Cape Town, South Africa is considered one of the most beautiful destinations on the planet. With lots of places to visit, shop, and enjoy, it’s a popular vacation destination for citizens of all countries. But, some people wonder just how safe this area is to walk around in, especially alone.
Generally, the tourist areas of Cape Town are considered safe to walk around alone. Although Cape Town can be dangerous, these areas are more populated and secure. However, you should avoid any dark or quiet areas, especially if you are alone.
Below, we’ll discuss more information on Cape Town’s safety and crime rates. We’ll also give tips on keeping yourself and your belongings safe while visiting. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know!
Is Cape Town Safe to Walk Around Alone?
While visiting Cape Town, you should not experience any safety-related problems in tourist areas. The two areas that are considered the safest for tourists to walk around in are Clifton and Camps Bay.
These sister neighborhoods are great for families to enjoy the beauty of Cape Town. Not only are there amazing guest houses to stay in, but the transportation options are plentiful.
You can visit the sandy beaches, delicious restaurants, and enjoy family-friendly activities with your children. You can even see street entertainers along the way.
However, not all areas of Cape Town are safe for tourists to walk around. Typically, it’s advised that tourists avoid especially impoverished areas and anywhere too far off from the resort areas.
What Are the Crime Rates in Cape Town?
Generally, the crime rates in Cape Town go hand-in-hand with an area’s poverty levels. However, these can be difficult to assess, as many impoverished people and families live right next to the extremely wealthy.
South Africa is still dealing with the effects of apartheid, a social problem that separates citizens based on race. Because of this, many people have been forced into extreme poverty.
This causes desperation to climb out of the impoverished circle, leading to more violent crimes and gang violence. Gang violence is increasing in some areas, leading to higher robbery, rape, and murder rates.
Most of the dangers and crimes in Cape Town occur in the Cape Flats. The more affluent and tourist-driven area of Cape Town is safer. As a tourist, sticking to these safer areas is best.
Crime in tourist areas of Cape Town is typically much less violent. You have a higher chance of being pickpocketed than anything else. Luckily, the Cape Town police respond quickly when help is needed.
Why Visit Cape Town?
Cape Town is a beautiful city with lively nightlife, white beaches, gorgeous lakes, and farmlands. It offers a relaxed atmosphere and an outstanding work-life balance.
There are many bars in town, many of which feature live music and DJs. It can be a fascinating city to explore, even on foot, especially if you are staying in a resort.
Cape Town also boasts South Africa’s best and most famous wines. You can visit the wineries and enjoy an afternoon of wine tasting.
There are also bustling marketplaces where you can get meats cooked on a braai, or a South African barbeque, and enjoy cured biltong and a variety of fresh seafood.
At these marketplaces, you can also purchase a variety of local goods. Some of these goods include:
If you’re looking for scenic views, consider visiting some of Africa’s most stunning beaches and local wonders, such as Table Mountain. This world-renowned site is a flat-topped mountain that overlooks Cape Town.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can hike the mountain itself. Or, you could always take a cable car to the top. Table Mountain offers magnificent views and is home to over 8,000 native plant species.
Tips for Staying Safe in Cape Town
Staying safe on vacation is always important, especially in a foreign country. While visiting Cape Town, there are a few things to pay attention to so you can keep yourself and your belongings safe.
The tips below are good to follow anytime you vacation, no matter where you visit.
- Avoid walking alone. While walking around tourist areas alone is generally safe, you may want to take a buddy for extra security.
- Don’t go to any dark or quiet areas. It is best to stay on the resort grounds or in the central part of the city.
- Stay aware of your surroundings. Be careful of anyone watching you a little too closely, as they could be interested in taking your wallet at the first opportunity they see.
- Keep an eye on your drink. This is a good rule of thumb, no matter where you are. It only takes a second for someone to slip something into your drink.
- Make sure your bag is closed and secure. Never carry your wallet or cell phone in your back pocket. Pickpockets are prevalent in this area, and you may not know your wallet’s gone until you need to buy something.
- Stay vigilant in taxis and Ubers. Try not to be the only person in the car, know your route, and ensure the driver stops the meter when you get out.
- Do not leave your bag or wallet on the ground. This is true in restaurants, as well as buses and trains. Doing so makes you an easy target for pickpockets. If you don’t want to hold your bag all the time, consider getting a fanny pack before your trip.
As long as you stay alert to your surroundings, you will know when danger is pending and can act accordingly.
While Cape Town can be dangerous, you should be okay as long as you stay in the right areas. Generally, avoiding Cape Flats, the poorer area with a higher crime rate, is best.
Tourist areas of Cape Town are not only brimming with life, but are also generally safer to walk around, even by yourself. Always follow safe practices, such as remaining vigilant and keeping your belongings secure on your person.