TravelWise

Travelling to Cape Town for the first time? Here is some information on health, safety, and other important topics you should know. 
For more detailed information, please visit travelwise.capetown.travel/

Safety

Travellers to Cape Town should exercise the same level of caution they would use when visiting any major city worldwide. They should ensure that they take basic safety tips like reducing the amount of cash they carry, keeping valuables safe, and knowing the emergency numbers. 

Health

High-quality tap (faucet) water is available and safe to drink. Cape Town, home to some of the best restaurants in the world, offers quality dining experiences to suit all budgets. 

The healthcare facilities are among the best in the country, whether you visit a state or private hospital. Travellers to the city do not need any inoculations. However, if they travel from a yellow-fever endemic area, they need to show certification of their status on arrival in the city. Cape Town is a malaria-free area. 

Water

As Cape Town is situated in a water-scarce environment, it is vulnerable to periodic droughts, like the one experienced in 2017 and 2018. Thanks to seasonal rains and water management initiatives, the crisis is over. However, guests are encouraged to practice water conservation wherever possible. The tourism industry has adopted water-saving initiatives, which are unlikely to affect your time in the city. 

Hiking

Cape Town boasts some of the most scenic hiking routes in the world. As there is something for everyone, guests need to plan their trips accordingly. Travelling in a group is recommended, and those hiking solo are encouraged to travel with a qualified adventure tour guide from a reputable company. 

When packing items for the hike, always carry enough water (at least 1.5 litres or two bottles per person). Other hiking essentials include sunblock, hiking shoes, and a hat. 

Visit established trails and be mindful of the hiking time (do not hike after sunset and always heed to the establishment's operating times). 

Finally, alert the hotel or family about your hiking route and the expected return time. 

Responsible Giving

There are many ways to give back when visiting Cape Town. One way is via donation to various night shelters or through organisations like Big Issue and Show you Care. Big Issue, a non-profit, creates employment and training programmes for those in need. Show you Care is an initiative of the Cape Town Central City Improvement District to educate the public about homelessness and increase the effectiveness of NGOs working directly with people living on the street. Gift of the Givers, a disaster response non-governmental organisation in Africa, also provides relief to the needy. 

Volunteering

Many travellers visit the city to get involved in voluntourism, a form of tourism where travellers take part in voluntary work, typically for a charity. Those considering this should conduct ample research before choosing an organisation, which needs to make a positive impact on the people, environment, flora and fauna of the city. 

Sustainable Tourism

Supporting a destination through sustainable tourism is one way travellers can make their trip more enjoyable. To get started, research the culture of the area before you arrive and chat with locals to learn more about their lifestyle and destination. 
Employ local tour guides and stay in accommodation establishments that have invested in the local community. 

Do not take natural items such as shells and indigenous flowers, and ensure the seafood bought or eaten is not on the list of endangered species. Never litter, feed any animals, or disturb the wildlife when out in nature. 

Online Safety & Emergency Contacts

Be mindful of accommodation fraud, an act where visitors are duped into paying for accommodation online that is not available for rental. Always check with Cape Town Tourism if you are unsure if an online listing is legitimate. Our website also shares many reputable accommodations that you can potentially book. 

Also, check the reviews before booking accommodation. 

Emergency Numbers To Save:

Emergencies from a mobile: 112
Emergencies from a landline: 107
South African Police Service: 10111
Ambulance: 10177
Medical & Fire Emergencies: 021 535 1100
Table Mountain NP Emergencies: 021 480 7700
Sea & Mountain Rescue: 021 937 0300 
National Sea Rescue Institute: 087 094 9774 
Baboon Monitors: 071 588 6540
Shark Spotters: 078 174 4244