How Safe Is Cape Town For Tourists? (2023)

Cape Town is one of the most beautiful and popular tourist destinations in South Africa. It is a city that boasts stunning natural landscapes, vibrant cultural heritage, and historical landmarks.

However, with its increasing popularity, several individuals often wonder “How safe is cape town for tourists?” Many tourists wonder whether Cape Town is a safe destination to visit. Safety concerns have been raised due to its high crime rate, which has been a major concern for both locals and visitors alike.

How Safe Is Cape Town For Tourists?

Cape Town is a safe destination for tourists, but it is important to exercise caution due to the high levels of crime in certain areas. Although the South African tourist police do their best to protect visitors, tourists should still take care, particularly at night.

Tourists who are streetwise and cautious about their belongings while sightseeing are likely to have a safe and enjoyable experience in Cape Town. Also, tourists should avoid certain areas, particularly those that are poverty-stricken, where serious crimes like murder and rape are more common. These areas are generally far away from popular tourist spots, such as the Atlantic Seaboard.

Top Safest Places to Visit in Cape Town as a Tourist

  • V&A Waterfront

The V&A Waterfront is a bustling tourist hub and one of the safest areas in Cape Town. It is a contained area with limited road access, with a lot of security cameras, and police patrol vehicles. The area is home to the Two Oceans Aquarium, and the Robben Island Museum, and is the main stop on the City Sightseeing bus routes.

Visitors can enjoy shopping, dining, and entertainment options while feeling secure in their surroundings. While the waterfront can be crowded with tourists, it’s still a great place to stay for those who want to be in the heart of the action.

  • Clifton and Camps Bay

Clifton and Camps Bay are two sister neighbourhoods located along the Atlantic seaboard and are considered to be some of the safest areas in Cape Town.

The neighbourhoods are home to flashy houses and mansions overlooking the ocean, making them an excellent option for families who want to enjoy the beauty of Cape Town while staying safe. The area also has good transportation links to other parts of the city and is home to some of the best guesthouses in Cape Town.

  • City Bowl

The City Bowl is a popular area among artists, small businesses, and young entrepreneurs. It comprises several neighbourhoods, including Gardens and Woodstock, which are known for their creative and cultural scenes.

Visitors to the City Bowl can enjoy a mix of nature, culture, and creativity, making it an excellent option, especially if you want a unique Cape Town experience. The area also has great hostels that cater to budget travellers.

  • False Bay

False Bay is an ex-pat hub located in Cape Town’s deep south. The area is known for its fantastic watersports, especially in Muizenberg and Fish Hoek, and is a super safe place to be.

Visitors can enjoy the beautiful beaches, quaint towns, and laid-back atmosphere without worrying about their safety. The area also has several excellent restaurants and bars, making it an excellent option for those who want to experience a different side of Cape Town.

Top Places to Avoid in Cape Town as a Tourist

  • Cape Flats

Cape Flats is an area that is located southeast of the CBD area in Cape Town. This area is known for its high crime rate and is ruled by gangs. While the government has stepped in since 2019 and crime statistics have improved, it is still not a safe area for tourists. Therefore, it is recommended that tourists avoid Cape Flats when visiting Cape Town.

  • Langa and Nyanga

Langa and Nyanga are the oldest townships in Cape Town, but unfortunately, they are also one of the poorest. Due to this, the crime rate is relatively high, making it not a safe area for tourists. It is advisable to avoid Langa and Nyanga when visiting Cape Town.

  • Kraaifontein

Kraaifontein is another area that tourists should avoid when visiting Cape Town. This area has an extremely high crime rate, with over 10,000 crimes committed here in 2020 alone. Therefore, it is best to avoid Kraaifontein if possible.

  • Other Township Areas

There are also other township areas located on the outskirts of Cape Town’s popular neighbourhoods. While these areas offer incredible culture, they are not the safest place for tourists. It is not recommended to explore these areas alone. Instead, it is recommended to have a local guide or friend show you around.

17 Safety Tips for Traveling to Cape Town

  1. Don’t walk alone at night, especially in secluded areas.
  2. Keep your belongings close to you.
  3. Keep your valuables hidden and be aware of pickpockets.
  4. Stay aware of your surroundings.
  5. Use official taxis or reputable ride-sharing services.
  6. Learn some basic phrases in the local language (Xhosa or Afrikaans) to communicate better with locals.
  7. Keep car doors locked and windows closed.
  8. Only use ATMs in well-lit and populated areas.
  9. Avoid deserted or poorly lit areas.
  10. Stay up to date with current events and travel advisories.
  11. Research the area before visiting.
  12. Follow local customs and laws.
  13. Avoid confrontation with aggressive individuals.
  14. Keep emergency numbers on hand.
  15. Leave a copy of your itinerary with someone.
  16. Stay in touch with family and friends while travelling.
  17. Keep a photocopy of your passport and important documents, and store them separately from the originals.

Crime Rates in Cape Town

Cape Town has a high crime rate of 66.36% per 100,000 inhabitants, which is in a similar bracket to some of the most dangerous cities in South America like Fortaleza or Belem.

The most common crimes in Cape Town are theft, robbery, and violent crimes such as assault and murder. Also, human trafficking, rape and sexual assault are prevalent, with a high number of incidents reported each year.



Cape Town is a city that offers an unforgettable experience to its visitors. However, Cape Town is relatively safe for tourists nevertheless tourists must be security conscious in areas that are not safe to visit. Despite its safety challenges, with appropriate precautions and responsible travel, tourists can have an enjoyable and safe time in the city.

You should always be vigilant, avoid risky areas, and take necessary safety measures. As a responsible traveller, you should respect the local customs and traditions while exploring all that Cape Town has to offer.

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