Cape Town is a place that's filled with intrigue and seemingly untamed beauty and has gained quite a reputation during the Discovery Channel's Shark Week. While some go specifically for shark-diving, others add it to their list to experience the beauty of Africa in a new, exciting way. With stunning cliffside sea views and a reputation for luxury, Cape Town has quickly become a popular destination for many beach-lovers around the world.

With that being said, is it completely safe for tourists to wander Cape Town inexperienced?


There's more than one answer to this question and many others that travelers should be asking before booking a trip. Cape Town has good and rough areas just like any other major tourist spot, but there are some things to watch out for, in addition to some things that tourists should not miss out on. Many of these can be gone about in a safe way but caution should be taken to avoid certain locations where the crime rate is out of any traveler's comfort zone.

Is Cape Town Safe For Tourists?

Mostly, the answer is 'yes.' Especially with tourism increasing over recent years, Cape Town has done a tremendous amount to keep the 'safe' and 'touristy' areas open and clear, while advising travelers to steer clear of others. This might mean that the radius in which a traveler has the freedom to explore - at least after dark - is a bit smaller, but it means they'll be safer, too.

What should be comforting is that Cape Town's crime is no high than that of St. Louis, Missouri, for example, according to God Save the Points. Additionally, the crime in this area has little to do with tourists, if at all, and is pretty much restricted to things such as muggings or theft. As far as official danger levels go, the US has put South Africa on the same level as that of both the U.K. and even Spain and Italy. As with any city, it's important to remember common sense and have an alert head on your shoulders in order to avoid undesirable situations.

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It's not uncommon to see impoverished areas of South Africa, especially when driving to Cape Town from the airport. While travelers will be driving through it, there's a distinct line drawn between these uncertain areas of South Africa and Cape Town, and it's unlikely a tourist would end up outside of the city limits accidentally.

What Is The Weather Like And When Is The Best Time To Go?

While South Africa isn't really known for having 'cold' temperatures, there are good and not-so-good times to visit Cape Town. July is considered to be the coldest month of the year, with a daily high of 63 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 44 degrees. Therefore, the best times to visit are the opposite months, between March and May or September to November. Travelers going to South Africa during these time frames will be wholly rewarded for their planning with weather that's tropical and warm, which makes for particularly good beach days.

Related: These Tips Will Help You Stay Safe While Traveling To Dangerous Cities

Those looking to hike around Cape Town and get a little closer to its ecosystem will also want to consider these time frames because the hiking will be at its best. This is also when Cape Town sees fewer tourists, so it's best to choose one of these months to avoid the crowds that have become so familiar in this hot destination.

Where Can Tourists Explore, And How?

One thing that tourists should remember when exploring this gorgeous city is to tuck away any valuables, especially when going out involves after-dark hours. Just as with any other city that has any crime rate at all, it's just common sense to avoid standing out if at all possible. Once that's been done, call an Uber! According to God Save the Points, this is a very reliable way to see much of the city and it's affordable in comparison to other methods of travel.

Related: Cape Town, South Africa: Planning The Perfect Weekend

It's also not a bad idea to check in with the hotel, as concierge will be able to answer any questions about destinations as well as determine whether a complimentary shuttle ride is an option.

Restaurant recommendations are a good thing to ask about as well since Cape Town is known wholeheartedly for its culinary finesse, and many times, restaurants will offer to have a shuttle waiting when it's time to call it a night. Exploring nearby areas such as Hout Bay, Claremont, Mowbray, and Constantia are also great options, especially for those interested in guided or local tours... Just remember to be alert and aware in these lesser-crowded towns, too.

Next: 15 Things To Do When Visiting Cape Town (5 Things To Give A Miss)