Prior to my trip to Cape Town in July 2011, I did a research about how safe is Cape Town. From what I read, mostly from personal encounters, walking/driving alone at night is not safe. Apart from that it is advised to avoid carrying large sums of cash and having cameras or video cameras hang around the neck.
My husband and I did all the above and thankfully we walked safely during the days of our 6 days trip there. We were very cautious about walking at night. The streets of Cape Town became very quiet after 7pm. There was once when my husband walked across the streets looking for snacks. We already had our dinner but the cold weather made us hungry. He came back after 10 minutes saying that the streets seemed dead. There was even someone tailing him but he sensed something not right and walked back fast to the hotel. After that, we just took away something everyday before making our way back to the hotel. There was one day that we took a taxi as it was already past 9pm. We went for a movie (Transformer) and dared not walk back to the hotel in the dark. We took a cab instead and paid R40. I know it was expensive but we were very concerned about our safety.
Cape Town is trying very hard to prevent crime and have made considerable efforts to safeguard tourists against crime. Surveillance cameras monitor activities in the central Business District and security guards watch over the major shopping centers and crime prone area.
The CCID’s security partnership, working with the Central City’s business community, the South African Police Services and other security organisations and stakeholders, have formed a tight security net around the City.
Due to this cooperative effort, the crime rate has dropped significantly and many incidents are prevented from happening. The valuable complementary services provided by the CCID security partnership ensures that additional officers are being deployed in the Central City 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In case of emergency, here are important contact numbers for Cape Town:
Fire Brigade: 461 5555
Flying Squad: 10111
Mountain Rescue: 10111
Police: 467 8000
Police (Tourist Assistance Unit): 418 2852
Sea Rescue: 405 3500
I feel the need to share this article and hope it gives you an insight about personal safety in Cape Town.