Safety in Cape Town

Safety Information


Cape Town is a major, modern cosmopolitan South African city. As such, we would advise travellers to exercise the same level of vigilance they would exercise when visiting any major city in the world.

This includes ensuring you follow basic safety tips such as keeping emergency numbers on hand, avoiding carrying large sums of cash and keeping your valuables safe at all times. For the overwhelming majority of the 1,7 million foreign visitors to the Western Cape in 2018, a visit to Cape Town and the Western Cape was a positive, memorable experience.

The destination is frequently cited as among the world’s best holiday destinations and has a high return visitor rate, proving that those who visit our destination once, fall in love with it, and want to discover it again.

The same precautions travellers would take to secure their safety in any major city in the world, apply when visiting Cape Town, a growing city of nearly four million people.

Cape Town offers a range of tourism accommodation options catering to all markets. These include luxury hotels, budget establishments, guesthouses and Airbnb accommodation. Tourism is one of the major industries of Cape Town and the Western Cape. As such, formal tourism establishments largely take the safety and comfort of their guests very seriously.

When deciding on an accommodation option, use the same vigilance you would when selecting accommodation elsewhere in the world. Should you be concerned about the property’s safety measures or the location of the property, do not hesitate to contact them for further details, check whether they are a member of a tourism association or organisation and make your enquiries there.

We encourage visitors to be mindful at all times of their surroundings when walking around any major city. The Cape Town Business Community and local authorities have taken numerous proactive initiatives to ensure the safety and upkeep of central Cape Town. As a result, this area – where most tourism establishments are located – has grown to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.

Visible safety officers have been deployed and the city centre is kept clean. Major restaurants, shops, and galleries line the streets and many offices, apartment buildings and hotels are located Downtown. A variety of walking tours are available to suit different interests and you’ll share the pavements with locals walking to work, businesspeople rushing between meetings and other tourists who, like you, are exploring all the city has to offer.

Cape Town and the Western Cape is a popular solo-travel destination, with a variety of activities and experiences on offer for the solo adventurer. Solo travellers are encouraged to exercise the same vigilance and safety measures to ensure they are not soft targets as they would anywhere else in the world.

Cape Town is one of the most well-connected cities in South Africa when it comes to transport options. While travellers often choose to walk around the Downtown or Central Business District area because distances are short, you have the option to use Uber, Taxify, metered taxis and the MyCiti bus system, which can also connect you to points within the central district of Cape Town and surrounding tourism must-sees like Camps Bay, Sea Point and Hout Bay. The MyCiti bus also connects you directly to Cape Town International Airport through a direct shuttle. There is also a City Sightseeing hop-on-hop-off red bus service with a variety of tourist routes on offer. Safe travels and see you in Cape Town. There is truly nowhere better!

The Western Cape has many accredited and well-trained tour guides. (A link will be shared in the near future)

Emergency numbers


Emergencies from a mobile


Emergencies from a landline


South African Police Service

021 535 1100

Medical & Fire Emergencies

021 480 7700

Table Mountain NP Emergencies

021 948 9900

Sea & Mountain Rescue

082 911

National Sea Rescue Institute

071 588 6540

Baboon Monitors

078 174 4244

Shark Spotters



Safety tips

When booking online

For Hotels

Travelling by car

On the street

When out and about

At the ATM

Give responsibly

Street children and beggars may approach you for a handout. If you wish to help, consider giving food, donating to a registered charity or contact Cape Town Tourism for advice. You may also encounter aggressive begging in the CBD. This is intimidating behaviour that can make you feel threatened.  You may also be followed around persistently despite your having said “no”. The CCID, which provides security in the city area, is available to help.

Through the streets of Cape Town

Cape Town Tourism’s Destination Safety Co-ordinator, Jeremiah Foster, walks us through the streets of Cape Town and shares some tips on staying safe while in the City.

Safety Information

There are a few different ways to get around Cape Town, depending on your budget and needs. If you’re travelling on a tight budget, the best option is to use the bus system. Bus tickets are relatively cheap, and you can use them to get around the city quite easily.

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