Your Guide to a Safe Holiday in Hermanus
Hermanus is looking forward to welcoming holidaymakers back to our town for a well-deserved rest after a weird, challenging and probably life-changing year. Just a request: Please, please, please make sure not to bring an unwanted guest (I’m of course referring about a certain little virus) with you to our town, so that we can limit and eventually stop the spreading of this horrible Covid-19 thing.
Covid-19 Related Information
Make sure not to decrease your personal alertness with regards to the virus while on holiday. Keep us in Hermanus, yourself and your family safe by following the basic protocols. Remember the following:
- Do not to leave your place of accommodation without a mask.
- Have extra masks in your car, handbag, beach bag and jacket pockets for use when out and about.
- Wash your masks every evening and let them dry well – in the sun if possible.
- Be kind to fellow holidaymakers by practicing safe social distances on beaches, in the streets, in shops and in public areas.
- Stay inside, away from people when you are sick or feel unwell.
- In case you get sick and are symptomatic, call a local medical practice and they will advise you accordingly.
Tips for an Injury-free Holiday
As an experienced holiday-goer you know the basics. Here are just a few reminders when preparing for a relaxing and accident and injury-free holiday:
- The sun in our area is a bit on the mean side, so always use sunblock when going to the beach, going for a hike or even when just going for a stroll on the cliff path or in town. Get after sun soothing cream for those irresponsible moments. Use an umbrella/gazebo when spending extended times on the beach.
- Always wear a hat when outside in the sun.
- Beware of the strong currents when swimming/surfing/body boarding at especially Voëlklip, Kammabaai and Mossel River. Diligently follow instructions from lifeguards on duty.
- Be careful when leaving the cliff path to walk on the rocky areas near the sea, as waves can splash high and aggressively and surprise holiday-goers.
- Be respectful of wildlife on the cliff path. Stay out of the fynbos and do not feed any animals.
- Always carry water when going for a stroll, exercise or a hike.
- Bring along a basic first aid with tablets for headache and fever, band aids, antihistamine tablets etc. Also make sure to bring along enough prescription medicine on holiday and have an up-to-date copy of your prescription with you or on the system at the pharmacy in case of an emergency.
- If you reside on the east side of town, beware of the baboons. Never feed them and keep windows closed when they are in the vicinity. Don’t leave food unattended outside and keep garbage bins firmly closed. Contact the Baboon Hotline (072 028 0008) when experiencing problems.
- Take extra precautions to teach your little one’s sun-safety.
- Always watch small children near the water and on the rocks. Don’t let children walk on the rocks (or anywhere else) unattended.
- Don’t lose sight of children on the beach.
- Don’t let small children walk alone or let them out of your sight in shops.
- Cell phones.
- Keep you cell phone charged when out and about, in case you must make an emergency call.
- Don’t use your phone while driving.
- Don’t text while walking on pavements and crossing streets in our town.
- Don’t take selfies at dangerous places.
- Don’t turn your back on the water when filming on the rocks when the sea is rough and even when it’s not. Freak waves can occur even when the water is calm.
- Try using your cell phone less while on holiday and rather enjoy every moment of your rest with your loved ones. Cleanse your soul. Give your mind a rest. Live in the moment.
Tips for Staying out of Crime’s Way
Unfortunately, criminals never go on holiday and Hermanus isn’t exempt from opportunists. Don’t drop your guard. Be alert as if you are still at home. Stay safe, alert, and streetwise by keeping the following in mind:
- If possible, always move around in groups. Don’t walk alone in Fernkloof, on the cliff path or go alone to the Rotary Way viewpoint on the mountain. Although these places are generally safe most of the time, criminals might be on the lookout for unassuming holiday-goers.
- When walking on the cliff path, consider carrying a whistle so that you can draw attention to yourself should you land in trouble. The Hermanus Public Protection (HPP) services are on duty daily and will hear when you make a noise. (Say “hi” to these friendly people dressed in brownish uniforms when passing them. They are performing a great service in helping to keep Hermanus safe.)
- Make sure your young children are always accompanied by at least one adult.
- When observing poachers, do not confront or interact with them. Rather call law enforcement. If you report them, mention where you saw them. There are place names everywhere alongside the cliff path (https://www.fernkloof.org.za/index.php/fernkloof-nature-reserve/hermanus-cliff-path).
- Do not confront any criminals yourself. Call law enforcement.
- If you are unfortunate to become a victim of a crime – even petty, please report it and make a case to the police. No action can be taken if this isn’t done, which means that culprits go free to commit crime again.
- Don’t run or walk alone after dark.
- When driving around and leaving your vehicle in a parking lot, do not leave valuables lying around inside the car. Lock them in the trunk, carry it with you or leave it in a safe place at your holiday residence.
- When having a braai or just sitting on the stoep at night, keep doors locked and make sure purses, wallets, watches, phones, laptops and other valuables aren’t lying around openly. Thieves are on the lookout for opportunities when holidaymakers are relaxed and at their most vulnerable. Keep security lights on at night when kuiering outside.
- Don’t leave garage doors open for long – even if you are at home or working in the garden.
- If you are staying in a bed-and-breakfast or hotel, familiarise yourself with their security guidelines and follow it.
- If renting a self-catering flat or house, make sure that you are informed about the neighbourhood and security system watch and know how the alarm works.
- Switch on outside lights at night as dark premises encourage criminals to enter without being seen by law enforcement and neighbourhood watch vehicles.
- Have telephone numbers for emergency services in Hermanus readily on your mobile phones in order to call for help should an emergency arise.
- Use local official businesses for excursions, tourist attractions and events. Don’t fall for opportunists trying to scam you.
- Hermanus does not tolerate begging in streets as this only encourages drug usage and other issues. There are various organisations where people can go for help. Be on the lookout for chancers harassing holiday goers.
- Don’t keep your cell phone/money/wallet in your back pocket.
- Do not put your handbag on the floor/ground when sitting in a restaurant. Rather keep the handle around your leg or keep it on the seat close to you.
- Cell phones.
- Keep you cell phone charged when out and about for in case you must make an emergency call.
- When in public (walking/restaurants) keep cell phones out of sight. Try not to walk with a cell phone/tablet in your hand in case as it can easily being grabbed by thieves.
- Don’t keep your child busy with a phone/tablet in public as they make soft targets for criminals.
Bottom line: Don’t become lax in exercising safety and security just because you are on holiday.
(Please Note: Do not confuse the 028 Hermanus’ area code with a cell number. The NSRI uses the 082- cell number though.)
We hope you enjoy your time in Hermanus and make such wonderful memories that you want to come back again and again.
A friendly PS: Please make sure to only leave your footprints behind.
© 2020 Fielies De Kock
HERMANUS UNLIMITED is a travel writing blog showcasing Hermanus and surrounding areas through photos and articles. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.