How Safe Is Cape Town for Tourists?
As a reputable tour guide, tour operator or accommodation, we know that the safety of your clients is one of your top priorities. It is also likely that you find yourself called on from time to time to answer the question: “How safe is Cape Town for tourists?” With so much content available that is often contradictory, it can be useful to tap into responsible local sources of information when it comes to safety.
With our specialised Shimansky Diamond Experiences and the Cape Town Diamond Museum situated in the heart of Cape Town, we have a long-standing engagement in the Cape Town tourism industry and ongoing interest in visitor safety. We understand that there are many preconceived notions about travelling in African cities in general; and that like any other popular city, it’s also possible for alarmist rumours to circulate about Cape Town. When discussing Cape Town safety for tourists, we look to the official sources of the latest, accurate information.
Like many other cities in the world, the Cape Town area does include some under-resourced, densely populated neighbourhoods where the incidents of crime are relatively high. However, these parts of Cape Town are far from the typical tourist experience of the city where the infrastructure is world class and security is sophisticated. Reported crime statistics only give an overall picture without properly qualifying which areas are safer than others.
As with many other famous, much-visited cities, investments in Cape Town’s infrastructure and security are part of the City’s ongoing effort to attract tourism. Cape Town was host to the 2010 FIFA World Cup and met all the stringent safety requirements for holding one the world’s largest sporting events. Since then, new developments such as MyCiti bus routes have been implemented in the quest to continually maintain the high standards that ensure that Cape Town consistently provides a world-class live, work, play and stay experience.
Best & Safe Areas to Stay When Visiting Cape Town
Cape Town Central City
Like Paris, London or New York, Cape Town’s vibrant central city district is purposely fit for tourists and is regarded by the South African Police Services as the safest CBD in South Africa. It’s widely accepted as a safe area to stay in Cape Town and attracts a large share of South Africa’s tourist business. Known locally as ‘The City Bowl’ because it nestles in the hollow between Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, it includes the world-famous V&A Waterfront and features many tourist attractions as well as top hotels, restaurants, coffee shops and shops. When out on the city streets, tourists need to follow the typical, sensible safety guidelines such as keeping cash and valuables tucked away, but they will be reassured by the presence of dedicated public safety officers who patrol the district 24/7.
Cape Town’s City Bowl is also covered by an extensive CCTV network which is monitored by response teams around the clock. Safety and security in Cape Town’s central city is an important mandate of the CCID (Central City Improvement District) and you can download their safety guide for visitors Welcome to the Cape Town Central City here.
The Atlantic Seaboard
This stunning stretch of Atlantic coastline starts at the iconic V&A Waterfront and includes top Cape Town neighbourhoods such as Mouille Point, Green Point, Sea Point, Fresnaye, Bantry Bay, Clifton, Camps Bay, Bakoven, Llandudno and Hout Bay. Often called Cape Town’s ‘Riviera’, most travellers to the City are keen to experience the incredible beaches and majestic mountain views. Most of the Atlantic seaboard neighbourhoods draw in the rich and famous for their many luxury hotels, polished restaurants and cocktail bars, so safety standards are high.
Lively Sea Point with its popular promenade, nightlife and high density of restaurants and coffee shops is always full of runners and cyclists, families enjoying the parks with an ocean view, and people casually strolling along the 11km long promenade.
The Southern Suburbs
Home to the world-renowned Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and the picturesque Constantia Winelands, most tourists visit, and some choose to stay in Cape Town’s affluent Southern Suburbs. There are many excellent hotels and guesthouses, as well as outstanding restaurants and shops. This part of Cape Town is distinctly residential, and the tourist attractions are situated in the neighbourhoods that range from upper middle-class to wealthy where the security standards are high and they are considered safe for tourists to stay.
The professionally-guided Cape Town Diamond Museum tour takes visitors on a journey that begins with the phenomenal 3.3 billion-year-old formation of diamonds deep within the Earth’s mantle and finishes in the sparkling Shimansky showroom where visitors are dazzled by the beautifully crafted diamond and tanzanite creations. Along the way, they learn all about the fascinating discoveries of diamonds in South Africa in the late 1800’s and how the country became the largest producer of diamonds in the world at that time. Interesting historical artefacts and images vividly bring the dramatic history of the people and places involved in the country’s extraordinary Diamond Rush to life.
The Cape Point Route
The outer-lying south-eastern area of Cape Town includes False Bay and the dramatic Cape Point. Along the way, there are small coastal hamlets such as St James, Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek, Simon’s Town, Scarborough, Kommetjie and Noordhoek. Popular, safe tourist activities include Chapman’s Peak Drive, Cape Point Nature Reserve and visiting the African Penguin colony at Boulders Beach. Most tourists safely experience the Cape Point Route as a guided tour or self-driving day activity, but there are a number of safe areas to stay as well.
The bottom-line is that there is a wide choice of places that are certainly safe to stay in Cape Town, as well as a host of exciting tourist activities that pose nothing more than the same risks anyone might experience in a comparable tourist destination.
Shimansky is proud to be a part of providing visitors with a safe and unforgettable experience while in Cape Town, and the opportunity to take home a precious sparkling piece of Africa.