1. We urge visitors to travel to the Wild Coast during daylight hours, and slowly, as the roads are not fenced and you are likely to meet a Transkei speedtrap in the form of a large animal. There are also potholes which are unavoidable at any kind of speed, as well as small, misleading dirt tracks leading from the feeder roads, so it is all too easy to get lost at night.
2. Be alert for reckless drivers.
3. Bring good walking shoes along with you, something warm for unexpected temperature fluctuations, a costume, towel, hat, sunblock and a good insect repellent.
4. The Tourist Safety Unit can be reached on 047-5052662.
10111 South African Police Services
10177 Ambulance Emergency Medical Services
112 Vodacom, Virgin, MTN, Cell C Emergency Number (148 for contract subscribers)
Mapuzi Police Station 047 575 9000 (Coffee Bay and surrounds)
5. Xhosa Phrasebook: http://www.wildcoast.co.za/xhosa-phrasebook
Care should be taken when swimming in the oceans around South Africa. Treacherous currents and high waves can drag swimmers into dangerous situations, sometimes followed by fatal drowning. There is also a risk of shark attacks. Therefore it is strongly advised to only swim where lifeguards are operating, and to avoid desolate and unguarded beaches.
Drowning or near drowning frequently happens in South Africa's coastal areas. Tidal currents and unexpectedly high waves do happen, together with ever moving rip currents. These currents come to live in a trench between sandbars, which can be described as a powerful, narrow channel full of fast-moving water running perpendicular to the beach, out into the ocean.
Rip currents can be located by trained beach lifeguards while non-experienced swimmers can mostly not discern them.
A swimmer caught in a rip current should not attempt to swim back to shore directly against the current. This would result in exhaustion and drowning. The swimmer should remain calm and swim parallel to the shore until he or she is outside of the current. Then the swimmer can swim at a leisurely pace, in a diagonal direction, away from the rip but back to shore."
For those planning on traveling around South Africa, there is a very convenient backpacker-geared transportation service called Baz Bus. Basically, they provide transportation between backpackers/hostels in major destinations with door-to-door service. They also sell a type of ticket which allows you to hop on/hop off wherever you want for a fixed price. Personally, I decided not to go with Baz Bus because I wanted to get a local feel of South Africa by traveling as locals do. However, I would say 90% of the people I met used Baz Bus to get around. Here are some pros and cons that I found with Baz Bus (having to take it occasionally out of necessity):
My advice is to try a bit of both and see what suits your style of traveling. Either way, you’ll get to experience South Africa and all that it has to offer!
Baz Bus website: http://www.bazbus.com