Armed Robberies of Visitors to Durban’s Japanese Gardens

This message is being issued to inform U.S. citizens of numerous armed robberies that have taken place in Durban’s Japanese Gardens. Since March 2014, 13 armed robberies have been reported in the Japanese Gardens. In each case, visitors were held up at knife point and robbed. At least two victims were stabbed. A spokesperson for the Durban North South African Police Service has stated that police will be stepping up patrols in the area and that visitors to the gardens should stick to the more populated areas.

The U.S. Diplomatic Mission to South Africa has declared the Japanese Gardens off limits to all U.S. government employees and dependents until the security situation there improves.

Criminal activity such as assault, armed robbery, and theft, can be particularly high in areas around hotels, tourist attractions, and public transportation centers, especially in major cities. Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, and maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in South Africa enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for South Africa. For additional information, refer to our Travelers Checklist.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

The U.S. Embassy in Pretoria and U.S. Consulates General in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban are located at the addresses below. The U.S. Embassy in Pretoria does not have a consular section and does not provide consular services to U.S. citizens. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, outside of business hours, contact the nearest U.S. Consulate General at the emergency after-hours number listed below.

U.S. Consulate General, Johannesburg
(Covering Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West, and Free State provinces)
1 Sandton Drive (corner of Rivonia and Sandton Drive)
Sandhurst, Johannesburg
ACSJohannesburg@state.gov

Tel: 011-290-3000 (outside South Africa: +27-11-290-3000)
After-hours emergencies: 079-111-1684 (outside South Africa: +27-79-111-1684)

U.S. Consulate General, Cape Town
(Covering Western Cape, Eastern Cape, and Northern Cape provinces)
2 Reddam Avenue
Westlake, Cape Town
ConsularCapeTown@state.gov

Tel: 021-702-7300 (outside South Africa: +27 21-702-7300)
After-hours emergencies: 079-111-0391 (outside South Africa: +27-79-111-0391)

U.S. Consulate General, Durban
(Covering KwaZulu-Natal Province)
Old Mutual Building, 31st floor
303 Dr. Pixley Kaseme Street
ConsularDurban@state.gov

Tel: 031-305-7600 (outside South Africa +27-31-305-7600)
After-hours emergencies: 079-111-1445 (outside South Africa +27-79-111-1445)

U.S. Embassy to the Republic of South Africa
(Note: The Embassy does not provide consular services)
877 Pretorius Street
Arcadia, Pretoria
Tel: 012-431-4000 (outside South Africa: +27-12-431-4000)