Is Cape Town Dangerous?
In recent years Cape Town has been put under the spotlight for being one of the most beautiful cities in the world and rightly so. If you have ever flown into Cape Town on a perfect day you will never forget seeing the glittering blue atlantic ocean with dramatic Table Mountain as it’s backdrop. A bite sized city nestled in between these two and petering out towards areas like the magical winelands, crisp west coast and otherworldly Karoo.
Now why has such a beautiful city suddenly gotten such a bad reputation? Like with every country that is under fire for being not safe. I think it all boils down to the media spreading half truths or just being reporting on bad things for views. Cape Town isn’t 100% safe but if you think about it there are hardly any countries that fit that bill.
I have been living in Cape Town almost my entire life ( did a brief four year stint in Europe ) and I absolutely adore it here.
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Don’t Believe everything you hear
I am part of a facebook travel group where Cape Town pops up every once in a while. It usually goes something along the lines of… “I am a solo female traveller and I want to visit Cape Town, my mom says it isn’t safe so now I am not sure…” All of a sudden a 110 people from other countries that have not even visited Cape Town starts agreeing saying it’s not safe.They had a friend of a friend that got mugged and they heard violence against females is super high. That doesn’t sound fair does it?
Rather approach locals ( bloggers, tour guides etc ) from Cape Town and ask them. If you haven’t visited you wouldn’t know right?
The news doesn’t always get it right
Unfortunately the news does exactly the same thing. Rather than spreading the positives they will focus on all the negative. They make it so much worse like for example when Cape Town ran out of water. We had water the entire time. We were just conserving it but the news made it seem like the taps weren’t even working.
Same with the gang violence that everyone has been freaking out about. This is horrible and people are dying everyday. But… and its a big but. This will not effect you as a tourist unless you go into the effected area which you 100% will not.
Yes some parts are dangerous
Don’t get me wrong though. I would not walk around some areas at night, especially not alone. When you think about it though, how many cities have bad areas that you wont dare go to at night. Loads right?! Did you still go to that city, probably.
For instance there are a few hostels in a road called Long street in the heart of the city. It is not a great area to hang around in even during the day I don’t like it. Would I walk around there late at night alone? Hell no. Simple as not booking a hostel or hotel there right?
Be safe not stupid
Wherever I go in the world I am aware of my surroundings and Cape Town is no different. I don’t walk around flashing expensive cell phones or cameras in not so great areas. I don’t leave things unattended and I rather take an uber after dark instead of walking.
As soon as you make a conscious effort to be safe there is hardly anything to worry about.
- Don’t hike alone
- Stay in a safe neighbourhood
- Pay with a card instead of cash
- Always know where you are and be aware of your surroundings
- Always take an uber and not an unmarked “taxi”
These things pertain to any city in the world so don’t let it go out the window in Cape Town.
Research is key
Do research before coming to Cape Town and you will be fine. Make an itinerary, find out awesome areas to stay and the best things to do. If you don’t want to hike alone go on airbnb and get a hiking guide. Go on free tours with other people if you are alone.
There is really nothing to be scared of if you know exactly what is what!