Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.
Exercise increased caution in South Africa due to crime and civil unrest.
Country Summary: 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.
Demonstrations, protests, and strikes occur frequently. These can develop quickly without prior notification, often interrupting traffic, transportation, and other services; such events have the potential to turn violent.
Please see our Alerts for up-to-date information.
Read the country information page for additional information on travel to South Africa.
If you decide to travel to South Africa:
Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before planning any international travel, and read the Embassy COVID-19 page for country-specific COVID-19 information.
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’s Water 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 Country Security Report for South Africa.
Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.