How safe is Cape Town?



Cape Town Waterfront
Cape Town Waterfront

People worry about safety and security in Cape Town and South Africa generally. There is a high level of unemployment and poverty, and despite that, most people behave in a friendly and courteous manner and most tourists manage to have safe and enjoyable holidays in Cape Town and South Africa.

From our own experience, day time is hassle free. As dusk falls, beggars tend to take up positions at street corners in tourist areas and ask for money. Most of us dislike being approached for money and there are various pros and cons in giving and not giving. Begging is not something to be encouraged and in time will deter tourists.

  • It pays to be wise. There is safety in  numbers. You are much less likley to be approached for money as part of a group.
  • After dark, use taxis, don't walk.
  • Don't flaunt your expensive watch, camera or jewellery, ideally leave your valuables (apart from camers and other essentials) at home
  • Avoid notorious problem areas such as parks at night.

There are reports of isolated tourists being mugged. Observe sensible precautions and you should be fine.

One thing we discovered is that South Africans, especially young men, love to have their photograph taken if they see a camera - you are likley to receive requests to take their photo if they see you snapping away.