Posted by Jacky Hartzenberg on 12 November 2019 2:35 PM CAT
The Paarl and Wellington Wine and Tourism organisation values your safety.
Please take note of the following safety precautions.
Although our region is safe, visitors must be aware that due to the high unemployment rate in the country, there are criminal elements who will target tourists. Please take the following preventative measures to ensure that you and your belongings are safe. We hope you have a wonderful stay.
IN YOUR VEHICLE:
- Plan your route in advance, keep the doors of your vehicle locked and the windows closed at all times.
- Do not leave your mobile phone or ANY valuables where they’re visible from outside the vehicle, rather lock it in the vehicles’ boot (trunk).
- At night, park in well-lit areas.
- Never pick up strangers or hitchhikers.
- If in doubt about the safety of an area, phone 10111? and ask the operator to be connected to a nearby police station for advice and help.
- Do not stop if a traffic cop or policeman ask you to pull over and request you to pay a fine for a traffic offense. Do not follow them on request to an ATM to draw money for the payment. Drive to the nearest police station and report the incident.
- Make sure that you have the number of your car rental company at hand in case you get stranded.
IN YOUR ACCOMMOCATION ESTABLISHMENT:
- Store valuables in the room’s safety deposit box.
- Keep your room locked.
- If someone knocks, check who it is before opening the door or contact reception.
- Make sure that a receipt is issued for your stored luggage.
- Do not leave unattended valuables on chairs, under tables or on restroom hooks in your room.
ON THE STREETS:
- Avoid ostentatious display of expensive jewellery, cameras, mobile phones and other valuables.
- Keep your handbag closed or zipped, and your wallet in an inside pocket, not in the rear pocket of your pants.
- Do not carry large amounts of cash with you.
- Do not walk around talking on your mobile phone in the street and do not leave your phone unattended.
- At night stay away from dark, isolated areas.
- Exchange your currency at a bank or at the hotel, not on the street.
ATMs and credit cards
- Do not show your bank card to ANYONE approaching you or let them handle it.
- Go into a bank for queries regarding ATM machines.
- Credit card transactions must be processed in your presence.
- Try and keep a backup credit card and cash in the safety deposit box of your accommodation.
- Avoid withdrawing money at an open (on-street) ATM – rather go into the bank to withdraw money.
- If you need to use an on-street ATM, be alert at all times. If you see anything suspicious, stop your transaction and leave.
Identifying a Member of the South African Police Service
- Members of the South African Police Service must carry an identification card stating the member’s name, rank, service number and photograph.
- SA Police and Traffic Officials have clearly marked vehicles. The lights on these vehicles are blue. Never stop when an unmarked vehicle with any other colour light shows you to stop. Drive to your nearest police station.
- You have the right to request members in civilian clothes and members in uniform to identify themselves with their identification cards.
On Hiking Trails
- Travel in groups.
- Carry enough drinking water and snacks and wear a hat, especially in summer.
- Most hiking trails requires a permit, which also ensures that you will be found in case of an emergency.
- Steer away from isolated areas unless accompanied by a guide.
- When spotted, do not approach snakes in the mountains, when left alone they usually take flight.
- Be careful and concentrate when negotiating hiking paths as they are often uneven. While taking photographs, eating or drinking, hikers are advised to pause and remain stationary while doing so for safety purposes.
- Keep away from the edge of paths or view sites. A simple distraction may startle hikers and result in them losing their balance or footing. Dry conditions cause gravel sections on pathways to become unstable underfoot.
On your bicycle
- Record your bike’s serial number
Cyclists are advised to record the serial number found on the underside of the bottom bracket.
- Have visual proof of ownership
Record visual proof of your ownership of your bicycle. This may include a photograph of you standing next to the bicycle or proof of the invoice; store the proof on your phone.
- Store your bicycle details
Pedal Power Association South Africa (PPA) has a “bicycle garage” on its website and allows bike owners to store their bikes’ details there as a safety measure in case they forget the details.
- Fit your bicycle with a tracker
It is recommended that cyclists use the “Cycle Sense and the Safe Cycle option” from Netstar.
- Insure the bicycle
Consider getting an insurance plan that provides cover for the cost of your bicycle tracker.
Useful Telephone Numbers
- Ambulance ER24: 084 124
- Immediate Medical Services: 087 057 5900
- Medi-Clinic Paarl: 021 807 8000
- South African Tourism Helpline: 0861 874 911
- Paarl Police Emergency Number: 10111