Your Health, Safety and Security
South and southern Africa is as safe as any other destination anywhere in the world, as long as you use common sense and don't take unnecessary risks. We have some of the most hospitable and friendly people on earth in our country, and they look forward to welcoming you. Obviously, local situations can change very fast, but rest assured that we will never expose you or any of our clients to danger or risk.
Using common sense and taking basic safety precautions works anywhere. Keep valuables locked away and don’t wear expensive watches or jewelry, flash expensive cameras, or walk in deserted areas. When motorcycling, be aware of people and vehicles around you and if in any doubt as to the safety of a particular area, avoid it or leave it as soon as you can. If in doubt, ask a guide or at your accommodation for safety guidelines.
Roads across the region vary from paved highway to sand and gravel routes, but all major centres and most tourist areas are well serviced by good quality paved surfaces. In some areas, road maintenance can be problematic and potholes and poor surfaces should be expected.
We drive on the left-hand side of the road in the region, and road signs and traffic signals are generally no different to those in other international destinations. Speed limits are enforced in most countries, and as a guide these range from 120kph on motorways and national routes, to 80kph in rural areas and 60kph in urban areas. Always consider the road, weather and traffic conditions and adjust your speed accordingly. If you are a 'speed junkie', note that speed fines can be expensive and that any speed over 160kph results in immediate detention by the traffic authorities.
Although roads are well marked, you will find unmarked routes - so use your common sense and remember that animals, wildlife and livestock rule! Be aware of this and also be aware of sudden obstacles and detours.
Speed law enforcement is actively undertaken in the region using radar and even time/distance calculations. NEVER try to offer a bribe to a traffic officer or policeman when stopped. It's not worth the chance that you have met the only honest official in the country!
Health & Medical Services:
The region is prone to Malaria and Yellow Fever and visitors are advised to receive appropriate pre-visit treatment or inoculations as advised by your Travel Clinic. In South Africa, Malaria is mostly limited to the eastern and north-eastern parts of the country (Limpopo; Mpumalanga; Kwa Zulu Natal). Water quality is generally good in urban areas but drinking water from open sources in most countries is not advised.
South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and the urban areas of other countries in the region have excellent medical facilities and emergency services, but these vary to degrees in rural areas in each country. Emergency medical evacuation services are available across the region at a cost.