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Safety and Precautions
Durban has not escaped the crime evident in every South African city. Particularly in the city center but also elsewhere, smash-and-grab thieves roam the streets, looking for bags or valuables in your car, even while you're driving, so lock any valuables in the trunk and keep your car doors locked and windows up at all times. While there's no need to be fearful, be observant wherever you go. Hire a guide to take you around Durban, don't wander around the city center or outside your hotel alone at night, and keep expensive cameras and other possessions concealed. The Durban Beachfront (with recently upgraded security features), Umhlanga, and the outlying areas are safe to explore on your own, though you'll need a taxi or car to get between them. If you plan on taking a dip while you're at the beach, ask a neighboring beachgoer or lifeguard to keep an eye on your belongings, or put them in a locker—available between North and South beaches and on Umhlanga Main Beach.
The best hospitals in central Durban are Entabeni and St. Augustine's, both private hospitals in the Glenwood area with 24-hour emergency rooms. Umhlanga Hospital is the best north of the city. Addington Hospital, a massive public hospital on the Beachfront, operates a 24-hour emergency room; though it's cheaper, it's not recommended.
US Consulate, Durban (Old Mutual Building, 303 Dr Pixley Kaseme St., city center, Durban, 4001. 031/305–7600. firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Ambulance. 082-911 or 10177.
General Emergencies. 10111.
Entabeni Hospital (148 South Ridge Rd., Glenwood, Durban, 4001. 031/204–1300; 031/204–1377 trauma. www.lifehealthcare.co.za.)
St. Augustine's. 4 Cato Rd., Glenwood, Durban, 4001. 031/268-5000; 031/268-5559 trauma.
Umhlanga Hospital (323 Umhlanga Rocks Dr., Umhlanga, 4321. 031/560–5612; 031/560–5607 trauma.)
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