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Cape Town Safety: Am I Safe to Travel to Cape Town, South Africa in 2024?

Planning a trip to Cape Town? While it's known for beautiful landscapes and culture, safety is key due to its urban safety concerns.

Tobi Miles
April 1, 2024
Cape Town Safety: Am I Safe to Travel to Cape Town, South Africa in 2024?

Navigating the safety landscape of Cape Town doesn't have to be daunting. With the right knowledge and precautions, you can enjoy everything this beautiful city has to offer without unnecessary worry. Let's dive into what you need to know to make your visit as safe as it is unforgettable.

Key Takeaways

  • Crime in Cape Town varies by area, with property crimes and theft most common; choosing where to stay and visit carefully can significantly improve safety.
  • Certain neighborhoods, including Manenberg, Hanover Park, and parts of Nyanga, have higher crime rates and should be avoided, especially after dark.
  • Tourists can enhance their safety by staying in well-lit areas at night, using reputable transportation services, guarding personal belongings, and avoiding displaying expensive items.
  • Consulting with local authorities or hotel concierge for safety advice and downloading safety apps like Namola can provide added security during your visit.
  • Knowing emergency numbers (10111 for police, 10177 for ambulance/fire department, and 0800 428 428 for tourist safety) is crucial for receiving immediate assistance in case of emergencies.

Crime Statistics in Cape Town

When considering a trip to Cape Town, it's crucial to look at the hard numbers. By understanding the crime rates, you're better equipped to prepare and protect yourself. Cape Town's crime statistics highlight specific areas of concern but also show variances across different parts of the city.

In recent years, South Africa’s crime statistics have painted a complex picture. Cape Town, being a major city, reflects broader national trends but with its unique challenges. For instance, property crimes and theft are prevalent, urging visitors to remain vigilant about their belongings and accommodation security.

Crime Type

Incidents per 100,000 People (Yearly)









These figures might seem intimidating, but context is key. Comparatively, certain districts within Cape Town report significantly lower crime rates, highlighting the importance of choosing where you stay and visit wisely.

Petty theft is the most common risk for tourists, particularly in busy areas like markets or public transport hubs. By remaining alert and adopting a few safety measures, such as not displaying valuables conspicuously, you can greatly reduce your risk.

It’s also worth noting that the Cape Town authorities are actively working to improve safety. Increased police patrols, community watch groups, and the implementation of CCTV cameras in high-risk areas have contributed to a gradual decline in certain types of crimes.

Understanding these dynamics allows you to navigate Cape Town's complexities with confidence. While the numbers might initially seem daunting, informed precautions can significantly mitigate risks, ensuring your stay is as safe as it is memorable.

Areas to Avoid in Cape Town

When traveling to Cape Town, your safety should be a top priority. While many areas are welcoming and safe, there are certain spots you'd be wise to avoid, especially after dark. These areas often have higher crime rates, making them less secure for tourists.

Manenberg, Hanover Park, and parts of Nyanga are known for their elevated crime levels. These districts have been associated with gang violence and other criminal activities that pose a risk to your safety. It’s important to steer clear of these areas, particularly if you're unfamiliar with the local environment.

The Cape Flats area, while rich in culture and history, also faces challenges with high crime rates. Non-residents might find it difficult to navigate the complexities of these neighborhoods safely.

Public transportation hubs and ATM areas can also be hotspots for petty theft. Tourists are often targeted for their valuables. While these incidents are usually non-violent, they can significantly impact your experience in Cape Town.

Below is a table showcasing the crime statistics in these high-risk areas for the year 2022, illustrating the need for caution:









Hanover Park








Cape Flats




Data sourced from Cape Town Crime Statistics 2022.

Choosing where to stay and visit in Cape Town can significantly impact your safety and enjoyment of the city. Opt for accommodations in safer districts and consider organized tours to explore areas that might be risky to visit independently. When in doubt, consult with local authorities or your hotel for the latest safety advice to ensure a secure and memorable visit.

Safety Tips for Tourists

When visiting Cape Town, it's essential to stay alert and aware of your surroundings to ensure your safety. Personal vigilance is the key to a pleasant and worry-free experience. Here are some practical tips and strategies to help keep you safe:

  • Stay in Well-Lit Areas at Night: Darkness can be a cover for potential threats. Aim to stay in well-lit areas and avoid walking alone at night, especially in places known for high crime rates.
  • Use Reputable Transportation Services: While exploring the city, it's safer to use reputable taxi services or ride-sharing apps. Verify the vehicle and driver details before getting in.
  • Guard Your Personal Belongings: Petty theft, especially targeting tourists, can occur in crowded places such as markets, public transportation hubs, and popular tourist sites. Always keep your valuables secure and out of sight.
  • Avoid Flashing Expensive Items: Displaying expensive jewelry, cameras, or smartphones can make you a target for theft. Keep these items discreetly stored when not in use.

Here’s a glance at the Common Theft Incidents involving tourists based on recent data:

Incident Type

Number of Incidents


Petty Theft



Snatch and Grab



Vehicle Break-ins



  • Consult Local Authorities: Before heading out, it’s wise to consult with local authorities or your hotel concierge about which areas to avoid. They can provide the most current advice tailored to your itinerary.
  • Download Safety Apps: Consider downloading safety apps that provide local emergency numbers and GPS tracking. Some apps also offer quick access to police or medical services.

By incorporating these safety tips into your travel plans, you're taking proactive steps to protect yourself and ensure a memorable trip to Cape Town. Stay informed, stay alert, and don't let your guard down while enjoying everything this vibrant city has to offer.

Emergency Numbers and Contacts

When you're exploring Cape Town, knowing the right contacts for emergencies is paramount. You never know when you might need immediate assistance, be it for health, safety, or legal matters. Preparedness isn't just prudent; it's essential for a stress-free visit.

First and foremost, lock the nationwide emergency number 10111 into your phone. This is your go-to for any police assistance. In an event where you need the fire department or medical help, dial 10177. These numbers connect you directly with the help you need without delay. For tourists, the Tourist Safety and Support Line at 0800 428 428 gives an added layer of support specifically tailored to visitors’ needs.

  • Police: 10111
  • Ambulance / Fire Department: 10177
  • Tourist Safety and Support: 0800 428 428

Additionally, Cape Town has introduced a smart safety initiative, Namola, that further bolsters your security blanket in the city. With a quick download on your mobile device, you gain access to a safety app that alerts authorities to your exact location with the press of a button. In 2022 alone, Namola has been instrumental in coordinating fast responses to numerous visitor incidents.

  • Namola Safety App: Fast Emergency Response

Equip yourself with these essential contacts and tools for a safeguarded Cape Town journey. Being informed and prepared allows you to navigate your adventures with confidence and peace of mind. Remember, assistance in Cape Town is never more than a call or click away. For comprehensive safety, consider traveling with a battery pack—you wouldn’t want to be caught with a dead phone in an emergency.


Arming yourself with the right information and tools is key to enjoying Cape Town's breathtaking views and vibrant culture worry-free. Remember, having essential emergency contacts at your fingertips and the Namola safety app installed on your phone ensures you're never alone in an unexpected situation. Don't forget to pack a battery pack to keep your devices charged and your line of communication open. By taking these simple steps, you'll navigate Cape Town with confidence, making your visit not just memorable but also secure. Safe travels!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the essential emergency numbers to know in Cape Town?

In Cape Town, key emergency numbers include 10111 for police assistance, 10177 for the ambulance and fire department, and 0800 428 428 for the Tourist Safety and Support Line. These contacts are vital for immediate assistance in emergencies.

How can the Namola safety app assist travelers in Cape Town?

The Namola safety app helps travelers by allowing them to alert the authorities to their exact location with the press of a button. This smart safety feature ensures quick response times in emergency situations, enhancing traveler safety in Cape Town.

Why is it advised to travel with a battery pack in Cape Town?

Traveling with a battery pack in Cape Town is advised to ensure that your phone remains charged during emergencies. This is crucial for accessing help, especially when using apps like Namola or calling emergency services, ensuring you have quick access to assistance.

How do these safety precautions enhance travel experiences in Cape Town?

Equipping oneself with essential emergency contacts, the Namola safety app, and a battery pack provides confidence and peace of mind while traveling in Cape Town. These precautions ensure that travelers can quickly access assistance when needed, making their journey safer and more enjoyable.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
April 1, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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