Easter break travel guidance

Tuesday, March 19 2024

With South Africans preparing for their annual Easter holiday to the beach, ‘berg and worship venues all over the country, Netcare 911 has compiled a safety guide as a handy reference for travellers. 

Sarah Kekana, Netcare 911 spokesperson, says that as thousands of travellers set off for their well-deserved rest and relaxation or worship time, the staff of Netcare 911 will be hard at work, ready to provide emergency medical care if help is needed.

She urges those who can to avoid travelling on peak traffic days, which this year fall on Friday, 29 March, and Monday, 1 April. “These are often high-incident days on the road due to traffic congestion. Plan your route in advance and take note of any alternate routes you could utilise in case of any unexpected delays or road closures.”



Planning your travel

“It doesn’t take long to ensure your car is ready and roadworthy well before your trip. This basic vehicle check at home could save you time and money once you hit the road,” says Kekana.

  • Check the lights are working
  • Make sure your brakes are functioning well
  • Check the tread and condition of your tyres, and make sure your spare tyre is inflated. Check that the tools needed to change a tyre are on hand
  • Pack a basic toolbox
  • Top up your water, oil and windscreen washer liquid
  • Make sure your driver’s licence and car licence are up to date
  • Clean your car windows and rear-view mirrors

It’s essential to have a well-stocked first aid kit in your car in case emergencies arise. Kekana recommends that the following items be included in your first aid kit:

  • Cotton wool balls
  • A digital thermometer
  • Medical gloves
  • Eye protection
  • A Burnshield dressing or gel
  • A variety of bandage sizes
  • Antiseptic wipes and liquid
  • A space blanket
  • Safety pins
  • Scissors and tweezers
  • Plasters and medical tape
  • Paracetamol tablets and syrup


“Also, check in advance if you need any prophylactic medication or vaccines for the area you’ll be travelling to. Parts of South Africa are malaria areas, mainly along the border areas of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal, so make sure you take anti-malarial medication as required. Pregnant women should get medical advice about travelling to malaria areas and whether it is safe for them to drive long distances,” she warns.

“Always take any prescription medication with you, ensuring you have enough to cover your stay away. Insect repellent is often also a good idea to have in your suitcase,” suggests Kekana.

While driving

“Be patient. The roads will be busy, and it is important to have consideration for other road users. Keep your cool because when tempers flare on the roads, the outcome can be fatal,” says Kekana.

Remember, the driver must ensure that everyone is buckled up safely in their seats. Babies and children should be strapped into reliable, age-appropriate car seats.

Keep those travelling with you safe by ensuring you never engage in distracted driving. Ask a passenger to monitor traffic reports and alerts on X (formerly Twitter) and road travel apps for you. Listen to the local regional radio service to tune into their traffic reports.

  • Speed really does kill. Stick to the speed limit.
  • Don’t drive if you have consumed alcohol or taken drugs.
  • There’s no harm in listening to a podcast or your favourite music to keep the boredom at bay while the kilometres roll by. Just make sure to get a passenger to find and play them for you.
  • Keep a safe travelling distance of at least three seconds, and double this in wet weather.
  • You should stop every two hours in well-lit, safe areas away from the roadside to stretch your legs and rest.
  • Keep well-hydrated and keep the inside temperature of your car cool while driving.
At your destination

“On holiday, everyone can enjoy themselves safely and sensibly,” says Kekana. She offers these tips to keep safe:

  • If you go to the beach, only swim in designated areas under the guidance of lifeguards when it is safe to do so.
  • If you’re near water, watch your children at all times and they should not wander off alone without an adult escort.
  • Never swim on your own or after drinking alcohol or taking drugs. Stay away from the water if you are feeling ill or tired. Don’t allow rough and tumble horseplay near water.
  • With highly publicised problems surrounding beach and river pollution, it is important not to swim or participate in water sports in potentially contaminated water. Check the local media to see where the polluted areas are. Never dive into water if you don’t know how deep it is or what may lurk beneath the surface.
  • Limit your exposure to the sun to before 11 am and after 3 pm, and use sunblock with a high sun protection factor, reapplying it often, even in overcast weather. Wear a hat.
  • Be careful of what and where you eat. 
  • Never hike alone; always fill in the mountain register so the resort knows where you are.
  • Check the weather forecast before engaging in outdoor activities. Extreme heat or forecasted thunderstorms could mean you need to replan your day.
  • Please don’t assume a place is safe simply because it seems like a friendly holiday destination. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid walking alone.
Help is on hand

“If the unthinkable happens and you need help in a medical emergency, contact Netcare 911 on 082 911 or download the Netcare App in advance to easily reach us,” says Kekana.

The Netcare App includes emergency call and geolocation functions to assist in minimising response times by precisely locating callers – even in remote areas or if the caller doesn’t know the address. The Netcare App also includes a Netcare 911 60-second call back option and provides tracking of the ambulance and response vehicles’ estimated arrival time.


Notes to editors

Experience seamless healthcare access with the Netcare App. Enjoy convenient healthcare anytime, anywhere, with expert medical care at your fingertips. Book appointments, consult with GPs virtually and manage pre-admissions all in one place. From emergency response services with geolocation to seamless admission, discover a new level of care. Download the Netcare App today.

Alternatively, contact Netcare Appointmed on 0860 555 565, Mondays to Fridays, 08:00 to 17:00, to make an appointment with a therapist, doctor or specialist practising at a Netcare hospital, Netcare Medicross or Netcare Akeso facility near you.

For media enquiries, please contact MNA at the contact details listed below.

Issued by:   MNA on behalf of Netcare 911
For media enquiries contact: Martina Nicholson, Meggan Saville, Estene Lotriet-Vorster or Clementine Forsthofer
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
Email:    [email protected][email protected], [email protected][email protected] or [email protected]