- Plan your visits in advance. Get advice from your hotel or nearest local tourist information office.
- Only go to places where you feel comfortable and safe.
- Where possible, use registered, qualified and recognised tourist guides.
- Always let someone know where you are going and how long you expect to be
- Keep photocopies of all valuable documents in a safe place.
- Do not leave your luggage and belongings unattended.
- Store valuables in the hotel's safe at reception or in your room's safe (if supplied).
- Always keep your hotel room and any sliding door or windows locked.
- Never open your room door unless you have identified the person who has knocked on your door. If in doubt contact reception for verification.
- It is advisable to hand in the keys to your room at reception when going out.
- Do not entertain the advances or undesirable, strange or suspicious persons. Report such people to management.
- Use the main entrance of the hotel when you arrive late at night.
- If possible, plan your route beforehand.
- Where possible, explore the streets in groups and stick to well-lit, busy streets.
- Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert.
- Walk on or close to the curb and face on-coming traffic
- Avoid alleyways and dense shrubs and bushes
- Use credit cards instead of cash where possible
- Do not allow strangers to assist you in your transactions at ATMs
- Avoid ostentatious displays of wealth
- If you need information, ask a traffic officer, police officer, security officer or shopkeeper
- Avoid jogging or cycling alone and at night. Plan your route beforehand. Vary your routine and route
- If you need to make use of a taxi, ask your hotel or the local tourism information office to recommend a reliable service to you.
- Street children and beggars may approach you for a handout. Many social workers counsel against giving money to the children as it usually gets handed over to an older figure or is used for sniffing glue. If you wish to do good, rather give food or donate your change to a registered charity. On the Roads
- Be at all times courteous on the roads.
- Do not drink and drive.
- Appoint a designated driver who will not use alcohol.
- Use your seatbelt.
- Allow pedestrians right of way.
- Secure toddlers in baby or child seats.
Tragic water accidents at the sea happen quickly, mostly due to a lack of safety knowledge. The following tips cover water safety as well as protection measures to take whilst on the beach:
- Read and obey the beach regulations and follow instructions or advice from lifeguards.
- Report hazardous conditions or incidents to lifeguards or other beach personnel.
- Make sure you know how to swim if entering the sea.
- Swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard - usually in a zone between two red and yellow flags.
- Never swim alone.
- Swim parallel to the shore if you wish to swim a long distance.
- Supervise children closely, even when lifeguards are present. A personal flotation device is recommended for children.
- If caught in a rip current, swim sideways until free and don't swim against the current's pull.
- Don't dive into unfamiliar waters - what may seem deep could be very shallow. Feet-first is safer.
- Avoid swimming near rocks, piers, jetties, groynes and breakwaters.
- If you are in trouble in the sea, shout or wave for help.
- Scuba dive only if trained and certified.
- Do not drink alcohol before or during swimming, diving or boating. Alcohol impairs your judgement, balance, coordination and reduces your body's ability to stay warm.
- Do not take drink glasses, glass bottles or glass containers to the beach as they can break and pose a threat to bare feet.
- Wear foot protection on unclean, rocky or hot sand beaches.
- Do not light fires on the beach except in designated areas.
- Stay clear of coastal dune cliffs as they can collapse suddenly.
- Protect your skin from over exposure to UVA and UVB rays by wearing water-proof sunscreen with a high protection factor of 20+. Avoid the sun between the hottest times of the day: 11:00 - 15:00.
- Wear eye protection, good quality sunglasses protect against UV rays.
- Drink plenty of water regularly to avoid dehydration even if you don't feel thirsty. Your body needs water to keep cool and to replace lost salts through sweating.
- Watch for signs of heat stroke which is life-threatening. The body's temperature can rise too high due to poor sweating. Signs include hot, red and dry skin, rapid and weak pulse and rapid, shallow breathing. Move to a cooler place, cool the body down and seek medical help.
It is important to report any safety incident use the following numbers:
Safety and Security (Police) - 10111
All Emergencies - 107 (from landline)
All Emergencies - 021 480 7700 (from a cellphone)
Ambulance - 10177
Should you be involved in any Safety incident, Knysna Tourism in partnership with Protection and Emergency Services run a successful Visitor Support Programme to further assist you. Contact us for more information on (079 496 1971 | 044 382 5510), because we care.
Knysna Tourism is committed to exceptional and quality service.
If you are not happy with the service received or the quality of a product or experience, please make use of the following numbers. Office of the Consumer Protector 0800 007 081.
Consumer Complaint Line 021 483 3945
You can also hand in a written complaint at the Knysna Tourism office and we will gladly investigate.