Travellers do not require any immunisations to enter South Africa unless travelling from a yellow-fever endemic area (you’ll have to present your inoculation certificate). Cape Town is not a malaria area either, so there’s no need to stock up on prophylactics.
Our tap water is safe and pleasant to drink. In the interest of keeping our city clean and green, purchase a reusable bottle and top up at taps and drinking fountains.
The city has an excellent network of both state and private hospitals. See Useful Contacts for more details. Save our emergency services’ numbers to your phone in case of a medical emergency.
It’s a good idea to exercise common sense wherever you travel in the world, and Cape Town is no exception.
Avoid carrying large sums of money or drawing particular attention to expensive items, such as jewellery, cellphones and cameras. Never leave your belongings unattended in a public space and avoid deserted areas after dark. Beware of pickpockets or opportunistic thieves in crowded places.
South Africa has extremely strict drinking and driving laws. The legal limit is a breath alcohol content of 0.24 mg per 1 000 ml, or a blood alcohol content of 0.05g per 100 ml. If you choose to imbibe, rather call for a cab or make use of one of the sober driving services in the city.
When hiking Table Mountain, It’s best to walk in groups of at least four, preferably with someone who has climbed before or with a guide. Wear proper hiking shoes and always pack warm, protective gear regardless of how nice the day is when you set out, as the Cape Peninsula is notorious for sudden changes in weather conditions. Pack the bare minimum (sufficient water, light snacks and warm clothing) and rather leave wallets and expensive cameras at home. However, do take a cellphone in case of emergency – and save Mountain Rescue’s contact number (+27 21 948 9900).
Photography Kendall-Leigh Nash/HSMimages.co.za