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How safe is Cape Town?

(16 Posts)
Msfartypants Mon 30-Sep-19 08:14:25

Looking for a holiday in December somewhere warm and without the jet lag (travelling with young children). We would usually opt for the Canaries at this time of year but looking for somewhere different!

We were wondering about Cape Town. Have any of you been there and was it safe? Was there plenty to do and would you recommend?

Thanks in advance

dad2hen Mon 30-Sep-19 09:31:50

Depends where you're staying or going, it's not unsafe you just need to take precautions, plan in advance and not act like a tourist on purpose. Don't carry big expensive cameras around, very expensive jewellery and have your purse/wallets stuck out for all to see.

Many people travel to these counties without issues! My mum got robbed in Spain so bad things can happen anywhere!

I am off to Argentina and Uruguay in 3 weeks and I have purchased a valuables holder that hangs inside your cloths just in case but I am sure it will be fine!

Go and enjoy going somewhere a little different!

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 30-Sep-19 10:33:30

You will need to take the children’s full length (not the short version) birth certificates with you in order to travel. You will not be allowed to travel otherwise.

LochJessMonster Mon 30-Sep-19 11:25:19

I'll let you know in 3 weeks time when I get back! Backpacking South Africa, ending in Cape Town.

underneaththeash Mon 30-Sep-19 14:40:02

We were there last October and it felt much safer than I thought it was going to.
We used Uber to get around as apparently they get their staff more thoroughly than the normal minivan companies.
They area around the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront was safe to walk around, with great shops and restaurants.

BubblesBuddy Mon 30-Sep-19 23:04:25

We always felt safe. Stay somewhere like a guesthouse (if any have availability) and you’ll get great advice on safety. Small is beautiful in Cape Town.

Stay to tourist areas. Don’t stray into less desirable neighbourhoods. Don’t walk miles to restaurants at night.

Keep your valuables at home. Look ordinary. Go to most places in daylight. If you drive, pay for a parking minder if available.

BlingLoving Mon 30-Sep-19 23:13:58

As a tourist, assuming you stick to tourist type activities and dont' venture into the less savoury areas, you should be fine. And it's a wonderful place to visit and brilliant with children (except lots of restaurants don't have high chairs so take a portable one).

Stay in guest houses or hotels in mainstream areas, rent a car or take Uber's and you'll have a wonderful time. The only real safety thing is don't walk around at night. South African cities are not walking=friendly overall, and especially at night (you can wander around the waterfront sure, but I wouldn't walk int he city etc. For context, I lived a 15 minute walk from my office and I still drove, not least because I didn't want to be walking in the evenings with a lap top).

For the kids, there are loads of things to do. The Atlantic side (camps bay etc) is more flashy and smart, but the water is colder and there will be lots of posher, child unfriendly restaurants. However, family friendly restaurants are everywhere and you'll be amazed as your child is taken off to the kitchen to make pizza/ encouraged to hit soft play or invited to face painting while you're eating!

Toddlers LOVEc the scratch patch - basically a massive ground filled with polished semi precious stones in weird shapes. They buy a bag and go "hunting for treasure". The waterfront is generally fun with shopping, play areas, restaurants etc.

Visit the Penguins at boulders beach for another fun, kid friendly activity.

If you want to visit a wine farm and stay, many are kid friendly and very relaxing. We stayed at Spier and enjoyed it immensely but there are loads.

PersonaNonGarter Mon 30-Sep-19 23:17:14

I absolutely loved Cape Town. But my host had PTSD from all the crime and has now moved back to the UK.

Stay in the touristy areas.

CatelynStark Mon 30-Sep-19 23:25:58

I spent a few weeks there this summer - I didn’t want to come home. It’s a bloody brilliant place! We felt completely safe everywhere we went - nobody bothers you but people are up for a laugh and a joke everywhere - it’s extremely friendly.

Hire a car, if you can - it’s reasonably cheap from the airport but make sure you have a satnav app on your phone as the motorways can be a bit confusing. Also, put the kids into their buggies to get to the car hire offices - it’s a little bit of a walk but you can get porters to help you with your luggage for a few rand.

They drive on our side of the road though, so it’s fine - just drive carefully and look out for the mini bus taxis who are a law unto themselves!

We stayed in an air bnb in Claremont which was amazing. About fifty foot away was a fantastic shopping mall - you’re never far away from a coffee shop and it was very easy to drive around the foot of Table mountain to get to the Waterfront.

Get City Passes to get free entry to the museums, Aquila Safari Park, sunset cruises, theIr little London Eye equivalent for example. The Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour is fun and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is a must (and I don’t even like plants that much). There’s so much to do and see. The only bit I thought was disappointing was Sea Point as it’s a bit seedy but the other beaches are stunning.

Get yourself there! You’ll love it!

Muddlingalongalone Mon 30-Sep-19 23:28:11

I was there last Dec without my children but thought what a great place it would be with the children. Little playgrounds everywhere, beaches, pools, penguins, baboon spotting in Cape Hope National Park.
Felt fine safety wise although I didn't stray from the waterfront at night.
The flight might put me off though!

BubblesBuddy Tue 01-Oct-19 16:40:08

If you stay in the fairly upmarket guest houses, they help with safe routes and personal safety. We walked to restaurants nearby at night and we didn’t go near the waterfront as it’s a bit ubiquitous. We also drove to seaside restaurants on the coast. Guest houses have reliable and trusted taxi firms too. Just be sensible, blend in, and there is no problem.

DulciUke Wed 02-Oct-19 22:33:26

The only time that I ever got my pocket picked was in Cape Town. I never felt particularly safe there, but, as, people have said, if you take taxis at night and stick to tourist areas, you should be ok. It's in an absolutely beautiful setting. I'd go there again, if I could (assuming the water situation was ok). As mentioned above, all guest houses and hotels will have a list of the taxi firms/drivers that they recommend. Go to the top of Table Mountain on a clear day. Great views. Birds and little ground squirrels for the kids to look at. And I second the idea of going to see the penguins.

ZaraW Thu 03-Oct-19 07:23:10

When using ATM machines go into a bank with a guard it's safer. It was advised in my guide book. I had an incident taking cash out the ATM near McDonalds near Long Street. Two men approached me and offered to "help" me use the ATM. I walked away but something bad could easily have happened.

I was approached a few times by young females asking for money and they told me the same story their partner had died and they needed cash to support their children.

Cape Town feels safe enough during the day. By the waterfront is extremely safe as there is so much security.

LochJessMonster Mon 21-Oct-19 16:58:34

Just got back, 2 female travellers, didn't feel unsafe at all. Kept to the touristy areas. Everyone was so lovely and helpful.
Absolutely loved it and am already planning my return!

charm8ed Mon 21-Oct-19 19:53:37

I’ve been twice, once with DC and one without and I’m going again next year. I stuck to tourist areas and found it very safe. Both times we hired a car which well as there are lots of lovely days out within about an hours drive. It’s my favourite place on earth.

Stroller15 Mon 21-Oct-19 20:00:20

I'm from Cape Town and it's so nice to read all the positive comments about my hometown. Definitely agree with PP about not going out at night and staying in the touristy bits. If you do decide to go, have a wonderful time and enjoy the sun!

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