If you’re planning a trip to or around South Africa, it’s a good idea to save the local emergency numbers to your phone – and to send a copy of these to a close friend or relative back home. This is something that I do for every country that I travel to, because if I’m in an emergency situation the last thing I need is to waste time searching for numbers.

In SA you can’t dial 911 or 999. Over here we have two important national numbers:

10111 for crime related emergencies, and
10177 for all other emergencies, like medical, rescue or fire.

For COVID-19 related help, dial the 24-hour Hotline: 0800 029 999 or send a WhatsApp message to: 0600 12 3456 with the word “Hi” and someone will assist.

If you’re calling from a mobile phone that has a South African sim card, the fastest is to just dial 112 – this will get you access to all the various types of emergency assistance.

To make things easier for you, here’s an infographic that you can download to your phone and send to your relatives – just click on the image below to download. It has the local police station numbers, ambulance and fire rescue numbers, National Sea Rescue details and roadside assistance numbers (in case your vehicle breaks down) for Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth.

South African Emergency Numbers

And if you’re wondering how safe it is for travellers to visit South Africa, watch my latest video on the subject: 12 Tips on how to stay safe when you travel in South Africa