Is Cape Town Safe For Travelling?

Cape Town is one of the most popular – and coolest – places in South Africa for tourists to visit. 

It has one of the most memorable and identifiable landmarks in the country, Table Mountain, and is famous for being a unique cultural melting pot.

But, is Cape Town safe for Travelling, especially in 2021?

While there are some safety issues that occur in most large metropoles, Cape Town is generally safe for travelling – of course, there are COVID-19 regulations in place that must be followed to ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure. 

Below we break down how safe Cape Town is for travelling in terms of COVID-19 and in general.

What Travellers Need To Know About COVID-19 In Cape Town

Before you plan your Cape Town holiday, it is important to know how South Africa is handling tourists.

If you are an international tourist, when you arrive at the Cape Town International Airport you will need to provide a negative COVID test that is not older than 72 hours, from the time of departure of your country. 

Upon arrival at the airport, you will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms or if you have had any contact with someone who may have suffered from the virus recently. You will also need to provide proof of an address where you will be staying for the duration of your trip to Cape Town. 

South Africa is currently in adjusted Alert Level 2 of lockdown, and the restrictions are as follows:

  • Wearing face masks is mandatory (excluding children under the age of six years) when in a public place. If you fail to comply with this rule, you are liable to a fine or a period of imprisonment not exceeding six months, or to both a fine and imprisonment.
  • There is a curfew from 23h00 until 04h00, unless you have arrived on a flight or are travelling to or from an airport during these restricted hours of movement. In these cases, you must be in possession of a valid boarding pass as proof of flight or a copy of the airline ticket.
  • Establishments will be closed at 21h30 or 22h00 at the latest, to allow for their staff to arrive home before the curfew starts.
  • If you are attending a gathering or party, you must wear a face mask and maintain social distancing. Indoor events are limited to 100 persons or less and indoor events are limited to 250 persons or less.
  • For those who enjoy eating out, restaurants and bars are limited to a maximum of 100 people for indoor venues and 250 people for outdoor venues. All people must maintain one-and-a-half metres while socialising and must wear a mask (unless eating or drinking).
  • Hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, timeshare facilities, resorts, and guest houses are allowed full capacity of the available rooms for accommodation, but all guests must wear face masks and practice social distancing in common spaces.

These measures might sound strict, but they have been put in place to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. 

So, how safe is Cape Town for travelling during COVID-19? Judging by the measures in place, we would say, pretty safe!

General Safety

As with any major city and tourist attraction, there are safety issues to be concerned about when travelling in Cape Town. However, if you have some tips to follow to ensure your safety, your Cape Town holiday can be fun and safe. 

  • Look for tourist areas: The tourist areas are generally the safer areas of Cape Town, as there are more people around and higher levels of security. These areas are the V&A Waterfront, Camps Bay, Sea Point, Green Point, Constantia, Muizenberg, and Kloof Street. Loop Street is a popular backpacking area but be sure to remain alert when walking through this busy area.
  • Keep your belongings safe: When walking around the streets or from your car to a restaurant or shopping centre, make sure that your belongings are safe. Avoid wearing trousers or skirts that have easy-to-reach pockets where your cellphone or wallet can be removed, and rather keep them in a bag or backpack that is kept closed.
  • Use a rental car: One of the best ways to maintain safety in Cape Town is to hire a car as transport. Not only will you be able to drive to and from your destinations easily, but you can also avoid using public transport, which can be unsafe at times. Always keep windows wound up and doors locked at traffic lights, and make sure you have your route planned.
  • Save emergency numbers: Knowing who to call in an emergency is vital, so make sure to save the following numbers to your phone:
    • Emergencies from a mobile: 112
    • Emergencies from a landline: 107
    • South African Police Service: 10111
    • Medical & Fire Emergencies: 021 535 1100
    • Table Mountain NP Emergencies: 021 480 7700
    • Sea & Mountain Rescue: 021 948 9900
    • National Sea Rescue Institute: 082 911
    • Baboon Monitors: 071 588 6540
    • Shark Spotters: 078 174 4244
    • Ambulance: 10177

Remember to be aware of your surroundings and avoid walking alone at night. Any city at night can be unsafe, so it is best to avoid being out too late in the evening.

Safety in Cape Town should not put you off exploring this beautiful city. Hire a car and start your next big South African adventure with Star Car Rental.

Or Similar Car rental

What does “or similar” mean in Car Rental?

A common problem that arises daily during the Car Rental process are the words “or similar” when booking a specific group of vehicle. This is a bugbear for many travellers if they were unaware of this Car Hire practice when they fetch their car and were expecting a specific make and model.

Related: 8 things you should know when booking a car in South Africa

An example of the or similar car rental practice:

A client books a Group B, which is often advertised as a Volkswagen Polo Vivo hatchback. The client believes they booked that exact vehicle, but when they arrive at the airport a totally different make of vehicle has been allocated, and suddenly we have an unhappy client who believes they were lied to, or that the car rental company is inefficient and made a mistake. However there is a very specific reason for this practice.

Why do Car Rentals use “Or Similar”?

A short explanation is that all car rental companies purchase significant quantities of different vehicles from different manufacturers and often will have several different makes in the same grouping. All fall within the same or similar specifications common to that group.

The car rental industry is a very fluid type of operation with large numbers of vehicles being booked out and returned on any one day and as vehicles become available at the depot they are allocated to the next customer in line. It is therefore extremely difficult to allocate a specific vehicle make to a specific client at a specific time and date. Whilst you can request a specific make and model, the car rental companies will do their best to do accommodate you but it is not always possible and can never be guaranteed.

What happens if I have specific needs?

It sometimes happens that some customers are very tall or have special needs. If that is the case you should let the car rental company know beforehand in order for them to advise you of the best group of vehicle to select. This ensures the company is well aware of any particular needs you may have and that they have to allocate the right vehicle for you.

If you hire a car in South Africa you should be aware of 3 real life lessons about car rental insurance to protect yourself when choosing car rental insurance cover.