City BowlThe city center and the most convenient and safe place to stay. Preferably explore by foot, as it relatively small. Many guesthouses and hotels with an excellent view of a harbor are located in this area. Beware of pickpockets.
Bo-Kaap (Upper Cape)Lovely suburb stretching from the edge of the inner city up the slopes of Signal Hill. Historic mosques and differently colored houses make this part of the city one of the most interesting areas of Cape Town. In terms of safety, this area is absolutely safe.
V&A WaterfrontIt’s an enormous complex in old docks, which has a lot to offer to newcomers. Bars with local wines, sophisticated restaurants, and craft markets are open for your choice. As always, a high concentration of tourists attracts scammers and pickpockets. So, be aware of your surroundings. Best areas to stay in Cape Town: Constantia, Diep River, Southern Suburbs, Bloubergstrand, Northern Suburbs, Clifton, Sea point and Camps Bay.
Neighborhoods to avoid:
KhayelitshaIn this slum-like area, Gang battles with knives happen often, so only armed taxi drivers go into this area. It’s definitely not a tourist destination for a romantic South African voyage.
GugulethuGugulethu is a township about 15 km from Cape Town: it’s a very troubled area, infamous for murders and carjacking. The area is not on the tourist route, however worth to know, that being there might cause problems.
NyangaThe poorest township in Cape Town. Supposed to be a home for gangs. High level of crime is due to 50% unemployment rate, poverty, and violence. Definitely a No-Go Area
Warnings & Dangers
OVERALL RISK :
Cape Town is ranked 110th out of 162 of most dangerous cities. However, the safety level is depends on the district. So, if you exercise a high degree of caution and avoid the troubled areas, your vacation to Cape Town might only be spoiled by petty theft at the Central station. However, at dark, crime rates are significantly higher, thus we advise refraining from visiting any areas at night.
PICKPOCKETS RISK :
Pickpocketing at shopping centers is common. It is worth being vigilant of your surroundings, do not leave your valuable unattended. The city center might be overcrowded and numerous pickpockets operate in this area.
MUGGING RISK :
Muggings and robbery often happen, and generally involve weapons. Some criminals pretend to be ‘Tourist Police’ to extort and rob tourists, including by stopping tourist buses to check proof of identity and search luggage. There were reports of situations when tourists have been assaulted and robbed after their food or drinks were spiked. Try to avoid being in clubs or bars alone at night, and do not leave your food or beverages unattended.
SCAMS RISK :
Scams with credit cards are very common, SafeAround recommends to keep your credit card in sight, whenever used. Scam incidents can be reported on the following telephone number: +27 11 9705300.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK :
There are known situations when criminals place debris on roads in order to stop the vehicle. We advise you not to stop and get out of the car to clear the barrier. The best solution is to wait for another car or try to bypass using the roadside. Robberies is an issue on trains between Johannesburg and Pretoria. Commuter trains in Cape Town might be dangerous in the night time as well. Luggage theft does occur at Cape Town airport. SafeAround advises you do not place any valuables in your luggage. Waiting for a taxi, be aware of strangers, that might offer their help 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. The best solution for security reasons is taking a taxi wherever you go, luckily it’s significantly cheaper in Cape Town, than in any European capital.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK :
Tsunamis in the Indian Ocean might be a threat. You can find more info on Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.
TERRORISM RISK :
There is a moderate risk of terrorism in South Africa. Terrorism is a worldwide threat.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK :
There has been several reports of attacks and shaming of women travelers. Do not venture alone in shady neighborhoods of large cities, or isolated villages.