FAQs for Tourism Safety

1. Is Cape Town safe for tourists?

Cape Town is a major, modern cosmopolitan South African city. As such, we would advise travellers to exercise the same level of vigilance they would exercise when visiting any major city in the world. This includes ensuring you follow basic safety tips such as keeping emergency numbers on hand, avoiding carrying large sums of cash and keeping your valuables safe at all times. For the overwhelming majority of the 1,7 million foreign visitors to the Western Cape in 2018, a visit to Cape Town and the Western Cape was a positive, memorable experience. The destination is frequently cited as among the world’s best holiday destinations and has a high return visitor rate, proving that those who visit our destination once, fall in love with it, and want to discover it again.

2. What precautions should a visitor to Cape Town take to stay safe?

The same precautions travellers would take to secure their safety in any major city in the world, apply when visiting Cape Town, a growing city of nearly four million people. A list of #BeSafe Travel Tips is available on Cape Town Tourism’s Website and can be viewed here.

3. Will I be safe in my hotel or accommodation establishment?

Cape Town offers a range of tourism accommodation options catering to all markets. These include luxury hotels, budget establishments, guesthouses and Airbnb accommodation. Tourism is one of the major industries of Cape Town and the Western Cape. As such, formal tourism establishments largely take the safety and comfort of their guests very seriously. When deciding on an accommodation option, use the same vigilance you would when selecting accommodation elsewhere in the world. Should you be concerned about the property’s safety measures or the location of the property, do not hesitate to contact them for further details, check whether they are a member of a tourism association or organisation and make your enquiries there.

4. Can I walk around central Cape Town safely?

We encourage visitors to be mindful at all times of their surroundings when walking around any major city. The Cape Town Business Community and local authorities have taken numerous proactive initiatives to ensure the safety and upkeep of central Cape Town. As a result, this area – where most tourism establishments are located – has grown to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Visible safety officers have been deployed and the city centre is kept clean. Major restaurants, shops and galleries line the streets and many offices, apartment buildings and hotels are located Downtown. A variety of walking tours are available to suit different interests and you’ll share the pavements with locals walking to work, business people rushing between meetings and other tourists who, like you, are exploring all the city has to offer.

5. Can I travel alone when visiting Cape Town?

Cape Town and the Western Cape is a popular solo-travel destination, with a variety of activities and experiences on offer for the solo adventurer. Solo travellers are encouraged to exercise the same vigilance and safety measures to ensure they are not soft targets as they would anywhere else in the world. A list of #BeSafe Travel Tips is available on Cape Town Tourism’s Website and can be viewed here.

6. Do I have an alternative to walking?

Cape Town is one of the most well-connected cities in South Africa when it comes to transport options. While travellers often choose to walk around the Downtown or Central Business District area because distances are short, you have the option to use Uber, Taxify, metered taxis and the MyCiti bus system, which can also connect you to points within the central district of Cape Town and surrounding tourism must-sees like Camps Bay, Sea Point and Hout Bay. The MyCiti bus also connects you directly to Cape Town International Airport through a direct shuttle. There is also a City Sightseeing hop-on-hop-off red bus service with a variety of tourist routes on offer. Safe travels and see you in Cape Town. There is truly nowhere better!

7. How does the army deployment reported in the news reflect on Cape Town as a safe and secure tourism destination?

Members of the South African Defence Force were deployed in areas 20-30km outside of Cape Town’s Central Business District (Downtown Cape Town) very specifically to deal with gang violence. This targeted intervention is a collaborative effort to ensure greater safety for local communities. The great extent of tourism accommodation and tourism experiences frequented by tourists in the province and city are not located in these areas and remain unaffected. Travellers are thus likely to feel no impact whatsoever during their visit to Cape Town and the Western Cape.

8. Where can I find an accredited tour guide?

The Western Cape has many accredited and well-trained tour guides. For me information and help in selecting a tour guide, please visit https://www.ctga.org.za

SAFETY TIPS

• Make sure no one can see you enter your PIN or transaction amount at an ATM.

• Avoid carrying all your valuables (including your passport) and large sums of cash in your purse.

• Hike in a group, remain on the designated paths and carry a map.

• Carry plenty of water, a hat and a snack whilst hiking. Protect your skin from the UV rays by applying sunscreen.

• Never approach, feed or touch any of the wild animals found on the hiking trails.

• Never swim alone, always swim in areas that are supervised by a lifeguard.

• Use a reliable registered taxi service.

• Store emergency numbers on your phone and make sure it is charged before you leave your hotel.

• Don’t allow your children to wander off on their own make sure you always have an eye on them.