Tips for Tourists on Safety in Johannesburg


Johannesburg doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to safety. The city’s high levels of inequality don’t help.Most crime happens in the outlying townships, and that the vast majority of locals are super friendly.

As in all major cities, taking simple precautions is best.Despite it’s reputation, it’s important for tourists to have knowledge of the potential risks and not let paranoia ruin your stay. Be aware rather than paranoid. As in any other big city, you need to use your head, know where you’re going, and not flash valuables around. Chat to a local, or your hotel concierge to get a heads-up.

Safety around the airport

  • Make sure your bags and luggage have locks, name tags and markers for quick and easy identification
  • Don’t allow people to tamper with your bags.
  • When seeking directions, proceed to marked information centres only.

Safety in your vehicle

  • Plan your route in advance
  • Lock valuables in the boot (trunk) before departure
  • Keep doors locked and windows up at all times
  • At night, park in safe areas
  • Don’t pick up hitchhikers or stranges
  • Have your car rental agency contact details on hand
  • Car jamming – make sure that your vehicle is securely locked (by checking the door handles) before moving away from it

At your Accommodation

  • Do not leave your luggage unattended and ensure that only a member of staff assists you.
  • Lock your luggage in your room and keep your valuables in the hotel safe deposit box.
  • Keep your room locked at all times and check who is at the door before opening it.
  • Hand in your room key when you go out and inform the receptionist as to your whereabouts.
  • Most hotels have safety and security information available and  can advise on local areas to avoid.

Safety on Foot

  • Avoid displaying valuables such as jewelry, cameras, mobile phones
  • Keep your handbag with you, closed & zipped, and do not leave it unattended
  • Carry your wallet in an inside pocket, not in a back pocket
  • Avoid carrying large sums of cash
  • Stay away from dark isolated areas at night
  • It’s better to explore in groups, and stick to well-lit and avoid quiet streets


Emergency Contact numbers

Police– 10111

Ambulance / Emergency Services – 10177


For a more comprehensive list of tourism safety tips click HERE.

1. Gauteng Tourism Authority
2. Tourism Safety Initiative