Like anywhere else in the world your safety is strongly dependent on you. One needs to take precautions wherever you are!

The vast majority of students and visitors complete their stay in South Africa without incident however students are encouraged to always be vigilant and aware that criminal activity can occur as in any other city of the world. It is not advised that students walk alone especially after dark. Students should make the necessary arrangements to ensure that their personal property is covered by insurance against theft as foreign visitors are targets for petty theft or muggings. Most accommodation providers do not cover any losses incurred by students due to theft. It is the student’s own responsibility.

When out and about:

  • Do not publicize your valuables, e.g. jewelry, camera, etc.
  • Use credit cards at reputable providers or if not possible carry only small amounts of cash.
  • At night, avoid isolated and dark places.
  • If you need any information, look for a policeman or information or security officer who will assist you.
  • If you want a taxi, your hotel, accommodation provider or the nearest tourism information office can recommend a reliable service. For more information on transport providers please refer to the following link on the Cape Town Visitor Guide:
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Get advice from your hotel, a nearby tourism office or the AFDA student affairs division before travelling by foot or on local or public transport.

When at the Beach

  • Swim at beaches manned by lifeguards.
  • Swim between the marked areas – flags or beacons.
  • Obey instructions of lifeguards.
  • Do not bring along valuables to the beach, always leave them behind.
  • Use adequate sun protection cream since the UV index remains high in South Africa throughout the year
  • When encountering difficulties in the sea, raise one hand above head.
  • Do not fish or collect shells without obtaining the necessary permits from the nearest Post Office.
  • Do not take glass bottles to the beach.
  • Avoid mixing alcohol and swimming.

When travelling in rural areas

  • Establish how to observe the cultural protocol of that area prior to arrival.
  • Visit traditional and rural areas via recognized tourism transport.
  • Use registered, qualified tour guides.
  • Get advice from your local tourism office in the region for the best routes to follow.
  • Do not stop to pick up strangers, even children. When in need call the police or local authorities to assist.

 When travelling by car

  • Always know where you are going. Know the route.
  • Fasten your seatbelt, lock your doors, and only leave your windows open about 5 cm.
  • Never pick up strangers, even children.
  • Do not use your cell/mobile phone while driving, unless you have a hands free kit.
  • Never display your valuables in the car e.g. handbags, clothes, cell/mobile phones. Lock them in the trunk.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when you stop at a traffic light or stop in the street.


  • Store valuables in the safety deposit box at reception or in your room.
  • Keep your room locked whether you’re in or out.
  • If someone knocks, check who it is before opening the door.
  • Do not allow safety or maintenance personnel on your premises or in your room without identification or notification from the landlord.

At the airport

  • It is acceptable to lock your luggage when travelling within South Africa.
  • Do not accept or carry any luggage that you have not personally packed.
  • Always keep your bags where you can see them.
  • No need to accept help from anybody at airports – push or carry your own luggage to domestic departures.
  • Do not allow other people to tamper with your bags.
  • Make sure that your bags and luggage have identification tags.

AFDA is the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance, and is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997. Registration certificate no. 2001/HE07/012.

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