Durban may seem like a very safe city, like the ones you can find in the central Europe, however, it is not. It is a lot less safe than one might think. Even though, Durban is supposed to be the safest in the whole of South Africa.

 As a newcomer to the city SafeAround advises to use a taxi and be vigilant all the time. The level of serious crime is high. However, following the several basic rules will allow almost eliminate any risks.
In order to make your trip as smooth as possible, SafeAround compiled useful information about all potential risks and dangerous neighborhoods of Durban.

So, we will allow you to see on a map the city’s safest and potentially dangerous areas, details on scams and other possible risks, as well as some useful travel advice in order not to let anything spoil such a wonderful journey to the picturesque South African beauty.


See others cities in South Africa

Durban is the 3rd largest city in South Africa and a tremendous port. It is the rich city of trade with fashionable resorts. Its is famous for its oriental bazars and golden beaches. It is supposed to be the most colorful city on the continent. The city is divided into 2 parts: the old Durban with its ancient architecture, Indian district, shopping malls and restaurants and a new Durban, which is located along the ocean with a fantastically beautiful embankment, where most of the hotels are located. Durban is widely known as the main South African beach city. Surfing fans, fishing fans and families in search of a delightful holiday will be astonished by the Golden Mile (a stretch of beachfront) due to its blend of pristine beauty and modern resort. Among the main attractions to visit and experience are uShaka Marine World, Victoria Street Market with its authentic street food variety, Pavillion Shopping Centre, Valley of a 1000 Hills and etc..

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK :

Durban is ranked 127th out of 162 of most dangerous cities. However, the safety level depends on the district. So, if you exercise a high degree of caution and avoid the troubled areas, your vacation in sunny Durban might only be spoiled by petty theft at the airport or at the beach. However, in the dark time of the day crime rates are significantly higher, thus we advise refraining from visiting any areas at night.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK :

Pickpocketing at shopping centers and beach areas are common. It is worth being vigilant, do not leave your valuables unattended. The city center might be overcrowded and numerous pickpockets operate there.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK :

The level of mugging is less intense as in the rest of the South Africa, however, it still exists. Thus, look out for any suspicious activity.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK :

Scams with credit cards are very common, SafeAround recommends keeping your credit card in sight, whenever used. Do not accept any help at the ATM from strangers. Scam incidents can be reported on the following telephone number: +27 11 9705300.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK :

There are reports of situations when criminals place debris on roads in order to stop the vehicle. We advise that you do not stop and get out from the car to clear the barrier. The best solution is to wait for another car or try to bypass using the roadside. Luggage theft does occur at the airport. SafeAround advises do not place any valuables in your luggage. Waiting for a taxi, be aware of strangers, that might offer to help you with your suitcases. Be vigilant, and do not leave your belongings unattended. Due to safety and concerns, the use of minibus taxis is not recommended. These vehicles are in poor condition, drivers drive erratically.


Tsunamis in the Indian Ocean might be a threat. You can find more info on Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK :

There is a moderate risk of terrorism in South Africa. Terrorism is a worldwide threat.


There have been several reports of attacks and shaming of women travelers. Do not venture alone in shady neighborhoods of large cities, or isolated villages.



Durban’s city center

Overcrowded during the day, it is absolutely empty at the night time. You should follow common sense and stick to the main streets at night.

Golden Mile

Although the beach strip is regularly patrolled by policemen and is well lit at night, there is a high level of pickpocketing and crimes do occur on a regular basis. Therefore, we advise avoiding any dark or deserted areas. It is also not recommended to be out alone at night or in the early hours of the morning. Do not venture to the back and side roads of the hotels.

Harbour area

Famous uShaka Marine World and Durban Point are located in this area. Many facilities of the port can be found there. The area is very secured and safe, both during the night and day, except the area called Point. It is the area between downtown and the port. Infamously known for higher crime rate than in the rest of the city, its is where cheap hotels are located and prostitution is reported. SafeAround recommends to keep away from the Point or if you absolutely need to go there we advise you take a metered taxi.

Slums and other no go areas:

Cato Manor – working class remote area. No likely than any tourist will turn out there. However, it is better to avoid this neighborhood. Kennedy Roada shack settlement known for its regular violent protests. Track the news and keep away from this area in case of any unrest, as it may turn violent. Japanese Gardens – due to the high crime rate in this area, U.S. Consulate in Durban prohibits employees from going to these Gardens.

Other areas of concern:

Children living on the streets might be a concern. Many of them carry knives, act unpredictable, sniff glue and consume alternative cheap drugs. The best thing is to keep clear of them.

Useful Information

If you’re visiting South Africa for tourism purposes for a period of up to 90 days, you don’t need a visa. In other circumstances, you’ll need a visa.
South African Rand is an official currency of the country. The easiest way to obtain the local currency is to withdrawals from the ATM machine. The best exchange rate is guaranteed.
Weather conditions in Johannesburg are excellent; during the summer months (December – February) the temperature reaches 30°C. Winter might be cold, however, snow is very rare.
The main international airports are in Johannesburg and Cape Town. If you’re looking for cheap flight deals, you can find some on JetRadar
As in any country, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page