Visitor safety

Safety and security concerns remain the biggest reason for people not wanting to visit our destination.

7 Safety Tips when visiting Cape Town

Cape Town Tourism, in conjunction with Provincial and City stakeholders, has developed a Cape Town Visitor Safety and Support plan with proactive and reactive programmes as well as a dedicated Visitor Support Programme. We have put a Members Safety and Security Forum in place as a shared platform with interested members, safety and security agencies, stakeholders and major attractions.

The Forum has been active since November 2005. It meets every three months to formulate, activate and track the progress of projects that ensure a safer city for visitors. One such project is the “Band Aid” programme where members are given the opportunity to provide complimentary products or services to visitors who have been affected by crime or safety incidents as part of our Visitor Support Programme.

There is visible security within the city. Photo © Cape Town Tourism

The Members Safety Forum links in to the relevant local, provincial and national safety forums as explained in the Cape Town Visitor Safety and Support plan, making sure that our members are part of the bigger picture and the fight to ensure that Cape Town’s reputation as a safe destination is protected. Contact us to participate in this forum.

Some of the outcomes of the Forum have been a revised Cape Town Safety and Support plan, a strong partnership established with the police and other safety agencies, copies of a four-step safety plan distributed to all members, delivery of visitor safety tips leaflets, updated visitor collateral, activities regarding visitor safety in Table Mountain National Park, a series of workshops and a manual for tourism owners and staff to support them in dealing with visitor safety incidents and the media.

Cape Town Tourism can provide you with support including: unlimited copies of visitor safety tips, a printed and digital four-step guide to help you contact the relevant emergency services, assistance with visitors affected by crime through the provincial Tourism Safety and Support programme, assistance with media communication, a quarterly regional safety forum, and a practical manual to assist you and your team to be aware of the importance of visitor safety and security, proactively develop and maintain a safe and secure environment for visitors and quickly and effectively react to the 14 most common visitor-related incidents.

Download some of this information alongside or contact the visitor safety support line on +27 (0)21 487 6552, for assistance.

The provincial Tourism Safety and Support programme (TSSP) is a free service offering support and assistance to visitors 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Services provided include:

  • Practical and emotional support for visitors in need
  • Facilitating trauma counselling
  • Visiting hospitals or facilitating medical treatment
  • Helping with short-term accommodation
  • Helping to contact family or friends
  • Facilitating embassy and consular involvement
  • Assisting with language difficulties
  • Assisting with legal processes where possible, including with the police
  • Assisting with replacement documents (e.g. flight tickets)
  • Facilitating transport arrangements

The TSSP does not offer:

  • Financial assistance
  • Replacement of lost items
  • Medical attention
  • Compensation for loss
  • Legal advice

You can also use the visitor safety tips available on the Cape Town Tourism visitor website.

If you have any ideas, requirements, or suggestions or would like to actively participate to improve visitor safety and security, please contact  Sonya Hector via e mail on

What others are doing

Visitors to any destination need to take certain health and safety precautions. Cape Town is no different.

Here are some of the ways in which other destinations deal with visitor safety:

San Diego County, one of the US’s most diverse and hospitable visitor destinations, has helpful tips on a number of visitor safety areas, including on the road, hotel/motel security, sightseeing, vehicle security, beach/ocean safety and information on how to deal with homeless citizens. It also has specific tips for convention delegates, suggesting delegates remove their delegate badges once the conference is over to avoid drawing attention to themselves. Downtown San Diego businesses have also initiated a successful Clean and Safe programme with trained ambassadors to assist visitors. They are visible in khaki and blue baseball caps and white logo shirts. This is similar to the Cape Town Tjommies programme, which was piloted in the central city in 2008. Visit San Diego County Visitor Safety for more information.

New Zealand has also developed a partnership between the New Zealand Police, the tourism industry, the Ministry of Tourism, the Department of Conservation and the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council. They have highlighted four areas of visitor safety: keeping safe on the road, keeping yourself safe, keeping safe outdoors and keeping your possessions safe. Visit New Zealand Visitor Safety for more information.


Cape Town 107 Emergency

TMNP Visitor Safety