protests and political demonstrations can also become violent. It's unlikely that travellers will experience violent crime in major tourist areas, but it's possible. Crimes tend to occur in major towns and cities after dark or during planned blackouts known as load-shedding. You should avoid walking at night and use Ubers or hotel shuttles instead.

If you're a solo traveller, a female traveller and/or a person who identifies as LGBTQIA+, you may face extra challenges. Whoever you are, it's important to be extra diligent when travelling through South Africa, to understand the risks that you may face and know how to avoid or deal with them.

Safety tips for travellers in South Africa

No matter where you travel, you should always be prioritising your personal safety. We recommend doing the following while in South Africa:

  • Avoid protests and large public gatherings as these can become violent – keep tabs on social media and follow local authorities' advice
  • Avoid the Numbi Gate entrance to Kruger National Park
  • Don’t travel after dark, especially outside of the major cities
  • Don't carry your wallet in your back pocket
  • When travelling in a car, ensure doors and windows are locked at all times, only stop at designated areas such as service stations and be extra vigilant at traffic lights
  • Travel during daylight and on toll highways where possible
  • Use ATMs during the daytime and don’t draw attention to valuables or money – try to withdraw smaller amounts at a time if possible

Further resources

For more information on dangerous areas and safe travel in South Africa, these government websites may be helpful:

Click to return to South Africa FAQs

Our South Africa tours

10 Days From 25131

Tour through Johannesburg, Maun, Chobe, the Okavango Delta and Victoria Falls on a ten...

18 Days From 49636

Spend some time exploring Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe with included safari...

12 Days From 36730

Enjoy this Teenage Family Adventure, while hiking, canoeing, snorkeling, rafting,...

22 Days From 44388

Spend three weeks exploring South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, from Cape...

9 Days From 22962

Take on a safari adventure through Hwange National Park, Matobo National Park, Kruger...

Tailor-Made trips

Take four or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary

16 Days From 64592

Visit Africa and travel through southern Africa's beautiful regions. Visit South Africa...

8 Days From 29580

Travel from South Africa's capital to Botswana and Zimbabwe, visiting two of southern...

8 Days From 107775

Embark on an eight-day Premium adventure from Johannesburg to Chobe National Park, via...

10 Days From 32486

Take your family to Victoria Falls, Okavango River and Chobe National Park on this teen...

13 Days From 62420

Crossing the border from Cape Town, South Africa, head towards Windhoek to encounter...

22 Days From 46606

Embark on a 22 day Southern African odyssey through wildlife-rich game parks, idyllic...

17 Days From 32427

Four countries, eight national parks, 17 days, hundreds of animals, thousands of birds,...