Australia travel warning numbi gate

The Australian flag – Photo: Flickr / Mihaly Sagi

Australia issues NEW travel warning for SA – over ‘safety fears’

Just a day after US officials issued a travel warning for their citizens visiting SA, Australia has decided to follow suit on Thursday.

Australia travel warning numbi gate

The Australian flag – Photo: Flickr / Mihaly Sagi

One act of violence has the potential to completely derail South Africa’s recovering tourism industry. The botched carjacking at Numbi Gate last week, which resulted in the death of a German tourist, has now forced Australia to issue an updated travel warning for its citizens.

Numbi Gate Australia travel warning
Numbi Gate may soon be closed ‘temporarily’ to tourists – Photo: Richard Vetch / Flickr

Australia issues new travel warning for citizens visiting South Africa

The Government of Australia updated its ‘Smart Traveller’ site on Thursday. It provides an implicit warning to all Aussies who are planning to travel to South Africa. They are warned about ‘increasing crime rates’ in the Numbi Gate region, which serves as a main route in Kruger National Park.

Providing more context, the safety alert also asks visitors to ‘maintain situational awareness’ and ‘exercise a high degree of caution’ while in Mzansi. Needless to say, the killing is having an extremely negative impact of South Africa’s international reputation.

“Due to increased crime, avoid using Numbi Gate at Kruger National Park. When travelling by road, maintain situational awareness and stop only at designated areas. Travellers should exercise a high degree of caution in South Africa, due to level of serious crime.” | Australian Government

Aussie authorities spooked by Numbi Gate incident

Australia’s warning comes just 24 hours after the USA updated its own guidance for travellers. They too have asked citizens to avoid the Numbi Gate route into KNP at all costs. Furthermore, travel authorities Down Under have also shared this checklist for SA-bound holidaymakers.

  • When travelling by road, maintain situational awareness and stop only at designated areas such as petrol stations.
  • Avoid areas where protests are taking place. Don’t attempt to cross protester roadblocks. Shelter in place if caught in a violent situation.
  • Be particularly alert in major city centres and township areas, and when travelling after dark.
  • Criminals target travellers and their bags at airports and on public transport. Vehicles parked or stopped at intersections are often targeted.
  • Criminals wait near ATMs to rob people who have withdrawn cash. Be aware of your surrounds, and only withdraw small amounts.

Numbi Gate: Australia joins American in issuing SA-specific travel warning

Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has denied claims that she will ‘shut down’ Numbi Gate for good. She is, however, considering a proposal to temporarily ensure the route remains ‘off-limits’ for tourists. Here’s what her department has said on Thursday:

“At no stage has Lindiwe Sisulu said that Numbi Gate will be closed. We are now in the process of monitoring cancellations, following an incident where a German tourist was killed on their approach to Kruger National Park last week.”

“It was the Select Committee for Tourism, and not the department itself, which asked for a review to close Numbi Gate. Tim Brauteseth, of the DA, said that it should be closed ‘only temporarily’ – a suggestion that Minister Sisulu said would be considered.” | Department of Tourism