This helps in case you have any problems. As a word of caution, only get into a car, taxi or bus when you are feeling a hundred percent safe. Cape Town safety: the tale of two cities As one Cape Town tourist puts it; “Cape Town is safe enough if you take precautions. The security in Cape Town has changed quite a bit since the advent of democracy in 1994. With a passion for AfriTravel (African Travel), she aims to break down borders and barriers while getting to know the African continent. You will inevitably have the experience of pulling up at a robot (Saffa lingo for ‘traffic light’) and being confronted by a big-eyed, skinny child in rags or sheets with a plastic cup or an outstretched hand. Many tourists also make use of Uber. Don’t leave cellphones or wallets on restaurant tables. u Park in well-lit areas at night. The government has sent the military to intervene and most residents and businesses have hired private security. There are many options for travelers who find themselves needing healthcare, or simply wanting to visit a doctor for whatever reason. However, this does not mean that it is safe like a city of a first world state would be. It’s not too hot, it’s not too cold, so heat-related issues should be less of a problem. My friend said when she parked her car, a guy said he needed money to watch it, it wasn’t under discussion either, that’s the way it was! Members of the South African Defence Force were deployed in areas 20-30km outside of Cape Town’s Central Business District (Downtown Cape Town) very specifically to deal with gang violence. However, I find that once you say anything, they will continue. You will only find these animals in conservation areas and nature reserves. She provides useful travel tips for solo female travels around the world. If you want to go out partying, maybe stick to your own hostel bar. Cape Town is a major, modern cosmopolitan South African city. So to all the passionate surfers and swimmers: our Great Whites should not keep you from living your dream in our 10-degree Celsius South Atlantic. I still loved Cape Town and couldn’t believe how violent the statistics showed it was. These issues don’t mean that Cape Town is 100% unsafe to visit. But, we do not recommend that tourists drink water from natural water sources, such as mountain streams and rivers, unless you are in the company of a qualified guide who confirms that the water is safe for drinking. We are asking visitors to be mindful of their water usage and save like a local. Joining community groups, Facebook groups, talking to the neighborhood watch near you, all of these things will help you when you actually make the move. Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way! To keep things safe, always have your doors locked and at traffic lights, windows up. Although it’s often mistaken as the very south of Africa, it’s more like the southwestern-most tip. Your streetwise attitude will go a long way to ensure your safety in Cape Town. One of these is carjackings; another is smash-and-grabs. If you follow simple safety tips like traveling during the day in occupied carriages you shouldn’t have any problems. You may also be followed around persistently despite your having said “no”. Informal settlements can be confusing and apart from getting lost, you may stumble upon the wrong company and put yourself in danger’s way. Is it Safe to Visit Cape Town? Plan ahead, stay organized, book family-friendly hotels, or stay at one of these charming guesthouses in Cape Town instead of arriving with no idea of where to go. Yes, I am an American who studied abroad at UCT 2 years ago for a semester. Cape Town is one of the most well-connected cities in South Africa when it comes to transport options. Do your research as a socially conscious traveler and decide for yourself before you give your support. For me information and help in selecting a tour guide, please visit https://www.ctga.org.za. If you’re really worried, travel only the main lines. www.capetown.travel provide a full list of emergency numbers. However there's no such thing as "tourist police" in South Africa, so be on the lookout. Have your keys ready as you approach your car. In terms of road safety, ease of rental and the quality of the roads, we’d say that it IS safe to drive in Cape Town, not to mention thrilling. South Africa’s gotten a pretty bad rap for the recent rise in violence with four of our cities making it into the top 50 most violent in the world, according to the Mexican Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice. This can be intimidating. If you’re in Cape Town around New Year’s, don’t miss the Kaapse Klopse, a parade with its roots in the 19th century where Cape coloureds take to the streets in an array of colours, spinning umbrellas and musical instruments. Choose your hotel, hostel or Airbnb ahead of time so you’re not last-minute booking a less-secure place. Do be sure to read the terms and conditions to make sure that the policy covers your needs. Unfortunately, it’s still got a reputation as one of the world’s most dangerous cities and, as we mentioned before, things may be sliding a bit. To mitigate the risk of losing a lot of money if you are subject to credit card fraud, we highly recommend using a travel card. It’s more fun that way. If it isn’t, ignore and keep walking to somewhere else. The common types of crimes include burglary at Residential premises, muggings of personal belongings like jewelry and cellphones. Tourists sometimes, unfortunately, are mugged in the city and it happens that valuables are stolen. Yep, we’re talking about a money belt! It gives you a chance to watch the open plains of the Karoo and the golds and greens of the Highveld roll past from the comfort of your bunk, scenes that you would otherwise miss on a two-hour flight. There are often people at traffic lights begging. But although the origin was derogatory, many actively identify as coloureds today. Mugging and robberies are a much bigger issue here than petty theft. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes to explore. When you are sightseeing, stay safe on the streets of Cape Town by dressing casually and do not advertise the fact that you are carrying electronic equipment, your cellular phone, tablet or wallet. While travellers often choose to walk around the Downtown or Central Business District area because distances are short, you have the option to use Uber, Taxify, metered taxis and the MyCiti bus system, which can also connect you to points within the central district of Cape Town and surrounding tourism must-sees like Camps Bay, Sea Point and Hout Bay. Though some may think of typical stereotypes when hearing the words “South Africa”, Cape Town is completely different than people imagine. When deciding on an accommodation option, use the same vigilance you would when selecting accommodation elsewhere in the world. Cape Town Tourism and Protection and Emergency Services run a Visitor Support Programme to assist you, should you be involved in any incident during your stay. Ask any local and, regardless of statistics, they’d probably say it’s safe to live in Cape Town, at least, for people with good sense. There are really two cities here, but the crime stats blend them together. Be very careful on Long Street and surrounding roads at night. While most of the taxis in Cape Town are legit, there are still a number of sketchy, illegal taxis that can lead to trouble. Cape Town looked clean, colorful, very modern and well organized. Cape Town is an amazing town, one that is often worth the risks. You can also dial 999 in an emergency to be connected with the Police, Fire Brigade and Ambulance Services. Some of the road trips you can take from the city feature incredible scenery and the routes here among the best in the world. If you are also carrying a camera around your neck, you have been earmarked as a tourist. Travellers are thus likely to feel no impact whatsoever during their visit to Cape Town and the Western Cape. If you need assistance, wait for banking hours and do your business inside the bank. MyCiTi is the name of the bus service in Cape Town, and this is much safer. If you plan on going on any day trips out of Cape Town to see what the wildlife is up to in the Karoo, then take plenty of water – especially in summer. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. I’ve also personally witnessed two bakkies (pickups) swerve towards each other on the national highway outbound to pass a bottle of Sprite between passenger and driver. These are SUPER cheap, but they also come with a lot of flaws. Cape Town is a major, modern cosmopolitan South African city. Hi Megan! Even if you are subject to fraud, your bank should be able to identify, review and refund you for the fraudulent transactions. If you are still concerned whether it is safe for you to visit Cape Town, feel free to contact us and speak to one of our consultants who will put your mind at ease. In general, the advice is to only withdraw cash inside malls (V&A for example) because these are always on camera (see point 8). The police emergency number in South Africa is 10111, not “911”. The very tip is actually Cape Agulhas, where the Indian and Atlantic Ocean meet. Cape Town is a malaria-free area. I’d feel heartbroken for you if you came here and vetoed the drive or cycle along the Chapman’s Peak cliffs that tumble down to the ocean and end where white meets blue at Noordhoek’s eight-kilometer-plus Long Beach, the Kommetjie lighthouse, and the iconic Chacma baboons in Scarborough (don’t even think about feeding them, folks, it’s unethical and illegal). Living here means you probably won’t be as free as you might be in your own country. These areas are the V&A Waterfront, Camps Bay, Somerset Road in Sea Point and Kloof Street. This measure is controversial but the result is that on the whole, Cape Town is safe to visit for tourists. As a visitor, you should stick to the most touristy places. Criminals impersonating law enforcement officials in order to commit hijackings. The level of a serious crime is high and personal security is … Politically, you’re unlikely to encounter any trouble, although social unrest, even from white middle-class Cape Town residents, does appear to be building over the ongoing water crisis. Yes it sad, but at least the majority of the crime is petty, money-related crimes and nothing more serious! These include luxury hotels, budget establishments, guesthouses and Airbnb accommodation. My advice: have some patience, be aware and try to appreciate the scene with a sense of humour. It’s a port city that’s dominated by the profile of its main landmark, Table Mountain, and is pretty famous for its beaches. Cape Town has a lively nightlife. There are some issues to be aware of when driving in Cape Town itself. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Living safely in Cape Town will require living in a fairly upmarket suburb with excellent security. We also recommend walking with your hands in your pockets and backpacks on your front if you can. Just stay safe, be sensible and be aware of your surroundings at all times! Whether you need to purify the water from a hostel sink in Kathmandu or a stream trickle in the Andes, the Geopress has got you covered. Staying in a hostel in Cape Town with great reviews, a good social atmosphere, and a good location is a good step towards staying safe as a solo traveler in Cape Town. Pay attention to your surroundings – that’s our number one rule. It’s also easy to get out onto the nearby Garden Route if you fancy a longer road trip from Cape Town, too. Creepy crawlies also abound (Cape Town is in Africa, after all!) Place your valuables/passport in a hotel safe. Being aware where pickpockets operate is a good start. If you go out hiking or even just on a guided tour, having someone know your whereabouts s better than nobody knowing where you are for the day. Rails and metro trains are also the locations where assaults and robberies have occurred. I could go on forever, but my point is this: see beyond the city center. This started in 1950 when the Apartheid government introduced the Group Areas Act. Cape Town’s tap water is safe to drink. If you’re an adult, you won’t need any inoculations unless you’re travelling from a yellow-fever endemic area (the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America), in which case you will need certification to prove your inoculation status when you arrive in the country.
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