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Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Johannesburg (South Africa), Robberies of Passengers from Johannesburg’s OR Tambo Airport

Africa > South Africa > Johannesburg

The U.S. Mission to South Africa advises U.S. citizens to exercise caution when arranging ground transportation from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg to hotels, guest houses, and residences.  Numerous U.S. citizens and other travelers have been robbed at gun point while traveling from OR Tambo International Airport to their place of lodging in what are known as “follow home” robberies.  In some instances, U.S. citizens have been injured or shot at during these robberies. 

U.S. citizens should avoid nighttime arrival flights to OR Tambo International Airport.  No form of transportation from the airport is considered completely secure and risk-free.  Travelers should exercise caution at all times when departing the airport.  Travelers should also avoid changing money or utilizing ATMs at the airport, and avoid displaying expensive jewelry, watches, or luggage while traveling.

For further information:

  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for South Africa.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. 
  • The U.S. Embassy in Pretoria and U.S. Consulates General in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban are located at the addresses below. The U.S. Embassy in Pretoria does not have a consular section and does not provide consular services to U.S. citizens.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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