Just how safe is Cape Town for Tourists?

March 5, 2013 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Cape Town Holiday Questions

The million dollar question: How safe us Cape Town for Tourists?

I read many questions about how safe is Cape Town for Tourists. This is not an easy question, but I have asked a very wise Cape Townian to share some of his wisdom.

Here is some a very concerned potential traveller had to had to say. She went on about being a blond and what may happen to her. Here’s a short version of her story:

Okay, so I’ve been doing some research for the last few weeks and I’ve found lists that place Cape Town anywhere from 1st place to the 34th most dangerous city in the world 2012. Regardless of the disparity, it seems that Cape Town is amongst the most unsafe cities in the world. (This solo blond lady traveller continues in a very negative frame of mind).

Before I get the wise Cape Town to share his wisdom let me share a different view by wise blogger called Dare to Live with Out Limits on how I feel about these kind of ideas:

You are a magnet. Your attitude, thoughts and actions determine what you attract. Like attracts like. If you are negative, rude and inconsiderate, this is what you will attract. If you are positive, upbeat, courteous, caring and considerate, you will attract the same.

Now for the wise Cape Townian on how safe is Cape Town for tourists?

This wise man lived a long time ago: All he did was ask simple question:


One day a traveling family wanted to visit Cape Town – for their extended holiday. The head of the family made contact the wise Cape Town man to ask him how safe is Cape Town for Tourists?.

The wise man countered his question by asking the potential visitor:

Dear friend can you tell me what’s your home town like?

The man said that his home town was a murderous, cheating and a bad place. And that’s why he and his family want to visit Cape Town to get away from their home town.

The wise old Cape Town man answered:


Cape Town is just as bad as the potential visitor’s home town.

Disappointed the man left.

Many months later another man-made contact with the wise Cape Townian. And asked the same question:

“Can you please tell me if Cape Town is a how safe is Cape Town for Tourists??”

And again the wise man asked him what his home town was like.

This time the man said:

My home town is a peaceful village. Everyone loves each other. And we really have a lot of fun. And this is why we want to come to Cape Town.

And the wise man said:

“You will find Cape Town just like your home town. A fun place”.

What’s the moral of the story?

I leave that to you 😉

Here’s some other facts to consider:

Just the other day I read a book about an European couple who walked through Africa. Do you think this couple would have done this if they believed all the negative press?

But Why would 17 000 Brits vote Cape Town as the best city in the world? And why was Cape Town voted Africa’s best city by almost 50,000 readers of the Condé Nast Traveller magazine.

Here’s some common sense advice for any place – any place in the world that you may visit as a tourist:

I would not recommend you to go anywhere looking like a diamond stud showing off all your touristy paraphernalia. I would not expect you to go into poor areas – like a shack town (this is not a blanket statement – please see below). If you stick to the tourist areas or ask your accommodation host you should be fine. Here are some suggestions from other Cape Townians:

Don’t be put off by all the bad press you may hear. There are wonderful township tours that you would be silly to miss out on. Mzolis restaurant in the Guguletu township is frequented by mostly non-township residents and tourists. I cant imagine anyone not experiencing Mzolis! The majority of capetonians are friendly and welcoming. But just to make sure you follow Johan’s common sense advice and use your operators who can offer you better value and safer travel. Shafeeqahi


The main areas are as safe as any other city. Just be sensible – don’t walk around with cameras slung around your neck, gazing at a map, in the middle of the street and you will be as safe as any other city 🙂 madaboutwine


Explore in groups and not alone, and stick to busy, well-lit streets. This is particularly important at night-time or in quiet areas.

What kind of traveller are you? Are you trying to avoid risk at all cost?

“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” – Mark Jenkins


How do you feel on this question: Just how safe is Cape Town for Tourists?

Have Cape Town fun.

Johan Horak

#LoveCape Town #CapeHolidays


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