PPRC issues safety tips for tourists

27 August 2018 | Crime

The Police Public Relations Committee of Swakopmund has issued safety tips for tourists, in anticipation of the tourist peak season which has just started.

“Just like with all other major cities around the world it is advisable that you take universal safety measures in order to safeguard yourself and your belongings from criminal activity.”

General safety tips

Do not hitchhike. Use reputable travel and transport services, ask at your hotel reception to recommend a service provider for you.

Do not carry items for strangers.

Do not walk on the beachfront or any dark side streets alone at night. Stick to well-known places, rather than going off track without guidance.

Do not give attention to street vendors who are not on designated market areas. The municipality has strict rules regarding vendors and those random traders are taking chances.

Most people on the streets with lists collecting funds for charitable purposes are illegal, please do not give donations.

It is a good idea to travel with certified photocopies of your valuable documents, keeping the originals in a safe place.

If you lose your passport, report the loss as soon as possible to the Namibian police as well as your country’s embassy or consulate.

Do not overnight in your car unless it is on registered campsites.

Beachfront

Only swim at the Mole where the bathing beach is located, as the Atlantic Ocean is not only cold but also has treacherous currents and dangerous spots.

On overcast days do use your sunscreen as the Namibian sun can leave you with sunburn.

Dining out

Know where you are going before you set off, particularly at night, and don’t walk alone.

Check beforehand that areas you plan to visit are safe by asking hotel staff.

Do not wear visible jewellery or carry cameras and bags over your shoulder.

Avoid deserted areas at night.

Limit the amount of money you carry on you and keep mobile phones and wallets tucked away where no one can see them. Utilise other forms of payment such as debit/credit cards.

There is no law regarding tipping for services, it is customary to leave a gratuity of at least 10% of the total bill at restaurants and bars.

When using a credit card in restaurants, ask the waiter to bring a portable credit card machine to your table. If a restaurant does not have one, then go with the waiter to the point where the transaction takes place.

Should your card be declined, check with restaurant management that the second machine used belongs to the establishment.

Financial services

Most banks are open between 08:00 and 15:30 on Monday to Friday and until 11:00 on Saturdays.

Banks are closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.

ATM safety

When using automatic teller machines (ATMs) practice the generally accepted safety precautions you would employ when at home.

Never accept an offer from a stranger to help you with your transaction. Be alert and watch that no one steals your card when you turn your back.

If your ATM card is withheld by the machine, approach the bank to release it.

Report lost or stolen cards immediately

Accommodation safety

Store your valuables in the safety deposit box in your room and keep your room locked at all times.

When leaving the property ensure windows and doors are closed and locked securely.

When leaving the property hand your key in at reception.

If staying in an apartment, ensure you activate the alarm system when leaving the property.

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