15 Sep 2023
After several robberies of holidaymakers, the travel industry has called for increased vigilance and tightened its precautionary measures against crime. Tourists were robbed of valuables such as laptops, mobile phones and cameras, especially in Windhoek and its surroundings, but also on the coast. Some incidents were also reported from the Zambezi region. However, Namibians were also affected.
Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta urged concerted action. Members of the travel industry and neighbourhood watch groups should support the police erecting "a ring of steel to protect Namibia’s reputation as one of the safest destinations in the world". He said he was grateful to the travel company Gondwana Collection for their initiative to prevent criminal attacks. Gondwana will announce details next week at the official launch of the initiative.
The Tourism Department of the City of Windhoek and the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN) recalled their comprehensive tips for holidaymakers to avoid unpleasant surprises such as service robberies or assaults. Most of these tips basically apply to any holiday destination.
Sightseeing / In the street
Ask your hotel or residents about areas to avoid
In case you like to use a taxi, ask your hotel about reliable taxi services
Do not display expensive cameras or other valuables
Take only a minimum amount of cash
Do not wear excessive jewellery
Keep your phone in your pocket
Wear your bag around your neck and diagonally across your body instead of hanging over one shoulder
Always be aware of your surrounding
Avoid deserted and dark areas
Do not ask strangers to take a group picture, no matter how friendly they appear
Do not give money to any beggars or street children as this will encourage begging
Beware of street offers (precious stones etc) or requests for donations
Never let your card out of sight during transactions
Do not accept 'assistance' for your ATM transactions from strangers, not even security guards; rather ask for assistance insider the bank
Do not leave valuables in your vehicle
Only Car Guards wearing bright jackets are legal guards (for two or three hours a payment of N$5.00 to N10.00 is more than enough)
Holidaymakers should activate roaming in Namibia in their mobile phones. Questions can be answered by the Tourist Protection Unit in Windhoek (telephone number 10111), and the number 112 is reserved for emergencies.
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