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Cape Town

Safety in Cape town for a young girl


I am planning my internship and I would love to go to Cape Town for 6 months (sept 2015 - feb 2015). I have heard that it is quite dangerous in some area's. How is the safety around the better areas? Is it OK for me to walk there on my own? Any risks for something?

Any recommendations for doing something there? Or certain nice neigbourhoods for students?


10 Answers

top answer by
Sarah from Cape Town

I've lived in Cape Town my whole life and have never been the victim of crime. That said, I am very cautious. don't walk around at night on your own especially around long street and the center of town. and always book reputable cabs at night time ( eg Ricky's, excite, unicab). The privately owned cabs are not safe. During the day I'd avoid the minibus taxis if you can and rather take my city buses which go to most areas of interest. During the day it's perfectly fine to go around most areas on your own- the townships and cape flats are off limits unless you are with a tour company. Areas like the Waterfront, the Winelands Close and Camps Bay are very safe but rather get in the habit of carrying credit cards than cash and keeping your bag zipped. This all probably sounds a bit intense but the reality is that we have a high crime rate and you do need to be careful. If you are aware of your surroundings and don't make yourself into a good target you will be fine... And have an amazing time!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Waterfront (attraction)
  2. Winelands Close (attraction)
  3. Camps Bay (attraction)
4 thanks

answered by
Collette from Johannesburg, Gauteng

Hi Rosanna

I lived in Cape Town for around a year 6 years ago, 2 of my closest friends (who are girls) live there now and I can honestly say it is very safe. Like all cities though, you have to be street wise and aware of your surroundings as pick pockets and petty theft does happen sometimes, although I never had it happen to me.

In terms of neighborhoods, I would recommend staying somewhere in the city bowl - Gardens, Vredehoek etc. or southern suburbs - Rondebosch, Claremont, Kenilworth as everything that you will want to access will be close and they are all very safe suburbs.

Activities abound! Clifton and Camps Bayare trendy hangouts, Kloof St is another. Woodstock is great for markets and galleries and shopping and a trip up the mountain (cable car or hiking) is a must. If the city is getting boring you can take a drive out to the winelands or take a trip inland into the Karoo National Park which is semi-desert and has some amazing small towns and friendly locals.

I'd also recommend a visit to Johannesburg for a true African city experience and wildlife encounters.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Vredehoek (attraction)
  2. Rondebosch (attraction)
  3. Claremont (attraction)
  4. Kenilworth (attraction)
  5. Clifton (attraction)
  6. Camps Bay (attraction)
  7. Kloof St (attraction)
  8. Woodstock (attraction)
  9. Karoo National Park (attraction)
  10. Johannesburg (city)
2 thanks

answered by
Sarah from Cape Town

Where are you doing your internship? There are lots of great areas for students but I'd choose one near where you work... Finding somewhere on Kloof St or near there is great if you are in town. Even if you are going to be in the southern suburbs (near Uct) id probably still go for Vredehoek or Oranjezicht for the best vibe.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Kloof St (attraction)
  2. Vredehoek (attraction)
  3. Oranjezicht (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
David from Cape Town

Hey Rosanna,

Cape Town is host to thousands of tourists every day, and it is very safe.  If you are driving, dont leave things showing in the car, and if you are on the mountain go with people. 

The areas that are not safe are not the areas that you are going to go to!  It is more on the outskirts of Cape Town, and my basic rule is that if you cannot pronounce the name of the town, thats probably the ones that you dont want to go into!  People here are very friendly and you will quickly make friends to travel with and people will tell you where to go, but within a few days you will be able to work it out for yourself once you are here

2 thanks

answered by
Nicholas from Cape Town, Western Cape

Hello Rosanna,

Cape Town is generally safe. There are some areas of the Cape Flats and the areas near the  airport I would avoid but for the most part it is safe and walking is fine. Many students living in Rondebosch area near the University. Public transport is not so great but many people take the local taxis although they do have a reputation for some scary driving. If you are here for six months it may be an option for you to buy a cheap car and rather explore yourself. The Hope Street Market (so-called due to the surrounding mountains) is also great for young people and plenty to do and see. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cape Town (attraction)
  2. Rondebosch (attraction)
  3. Hope Street Market (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
Bev from South Africa

I've lived in Cape Town my whole life and being safe and taking caution is something you get used to. I've never been mugged or anything of the sort, you just have to vigilant about what's going on around you. Don't leave valuables sticking out and at night always travel in a group. Rather take reputable company taxis or even an Uber. For a student a great suburb to stay in is Rondebosch or Claremont, there are loads of students in this area as it's super close to the University of Cape Town.

Otherwise enjoy the city, explore the nature (always in a group), the beaches, nightlife, wine and so on, just keep your eyes peeled, always keep your home locked, don't be naive, don't speak to dodgy strangers and you'll be A ok.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Rondebosch (attraction)
  2. Claremont (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Karma from Houston

Rosanna, Cape Town is the most beautiful place I've been to in my life. Safety is something you should use precaution with but should not be a concern. I went by myself for a week's stay. I have friends who live there who told me the following. Only take reputable car companies like Marine Taxi - phone is: +27 21 913 6813. If you're staying at a hotel they will be able to call taxis that will be safe for you and the same taxi can come & pick you up afterward. Anywhere in the major tourist areas are relatively safe. Never keep anything in your back pocket, including your phone. There are pick-pocket thieves there. I suggest wearing a cross body bag and not having a purse that rests on just your shoulder. When in a car, keep your windows rolled up. I never saw violence or experienced it the 2 different trips I spent there. I also took a group of 20 people there who were all safe as well. Keep your eyes open but do not be paranoid, the people there are wonderful! Have a blast! 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Marine African Tours (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by

I spent a few days in Capetown and surroundings this fall and never felt threatened, but I am a 66 year old male.  The wine district Stellenbasch is about 15 miles  east of Capetown and has a college environment.  I remember the risks of college life, and they exist, but are usually a function of what you bring to the situation.  Around Capetown, I saw no high fences with razor wire as we saw in Jo'berg, so if you are alert, go for it.

1 thanks

answered first by
Tessa from Delft


I've been to cape town a few years back with my sister. It is pretty save if you are smart about it. Here are some tips for staying safe:

- When it is dark, don't travel alone and always take a cab.
- Don't go to an ATM alone, always have someone watch your back.
- Mini buses are fine during the day, and really easy and cheap.
- Don't wear any expensive jewelry or jewelry that looks expensive.
- Don't travel with a lot of money.

We were volontaires at SASTS and we also stayed in their hostel in cape town center and in the suburbs. I didn't feel unsafe during any part of the trip. Maybe find a traveling buddy while your their. Safety in numbers!

Kind Regards, 


1 thanks

answered by
Stephan from Potchefstroom

Hi, Cape Town has some unsafe areas and walking alone at night is not advised. Although during the day in the CBD is totally fine. There are Ubers everywhere, so you can easily get around town at night. 
Carry some mace and be aware of your surroundings is the best advice I can give you.

OranjezichtVredehoek, are some of the safer areas. 

If you like going out, long street has a lot to offer.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Oranjezicht (attraction)
  2. Vredehoek (attraction)

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