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Crime – Theft in Cape Town and Other Warnings and Dangers

Warnings and Dangers in Cape Town Crime – Theft

Cape Town is located along the coast of South Africa and is among the most heavily populated cities in the nation. Though it is the heart of the country’s government and regularly draws many tourists, there are warnings and dnagers in Cape Town visitors should be aware of and be prepared for.


Travelers to Cape Town should be wary of driving about at night. Motorists have reported stopping at traffic lights only for thieves to rush the cars and grab whatever belongings they could off of the back seats. Nighttime can generally be dangerous in downtown Capetown, and it is best to avoid this area in the evening in favor of the V&A waterfront. Purse theft is another problem in Cape Town, and robbers have been known to grab credit cards from the hands of their victims.

Debit Theft

Another form of theft that can occur is debit card theft. Debit card thieves will attempt to guide you to ATMs and instruct you to use them, only for your cards to become stuck. These thieves will then vanish, leaving you without your cards while they sneak away with your both your cards and PIN information.

Staying Safe

General warnings for staying safe in Cape Town include traveling mostly in the day and avoiding downtown Cape Town if you have to be out during the evening. Most areas of Cape Town are safe—particularly during the day—but there are areas where it simply isn’t sensible to venture as a tourist unless you’re with someone local. Wandering around after dark outside the major tourist areas isn’t sensible. When driving around town, make sure to lock your doors and always make sure your windows are closed. It’s also smart to hide your valuables so that you don’t become the victim of a smash and grab. Finally, when traveling, always know where you’re going. Becoming lost will put you at risk, and you want to avoid pulling over in poorly lit or secluded areas.

Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about crime and theft in Cape Town.

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