Warnings and Dangers in Cape Town: Areas to Avoid
Cape Town is one of the most beautiful and highly visited cities in South Africa, but it’s not immune to thieves and muggings, which are commonplace in some parts of the city. Here are the areas to avoid in Cape Town.
Specific Areas of Cape Town Known for Robberies and Muggings
Long Street is known as a high-risk location for muggings and robberies. Whether you’re visiting the street during business hours or after dark, remain alert. The city center, train station, and Bo-Kaap are additional areas where muggings and another potentially violent crimes are common. And, keep from visiting the outskirts of Cape Town unless you have a local guide with you, regardless of the time of day you choose to venture out.
Pickpocketing Is Rampant in Cape Town
While areas with denser populations are generally safer during daytime in Cape Town, pickpocketing crimes are still common regardless of where you stay in the city. Keep money and other valuables out of easy reach, especially when you’re in large crowds.
Beware of Scammers
Always verify you’re getting into a marked cab, or be sure to call a legitimate company prior to leaving a venue, to avoid mugging attempts from thieves and scammers who use vehicles to find potential victims.
Some travelers note the possibility of being stopped or questioned by “police,” only to discover that scammers have posed as officers to bribe or mug unsuspecting tourists.
It is imperative to remain alert when communicating with those who appear to be homeless or desperate for food or money, because sometimes these are scammers who may also try to mug you.
Other scams in Cape Town that are reportedly common include criminals asking for the time from a tourist only to steal their phones once they agree to check it for them.
Common Safety Tips for Tourists in Cape Town
Keep all valuables hidden from plain sight, whether you’re traveling in Cape Town during the day or after closing time at a local pub. Showing off expensive gadgets, cameras, or jewelry may quickly cause you trouble.
Ask local shop owners or tour guides for information regarding your location and the safest routes to travel while you’re in Cape Town. Steer clear of areas that are riskier or crime-ridden. Only choose train routes that lead to the city center during the day, and avoid traveling to unknown locations and the outskirts without a proper tour guide.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about areas to avoid in Cape Town.