Is Cape Town Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Cape Town is a city of contrasts with areas that are safe, especially popular tourist areas like the City Bowl, the Atlantic Seaboard, and the Southern Suburbs. It is common for solo female travelers to visit these areas without issue. However, it is important to be cautious as crime, including muggings and theft, can occur. Always be alert, avoid unlit areas or unfamiliar neighborhoods at night, and use common sense when it comes to personal safety. Utilize transportation options that are known to be secure. Public perception of safety can vary, so always do your research and stay alerted to the conditions around you.

Safety rating

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Safety index

Safety at night:Unsafe

Cape Town has a mixed safety record. While it is an enthralling travel destination with great culture and history, caution is advised especially at night. Walking alone isn't recommended due to the risk of petty crimes, like bag-snatching and pick-pocketing. It's best to use trusted cab services or reputable travel companies for night-time traveling. Be sure to stay in well-populated, well-lit areas and always be aware of your surroundings to ensure safety.

Public transportation:Moderate

Public transportation in Cape Town, has a moderate score in terms of safety. While the MyCiti bus service is typically regarded as safe and reliable, it is advisable to be cautious, particularly at night and in certain areas. Minibus taxis and trains have received mixed reviews on safety, with some incidents of crime, so it's always important to remain alert. It is recommended for solo female travelers to take precautions, stay vigilant and avoid public transportation alone especially at late hours.

Street harassment:Moderate

While Cape Town is a relatively safe city to visit, street harassment does occur, although not to high extents. It is prevalent in specific areas and particularly during certain times, such as late at night in deserted spots. Be mindful of your surroundings, look confident and walk purposefully. Stick to populated and well-lit areas when possible, especially at night.

Petty crimes:High

Cape Town, like many major cities, does experience a notable level of petty crime. These can include pickpocketing, purse snatching, or theft from unguarded belongings especially in crowded areas or tourist hotspots. Always keep an eye on your belongings, avoid displaying expensive items, and stay aware of your surroundings to mitigate this risk.

Tap water:Safe

While it's always important to exercise caution, the tap water in Cape Town is generally considered to be safe for drinking. It meets the World Health Organization's standards for drinking water. However, some travelers choose to drink bottled water for taste preferences and to avoid any possible contaminants or organisms that can cause minor illnesses.

Is Cape Town safe to travel?

3.7 /5

Based on 28 experiences

Jessi

Jessi

South Africa

Solo travel experience

Cape Town is amazing, or more specifically the Southern Peninsula, about 30 to 45 min away from the main city. Fantastic nature, active communities with many sports groups to join, any international cuisine and healthy food, amazing underwater life. I recommend: - surfing at muizenberg - hiking up chapmans peak - sunset walk at Noordhoek longbeach - (free)diving the kelp forest close to Simon’s town - eating lunch at whole earth in Scarborough and go explore the shore pools Safety is an issue in SA but southern peninsula feels much safer. As long as you are never alone (best in groups or if other people are around) in nature, everything will be fine. I highly recommend, it’s actually my favorite place after traveling around the world

Posted: April 8, 2024
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Group travel experience

Cape Town is a beautiful city in between the mountains Lions head and Tafelberg for beautiful walks, nice beaches and good food. I didn't feel safe walking in the streets because I was mugged in a touristy street in the middle of the day when I was with one friend (in Bo Kaap). Luckily Uber is very easy to use here. Still had a good time but I would not visit the city again because of safety.

Posted: March 9, 2024
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Solo travel experience

This was a really cool training experience in Cape Town SA. We did some firearms and hand to hand combat for the purpose of self defense. There are many open markets . The USD goes a long way! ABNB cost about $20 per day. Staying with locals made the down time very satisfying. We visited a co-op food court, took a red bus tour around the coast,ate at restaurants often but also cooked at home. My hosts provided transportation but Uber is available. Do not recommend female to Uber or wander alone. I felt safe amongst my hosts but was very cautious otherwise.

Posted: January 25, 2024
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Juliet

Juliet

France

Solo travel experience

First of all, I can highly recommend Cape Town! 🫶🏾♥️🇿🇦 There is a variety of activities that this city offers like hiking up to the Table Mountain, going to Boulders Beach to see some penguins or just some cool concerts (Cape Town has a great music scene for my music lovers)!!! It’s good to check the safety situation in your neighborhood beforehand but overall it’s safe if you take some precautions (like taking an Uber in the evening) and use your street smartness! People are overly kind and open-mind, so it was even possible to meet and hang out with some lovely and interesting people as well! :)

Posted: January 3, 2024
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Wangu

Wangu

Kenya

Group travel experience

In another life I’d be SouthAfrican. My first trip to CPT was back in 2016 and that is when my obsession started. Ever since I make a point of visiting the city simply because it’s too beautiful! I love the vibrancy! The landscape! The people and nightlife! Braai with locals is absolutely amazing and the list of activities are endless! I’d you’re thinking of visiting CPT this is the sign you needed! The place is safe just be sure to choose an accommodation that doesn’t limit your mobility and you’ll be good 😁

Posted: November 2, 2023
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Group travel experience

I was not alone, but I met with friends who were there earlier. We stayed at Sea Point, which is one of the safest places, with many cafes and restaurants nearby. We rented a car to get around the city. We also used the hop-on hop-off bus to the wine region, which I highly recommend.

Posted: October 18, 2023
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Solo travel experience

Last year I traveled alone to Cape Town and the Garden Route. In Cape Town, I was cautious, for example by staying in a safe neighborhood, not walking alone at night, and participating in several group day trips. I had no safety issues.

Posted: July 31, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I went alone to Cape Town and I really liked it there. Cape Town is quite safe during the day, as long as certain precautions are taken. I was by myself in some places, but there were others where I wouldn't go. I did some things alone, on foot, using Uber or a tourist bus. I also did a free walking tour with a guide. In the evenings, I used Uber. I spent 7 days there and made two one-day trips (one to a vineyard by tram and the other to the Cape peninsula).

Posted: July 19, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I went alone to Cape Town and made trips every day. I booked them through a really nice hostel where I stayed. I went on a wine tour, artisan breweries, shark diving, and a bike trip to the Cape of Good Hope. Everything was really nice, and at the hostel and on the tours I met many nice people. Other things, like Table Mountain, the waterfront and other beaches, I did alone or with friends from the hostel, using public transport or Uber/taxis. I didn't feel unsafe at all there, all the locals were very nice and helpful.

Posted: July 17, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I've been alone in Cape Town many times. It is a great city, and if you use common sense, you will feel safe. I recommend using Uber in the evenings and taking the train (it's a beautiful journey) to see the penguins in Simonstown.

Posted: June 22, 2023
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Is Cape Town safe for women?

Safety rating

1.6 /5

Based on 4 reviews the women safety index in Cape Town is 1.6/5. On average women living in Cape Town raises relatively high concerns about women's safety.

Crime rates rating

2.6 /5

Based on 4 reviews the crime rate index in Cape Town is 2.6/5. On average women living in Cape Town raises moderate concerns about crime and violence against women.

Rating summary

Safety walking alone after dark:

1.2/5
Very Unsafe

Safety using public transport:

2.1/5
Unsafe

Worries of being sexually harassed:

2.6/5
Moderate

Worries of being sexually assaulted or raped:

2.8/5
Moderate

Worries of being physically attacked:

2.3/5
A Bit Worried

Worries of home broken and things stolen:

2.8/5
Moderate

Worries of being mugged or robbed:

2.8/5
Moderate

Worries of being kidnapped or murdered:

2.1/5
A Bit Worried

Cape Town is a beautiful country but there is little safety for women. You cannot drive at night, you cannot walk alone through the city centre, it’s very unsafe to go clubbing or to be excessively drunk in public. It’s a destination I’d only recommend to travellers who know a local and will be staying with them.

Posted: March 27, 2024
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Most places are safe. As anywhere in the world, you just have to be vigilant. Don't walk around with exposed valuables, keep your phone in your bag when you're not using it. If you're using Uber, always sit in the front seat next to the driver.

Posted: March 9, 2024
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Caitlin

Caitlin

Cape Town is all about the area you’re in and being street smart. It is obvious which areas are unsafe and if you avoid them you’ll be fine. Never carry big equipment with you and don’t be distracted when you walk down a busy street. South Africa has a bad reputation for violence but in reality the worry is more poverty, not irrational constant crime. Your local hosts will also provide you with all you need to know about where to go, etc.

Posted: March 4, 2024
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Cape Town is generally fine during the day time in the City Center and vicinity in general. Despite so, daytime mugging can still occur to the best of us locals even. It's best to keep your wits about you and not appear as a tourist. Most nightlife is situated in Long Street or Harrington's. Due to it being a popular spot for club-goers, bar hoppers, and live music-attendees, aggressive and incessant pickpocketers and muggers are rife. South Africa has one of the world's highest sexual assault rates, so it is definitely not recommended to solo or walk about at night in the streets.

Posted: February 26, 2024
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Is Cape Town safe right now?

Before your visit to Cape Town, it's essential to check travel advisories for South Africa, including your home country's official travel advisory. These advisories can provide up-to-date information on safety, health, and any specific considerations for travelers.
🇺🇸

United States Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The United States Government advises exercising increased caution in South Africa due to crime and civil unrest. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: February 5, 2024
🇨🇦

Canada's Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The Canadian Government advises exercising a high degree of caution in South Africa due to the significant level of serious crime. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: March 13, 2024
🇦🇺

Australia's Travel AdvisoryExercise a high degree of caution

The Australian Government advises exercising a high degree of caution in South Africa due to the threat of violent crime. Check the full travel advisory.
Last updated: February 21, 2024

Is Cape Town worth visiting?

Overall rating

4.6 /5

based on 28 experiences

Rating summary

Things to do

4.8/5

Safety

3.7/5

Food

4.8/5

Budget-friendly

4.2/5
Anna

Anna

Germany

Group travel experience

Cape Town is a beautifully City…. There are a lot of nice activities to do and the nature is overwhelming:) The different options of food locations are amazing. The people are friendly and kind It is a nice city to travel

Posted: November 23, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 4/5
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Family travel experience

My family came to Cape Town and absolutely loved it. There was something for everyone, wether it be lounging on the beach in Camps Bay or hiking up Table Mountain! We ate amazing food everywhere we went and had such lovely weather every day. Would highly recommend the city of Cape Town as a destination spot :)

Posted: October 24, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 4/5
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Meet locals in Cape Town

Meet local women in Cape Town who are open to meet up for a coffee or a drink, show you around, give local advice or practice a language with.
Charmian

Charmian

About Me

Hi, I'm Charmian and I'm interested in animals, backpacking, art, books, camping, dancing, education, culture, diving, fashion, hiking, games, history, live music, nature, photography, science, van life, swimming, solo travel, running and cinema

Speaking

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Logan

Logan

About Me

I'm a nature lover💚 Free Diver✨ @lxganbenjamin_

Speaking

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Stay with locals in Cape Town

Stay with local women in Cape Town who offer free accommodation as part of cultural exchange. Couch surfing is a great way to meet new people, learn more about new cultures and experience destinations like a local.
Laurin

Laurin

Cape Town

Can host for:

3 days

About me

My name is Laurin and I love to be comfortable in my uncomfortability. I am earth bound and an aerialist at heart and in person, lol

Speaking

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khanyisa

khanyisa

Cape Town

Can host for:

2 days

About me

My name is Khanyisa ☺️ I am 31 years old from Cape Town, South Africa. I love to meet people, travel and making connections. My passion is spirituality and healing ❤️‍🩹 exploring the psychedelic healing space at the moment. Looking forward to making new friends 🤍

Speaking

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Safety in South Africa