Exercise increased caution in South Africa due to crime and drought. Please read entire message.
Violent crime, such as armed robbery, rape, carjacking, mugging, and “smash-and-grab” attacks on vehicles, is common. There is a higher risk of violent crime in the central business districts of major cities after dark.
The South African government declared a state of national disaster due to drought in the country’s Western, Eastern, and Northern Cape Provinces. Water restrictions in Cape Town, which limit household water use to 50 liters per person per day, remain in effect. Water supplies in some other areas may also be affected. Please see our Alerts for up-to-date information.
Read the Safety and Security section on the Country Information page
If you decide to travel to South Africa:
- Avoid walking alone, especially after dark.
- Avoid visiting informal settlement areas unless you are with someone familiar with the area.
- Do not display cash or valuables.
- Drive with doors locked and windows closed.
- Always carry a copy of your U.S. passport and visa (if applicable). Keep original documents in a secure location.
- Conserve water and follow local guidance on water use for tourists and Save Like a Local.
- Check the City of Cape Town website for up-to-date information and guidance on how to manage water consumption.
- Refer to the Nelson Mandela Bay’s website for updates on water restrictions in effect in the Eastern Cape.
- Monitor water levels at the City of Cape Town’sWater Dashboard.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Reportfor South Africa.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
- United States Embassy to the Republic of South Africa
(Note: The Embassy does not provide consular services)
877 Pretorius Street
Tel: 012-431-4000 (outside South Africa: +27-12-431-4000)
- United States Consulate General, Johannesburg
(Covering Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West, and Free State provinces)
1 Sandton Drive (corner of Rivonia and Sandton Drive)
Tel: 011-290-3000 (outside South Africa: +27-11-290-3000)
After-hours emergencies: 079-111-1684 (outside South Africa: +27-79-111-1684)
- United States Consulate General, Durban
(Covering KwaZulu-Natal Province)
Delta Towers, 31st floor
303 Dr. Pixley KaSeme Street
Tel: 031-305-7600 (outside South Africa +27-31-305-7600)
After-hours emergencies: 079-111-1445 (outside South Africa +27-79-111-1445)
- United States Consulate General, Cape Town
(Covering Western Cape, Eastern Cape, and Northern Cape provinces)
2 Reddam Avenue
Tokai, Cape Town
Tel: 021-702-7300 (outside South Africa: +27 21-702-7300)
After-hours emergencies: 079-111-0391 (outside South Africa: +27-79-111-0391)
- State Department – Consular Affairs 1-888-407-4747 or 1-202-501-4444
- South Africa Country Information
- Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)to receive security updates
- Follow us on Facebookand Twitter