- Safety and security tips to use in and around Africa-
General Safety Tips for Bulawayo

Like most populated places, one has to aware of the realities and possibilities of crime. In general Bulawayo is a tranquil and friendly place, but one can not ignore that one of the fruits of a declining economy is the increase in crime. Here are some recommended safety tips, to ensure that you have a stress-free experience, whether you are a tourist or local returning for a visit.

  • Avoid wearing visible jewellery or carrying cameras and bags over your shoulder.

  • Keep cell phones and wallets tucked away where no one can see them.

  • Do not leave purses on chairs, under tables, on the backs of chairs or on restroom hooks.

  • Do not count your money in the open.

  • Keep track of your keys. (You may consider returning your hotel room key to the front desk while away from your room.)

  • When using valet parking, only give the attendant your car key and do not leave valuables in your vehicle.

  • Be wary of prostitutes, who are sometimes linked to drug peddling or mugging.

  • Pay attention to your surroundings and report any suspicious situations or people to a security officer or a member of staff.

  • Make copies of relevant documents e.g. passport, visa, travellers’ cheques and credit card numbers.

  • Should you lose your passport, report the loss as soon as possible to your country's embassy or consulate, and to the police.

  • Carry traveller’s cheques instead of large amounts of cash. Do not carry all of your cash and/traveller’s cheques with you; instead place them in your room safe or the hotel safe.

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  • Write down your credit card numbers as well as the customer service number for the issuing bank(s), put them in a sealed envelope and ask the hotel front desk if it can be held for you.

  • Separate your cash and credit cards.

  • Only use ATMs in areas that are well lit.

  • Always lock your hotel room door, even if you are just going for ice. Check sliding glass doors, windows and connecting room doors.

  • Do not leave room keys lying around the swimming pool.

  • Do not leave your luggage unattended when checking into your hotel.

  • Do not countersign all your traveller’s cheques.

  • Avoiding picking up hitchhikers.

  • Do not leave your keys in an unattended car, even while running a quick errand or filling up with petrol (gas).

  • Remain alert at all times, especially in crowded and noisy areas.

  • If you get lost, go to an open business and ask for help.

Specific Safety Tips
At the Hotel

v      Never leave your luggage unattended

v      Store valuables in the hotel’s safety deposit box

v      Keep your room locked, whether you are in it or out

v      If someone knocks, check who it is before opening the door

v      Hand the keys in at the desk whenever you leave the hotel

In the street

v      Avoid flamboyant displays of expensive jewellery, cameras and other valuables

v      It’s definitely not advisable to carry large sums of money around

v      At night, steer clear of dark, isolated areas

v      It’s better to explore in groups and to stick to well-lit, busy streets

v      Plan your route beforehand

v      A policeman or traffic officer will be glad to direct you if you get lost

v      If you want to call a taxi, your hotel or nearest police station can recommend a reliable service

In the car

v      Plan your route in advance

v      Keep the car doors locked at all times and wind the windows up

v      Lock valuable items in the boot (trunk)

v      At night, park in well-lit areas

v      Never pick up strangers

v      If in doubt about the safety of an area, phone a police station for advice

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