General Safety Tips
Cape Town is widely regarded as a safe city for both tourists and locals, however incidents of crime do happen. Most of these incidents are the result of opportunistic criminals, and these general tips will go some way towards guarding yourself against these characters.
- Dial 082 112 for medial emergencies; 10111 for crime-related incidents.
- The City of Cape Town has started to crack down on drunk driving. If you've had one too many, grab a reputable taxi. If in doubt about the taxi, ask a nearby hotel to assist you or call the number on the side of the cab. A taxi will cost you anything between R9 and R15 a kilometre, however some drivers will agree to a flat rate if negotiated beforehand.
- Know where you are going. Make use of the Cape Town maps provided on this website, or hire a GPS device with your rental vehicle. You can also get excellent point-to-point directions from Google Maps.
- Do not leave anything visible in the car. Not even worthless objects. If possible, leave all valuable belongings in your hotel safe. If you have no other option, lock them in the boot (trunk) of your vehicle, however with some determination, criminals can gain access to the boot, particularly if they have seen you placing valuables inside.
- Try to avoid looking confused or lost. Ask for help from reputable businesses, police, or security guards, and do not accept directions or guidance to your destination from suspicious looking characters.
- Use only registered and accredited tour guides.
- If you are confronted by robbers, don’t fight them - rather hand over your belongings.
- Cape Town is filled with great photo opportunities, and in general there are no problems with carrying your camera around. Just try and keep your valuables such as cameras and handbags out of view, and avoid drawing cash from ATMs in unlit or isolated areas.
- Make sure that the ATM you are using has not been tampered with, and that there are no suspicious characters around. Make sure that your PIN is concealed when entering it, and do not accept assistance from anyone at the point of transaction.
- Keep your documents and copies of your travel documents stored apart and in a safe place, such as your hotel safe.
- In recent years there have been incidents of credit card fraud throughout South Africa. To avoid becomming a victim, ensure that your credit card never leaves your sight, especially in restaurants. Most restaurants are equipped with Bluetooth credit card readers, however if not, insist that you accompany the waiter to the machine.
- Avoid hiking on the mountain or isolated paths alone.