Is Johannesburg Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Johannesburg, requires extra vigilance for solo female travelers. Although many visitors have enjoyable, incident-free stays, crime is a notable concern, particularly in certain districts after dark. It's vital to be aware of your surroundings, avoid displaying valuables, and use reputable means of transportation. Strive to stay in well-populated areas. As always, researching local customs and regulations can further improve safety.

Safety rating

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How safe is Johannesburg?

Safety at night:

Safety at night:Unsafe

Johannesburg has vibrant nightlife with world-class restaurants and bars, yet it is advisable to be cautious when venturing out alone at night. Certain neighborhoods can be particularly risky and it might not always be safe to walk alone, especially in isolated areas. Prefer using a reliable taxi service or go with a locally known group. Always stay vigilant about your surroundings and avoid flashing expensive belongings. South Africa, in general, has high crime rates, and Johannesburg is no exception. However, many travelers also have safe, enjoyable visits with proper precautions. It is recommended to research what areas to avoid and always trust your instincts. Remember that safety can vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood in any city, Johannesburg included.
Public transportation:

Public transportation:Unsafe

While Johannesburg does offer a range of public transportation options like taxis, buses, and the Gautrain, it brooks some caution. Commuting at night on your own can pose a safety risk. Taxis are a common choice but you should get to know the varying types of taxis, as minibus rides can be chaotic and sometimes dangerous due to reckless driving. The Gautrain and its buses are safe and efficient, but their routes are limited. It's advisable to avoid quiet, empty stations and always keep an eye on your belongings.
Street harassment:

Street harassment:High

Johannesburg, as a major metropolis in South Africa, comes with its share of safety concerns. Street harassment can be an issue for solo female travelers, which may come in different forms such as catcalling, unsolicited comments, or more aggressive forms of harassment. Particularly areas like downtown Johannesburg, Yeoville, Berea, Hillbrow, and Observatory are known for higher levels of street crime. Always be aware of your surroundings and try to blend in as much as possible. Use a reliable taxi service, especially for late-night movements. Though most locals are genuinely friendly and helpful, it's always good to maintain a cautious approach.
Petty crimes:

Petty crimes:High

Johannesburg does have a reputation for petty crimes such as pickpocketing, purse snatching, and theft from cars. These crimes are mainly conducted by individuals or small groups, often in busy areas such as markets or public transport hubs where travelers can be easily targeted. It's essential to remain vigilant, keep personal belongings close, not to display expensive items, and be cautious of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas.
Tap water:

Tap water:Moderate

Tap water in Johannesburg can be generally safe to drink because it undergoes treatment in line with international standards. However, the safety can greatly fluctuate based on specific location and time due to potential issues with infrastructure and contamination. It is suggested to check with local sources or to boil water as a precaution. It’s also recommended to rely on bottled water, especially for individuals with sensitive stomachs.

Is Johannesburg safe to travel?

2.8 /5

Based on 6 experiences

Solo travel experience

I advise against travelling to Johannesburg alone - it's best to get around the city with locals. Ubers are safe, but avoid walking around the city alone.

Posted: November 6, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I stayed at a hostel where local staff clearly explained where it is safe, where you can go shopping, and where you absolutely should not go. From my own experience, I can recommend the Apartheid Museum and Soweto. In Soweto, there is the Mandela Museum and the street where he lived. Overall, I had a good time, but it's best when there is someone onsite who can tell you what is safe and what is not.

Posted: November 4, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I was in Johannesburg as a lone traveler for 3 days. I joined two tours with AirBnB Experience (Maboneng and Soweto) and I really enjoyed both of them. I recommend taking an Uber directly from the hotel and not bringing any valuables with you. I stayed in Rosebank and felt safe.

Posted: October 12, 2023
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Solo travel experience

I spent 6 weeks in South Africa traveling solo and it was fantastic. Lots of history and great neighborhoods to discover. Also, the craft markets are great. I recommend using the Hop On and Off bus to get oriented. In some areas it's better to walk, and in others I used Uber or Gautrain. Transportation is easy and most places are accessible on foot. As for safety, ask locals for advice on where it's safe to walk alone (sometimes only during the day).

Posted: July 26, 2023
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Group travel experience

I was there in May. I stayed very close to O. R. Tambo International Airport and it was safe. However, we did very few trips outside of Johannesburg, even the locals told us that it is not very safe there. We went to Durban for one day by taxi.

Posted: July 23, 2023
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Is Johannesburg safe for women?

Don't ever walk alone walk in groups and don't ever walk alone at night. All parts of Johannesburg isn't a crime spot but rather be safe than sorry. Public transport is very limited with and taxis are not suggested to be used rather use an uber

Posted: May 19, 2024
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While the people are lovely, unfortunately the crime rate is very high 😔 it’s common to have your car broken into simply for items such as charging cables and power banks, and break-ins tend to be violent if there is someone there during the break-in.

Posted: February 25, 2024
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Is Johannesburg safe right now?

Before your visit to Johannesburg, 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: May 21, 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: May 13, 2024

Is Johannesburg worth visiting?

Overall rating

3.7 /5

based on 6 experiences

Solo travel experience

I traveled alone in Johannesburg, but I stayed in hostels behind gates and hired a local guide to see the city center, and then I took part in a bike tour in Soweto, where the driver picked me up from the hostel and also took me to the Apartheid Museum. I highly recommend a visit to the Kruger Park. I quite liked Johannesburg, but I was very cautious and chose a hostel with a bar and cafe, so I did not have to go out in the evening.

Posted: October 12, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 4/5
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Meet locals in Johannesburg

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

Tamsin

About Me

I’m new to couch surfing and in Europe on vacation! I love everything fun from hiking to partying, to chilling and listening to music. I would love to share music and learn about your views on life. I will be very happy for you to share your hobbies and interests with me. I can cook up a storm! I love to cook for my friends and family. I would be very happy to share my love of food with you.

Speaking

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Kerryn

Kerryn

About Me

Hi my names Kerryn. I currently traveling france. I have a bubbly personality and welcoming to all. I work hard and always ready to learn new skills. I love getting to know new people and Sharing stories and experiences.

Speaking

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Stay with locals in Johannesburg

Stay with local women in Johannesburg 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.
Tamsin

Tamsin

Johannesburg

Can host for:

7 days

About me

I’m new to couch surfing and in Europe on vacation! I love everything fun from hiking to partying, to chilling and listening to music. I would love to share music and learn about your views on life. I will be very happy for you to share your hobbies and interests with me. I can cook up a storm! I love to cook for my friends and family. I would be very happy to share my love of food with you.

Speaking

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Sbongile

Sbongile

Johannesburg

Can host for:

3 days

About me

Loud fun with a big personality

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Safety in South Africa