Safety in Capetown

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The safety of you and your travelling group in Cape Town is something worth thinking about before you embark on your next trip. 

We set out below some thoughts and guidelines and we hope that they are helpful. 

How do tourists find Cape Town?

Crime rates are fairly low inside Cape Town city itself, but there are some things to keep in mind like the current state of Covid if you want to stay safe while travelling around the city. 

Bear in mind that 1000s of tourists have a great time in Cape Town every year, and in relative terms, you are looking at a softer experience on average than, say, Rio or other parts of South America.

How can we protect ourselves?

For one, be sure that you have adequate travel insurance since many policies may not cover certain types of risks found abroad, again particularly in relation to COVID – although most travel insurance will provide cover for emergency medical costs including those that are COVID-related. 

Bear in mind that there are many great reasons to go to Cape Town. However. the public hospital sector is not the greatest. With travel insurance, you can get treated in some of Cape Town’s amazing new hospitals, such as the Christiaan Barnard complex.

Anything else?

Additionally, it’s important to take care when visiting dangerous areas or staying at risky accommodation because these factors can increase your risk of being a victim of a crime or terrorism-related incident.

Cape Town is on the coast and there are some great country drives but also just be a little more aware when visiting off-track areas, such as the hills or isolated beaches. 

Equally, although there are now township tours make sure that you have the right guide, don’t go on your own and be careful about any informal settlement.

Is Cape Town Safe?

If you are looking for how safe Cape Town is look no further as we will go over it in this blog!

Is Cape town open to tourists?

The South African Government has now opened up travel to Cape Town for all visitors. 

This means you can visit the beautiful city of Cape Town as well as the Western Cape to see family or for tourism purposes. 

You will now be able to see the incredible culture of Cape Town and the Western Cape providing you have the travel documents required for entering the country.

Many of the fun areas are to the west of the city on the Atlantic seaboard, such as Camps Bay, Camps Bay tends to attract richer tourists, so watch out for pickpockets, and be careful with your mobile phone or large sums of money. I

n fact, it is advisable never to carry large sums of money in Cape Town – cards are just fine nowadays around the city. Keep your valuables safe is a great watchword around the country.

What COVID documents do I need?

Important note: this advice is valid as at mid-October 2021. It may change so you should check with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office before planning or taking any travel.

In order to enter Cape Town as a tourist, you will need to be able to present a paper copy of your negative PCR test upon arrival in South Africa. Tourists are advised to carry multiple copies of their negative test as they may have to show proof more than once.

Is Cape Town safe for tourists?

When people visit South Africa in general and Cape Town/the Western Cape in particular criminal activity is always a worry for new visitors due to the high crime stats across South Africa. 

Crime rates are higher in towns and townships and are far lower in tourist areas, so while there is some crime as in every city, violent crime is far less common in safer parts of a large city such as Cape Town.

When in Cape Town you will be expected to use your common sense to stay out of trouble and should obey all current Covid guidelines and follow local regulations and guidelines. That would be no different from any big city around the world – and Cape Town is no exception.

If you are visiting Cape Town you are likely to fly in through Cape Town international airport which is currently the second busiest airport in all of South Africa. If you are flying indirectly, then you will fly through Johannesburg. 

Tourist police are deployed in major cities with keeping tourists safe as their main priority. Some safety tips given are to stick away from large groups in popular tourist destinations to exercise caution as many tourists will experience some kind of attempted crime especially towards female travelers.

If you wish to visit Cape Town you should also be wary of the road safety in the city centre. South African crime rate for vehicles is very high so be careful where you leave your car as some criminals will try to break through car windows at red lights. However, after the World Cup, everything is generally much safer.

Which parts of Cape Town are safe?

When visiting Cape Town you may want to visit Hout Bay. Hout Bay is considered a safe area and is just a 25 minute drive away from the Cape Town city centre.

It also has great beaches and horse riding.

City bowl is also a popular tourist destination and is a short distance away from Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and Devils Peak which are all great tourist destinations.

How does South African Goverment keep Town safe for tourists?

Most popular tourist destinations are kept safe by the police who are deployed to lower the crime rates and keep Cape Town safe. 

Some areas like the central business district have been known for a lot of crime so you should follow safety tips to not keep many valuables on you. However, that has improved over recent years, particularly after the World Cup. 

Visiting a major city is generally safe for most tourists especially when compared to some tome towns on the outskirts.

Cape Town tourism is increasing again since South Africa opened up again and means you will have more opportunity to stay in groups with other tourists this is advised for people who would otherwise be by themselves.

Where should I avoid in Cape Town?

A common piece of advice you will hear about travel to Cape Town is to not visit or stay in Cape Flats. Cape Flats have a bad reputation for increased risk of pickpocketing and robbery. Long Street is one example of somewhere near a Cape flat you should be careful. Long Street is infamous for its crime and drug dealers but also now has some amazing new music venues. so try to be aware when visiting.

Tourists are advised to never leave their card if it gets stuck in an ATM Machine. There should be instructions designed for you to get it out. If you see a machine that doesn’t look quite right you should spot the red flags before it’s too late and save yourself from being scammed.

Steer clear of isolated areas, these are places like the edge of towns and outskirts of cities where the most crime occurs.

Top Tips

Lots of tourists will meet up before going somewhere like Table Mountain National Park as hiking alone could be an unnecessary risk for you to take. The closer you are to a city centre of a big city the safer you should be from violent crime although the risks are still there.

Cape Town is still currently seen as one of the safest areas in South Africa. If you are choosing holiday destinations in South Africa it is definitely recommended to visit Cape Town as it is a beautiful city and Cape Town residents are known for being very lovely people.

It is advised to stay around well-lit areas while in Cape Town or any area of South Africa as crime is less likely to occur.

While it may not be necessary to have travel insurance to go to Cape Town, it is recommended that you do purchase some cover in case anything unexpected comes your way. At Emerald life, we offer award-winning cover and have lots of flexible options to suit your needs, click HERE to complete your quote in minutes.

Is Cape Town a good holiday destination?

Issues like poverty in adults and street children, theft and crime still exist in Cape Town but are far less common than in other cities across the rest of South Africa. Cape Town is widely accepted to be the best destination for tourists and you shouldn’t feel threatened about travelling there.

You may also want to visit Camps Bay as it’s known for its great restaurants, and if you are planning to swim in the ocean at any point make sure to swim close to shore as South Africa has been known to have deadly wild animals in the waters like sharks.

Do I need travel insurance to go to Cape Town?

While travel insurance is not necessary for travel to Cape Town it is still advisable to have travel insurance because it can cover you for the unexpected.

Crime still exists in Cape Town but are far less common than across the rest of South Africa. Cape Town is widely accepted to be the best city for tourists. 

However, you should still remain alert and try to keep to well-lit areas especially if you are travelling by yourself.

Is it worth visiting Cape Town?

Cape Town also know as the mother city of South Africa is a great place to meet other tourists as well. 

To keep Cape Town safe the South African government have invested lots of money into making Cape Town a great tourist destination.

Cape Town Tourism has grown in previous years due to the decrease in crime however, issues like street children and violent crime still happen.


If you are planning to travel to Cape Town, you may want to consider purchasing a good travel insurance policy. The city is wonderful and offers many opportunities for tourists, but there are also risks that can be avoided with the right insurance coverage.

Let us help protect your trip so that it goes smoothly without any worries! Do you need protection when travelling? We offer great rates on our comprehensive travel policy or single-trip plans. 

Emerald life is an award-winning travel insurance provider and we can provide you a quote in just minutes! To save yourself the worry of anything going wrong while your abroad make sure to click HERE and recieve your quote.