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Is Cape Town Safe? (2023)

Safety is a legitimate topic in Cape Town and South Africa in general and is one of the most viral questions if someone wants to know about my eight-week stay in Cape Town.

Yes, after spending eight weeks in Cape Town, I experienced the good and the bad and got a feeling of living here. This is why, I'd like to share my opinion about it in this blog post.

This blog post is for you if you'd like to travel to Cape Town, want to know which areas are considered to be safe, and get to know more about safety during night time and learn why Cape Town is considered to be unsafe.

Table of Contents:

Why Visiting Cape Town?

Cape Town is a port city in South Africa and one of the most popular travel destinations on the continent. It is a modern city surrounded by mesmerizing nature, where the sea meets the mountains.

For this reason, the city has a lot to offer. Especially in terms of outdoor activities. Cape Town is surrounded by many mountains with numerous trails for all levels of hikers. One example is Table Mountain, which is recognized to be one of the seven natural wonders of the world by UNESCO. There are six trails to hike up the mountain and suitable for beginners (leisure walking) to adventurous hikers who are into the thrill.

Besides that, there are nice beaches with great waves for surfers, many museums for those who would like to learn more about Cape Town's interesting culture and history, and art galleries. If you'd like to read more about all the things you can do in Cape Town, read the blog post 11 Things to Do in Cape Town.

The only dark side of the whole Cape Town story is safety.

Why is Cape Town Considered to be Dangerous?

Without knowing anything really about Cape Town, I already knew it was known for being dangerous. And after arriving in Cape Town at night, the feeling got not away. The streets were empty, as nobody was walking around. Homeless people lit a fire in the middle of the streets, and homes built with trash and tents drew the city. The vibe was mysterious.

After the sayings were confirmed, I asked myself, why is Cape Town like that? Why are there many homeless people? Why does it give me an unsafe feeling, especially when the sun sets? Why is there a huge gap between the rich and the poor?

I learned, that the biggest issue in Cape Town, or South Africa in general, is the high unemployment rate, which leads to homelessness, gang activity, and robbery. Poverty turns people to crime to survive. While speaking with locals, such as homeless people, I was told that a major problem is how politicians set their priorities. Only a little money is invested in safety, fixing the unemployment problem, or offering shelter. The residents are feeling left alone. The rich have taken action and are investing in their own safety, hiring private security companies that are supposed to ensure safety.

💡Do you know that in Cape Town are more private security employees working than police?

However, the gap between the rich and the poor grows, not only financially but also interpersonally. The homeless people feel that the rich are scared, have trust issues, and don't want to do anything with them. Unfortunately, it's a vicious circle and nothing will change without a change in politics.

City View of Cape Town

Is it Safe to go Outside at Night in Cape Town?

In the beginning, I did not feel safe walking around at night. It is also said to avoid areas, such as Long Street, and I did so. And it would be best if you take an Uber when moving from one place to another, although it's only 250 meters away. People gather around in front of restaurants and bars, so having a conversation outside is not a problem.

My humble self ordered an Uber whenever changing locations, and I seldom walked around. There are some areas, such as Kloof Street, where walking wasn't a problem, but that's more of an exception.

Despite the general opinion, I felt safe walking around Long Street on weekends when it was crowded.

Of course, I was aware that I put myself a risk and that there might be other experiences.

In my opinion, it is safe to walk around at night when the streets are filled with people of all kinds. Avoid empty streets and listen to your own distinct. Whenever you don't feel safe, better take an Uber.

Which Areas Are Safe?

Safety is somehow dependent on the time of day. Walking during the daytime in Sea Point, Green Point, Waterfront, the City Center, and Camps Bay is not a problem. In contrast, walking around Observatory or Woodstock should be reduced to a minimum.

At night the whole vibe changes, even, for example, Sea Point can turn suspicious. Here I recommend taking an Uber, especially when the streets are empty.

There are only a few roads that are safe to have a short stroll, such as the main roads of Kloof Street, Regent Road in Sea Point, and Main Road in Green Point. Nevertheless, always check your surroundings, and avoid being alone in the middle of the streets.

It is said that tourists should avoid Long Street, but especially during weekends the street turns into the hotspot of the party scene and personally, I did not feel unsafe while switching locations, since a lot of people (also tourists) were walking around.

By the way, if you are asking yourself in which area you should stay, you should read the blog post Where to Stay in Cape Town.

Tips for Traveling Safe in Cape Town

As in all other bigger cities, you should follow simple rules to maintain your safety. Speaking of Cape Town it is no different. Therefore, I listed some tips:

8 Tips for Traveling Safe in Cape Town


In the end, Cape Town is like many other bigger cities and crime is and will always be a problem. Keep in mind, that every experience can differ and are dependent on the own person's responsibility.

By following the simple rules I mentioned in this blog post, I'm sure you're going to minimize the likelihood of putting yourself in danger.

Be aware of what could happen, do not put yourself at risk, and I'm sure you will have one of the best times of your life. Because, despite the fact of criminality, Cape Town is a wonderful city with so many good things that outshine the bad

❓Let me know how your experiences in Cape Town regarding safety were, or if you have any tips to share with other travelers.

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