In general Cape Town is a relatively safe city to visit. However, in common with many major cities world wide, there is crime and there are certain precautions that need to be taken to ensure a trouble-free visit.

One of the most common areas for petty crime are to be found at bank ATM's. Criminals have devised fantastic schemes to uplift your money at ATM's and you should be very careful when withdrawing money from them. If anyone attempts to assist you at an ATM cancel the transaction immediately and walk away. Always ensure that the card you feed into the machine is the one you get back. Do not draw huge sums at a time and make certain that what you draw is well concealed before you leave the machine.

In many areas you will find children begging, particularly at traffic lights ( known locally as robots) and stop-streets. Do not give them money - it will probably be used for glue sniffing and drugs and will expose you to the risk of your wallet or purse being snatched. Keep your car doors locked at all times, including whilst driving in it. Do not leave valuables or clothing on display in the car even if you are in it. Do not walk around town with expensive cameras or jewellery on display. Whilst policing in the city is very good it is not fool-proof.

Unless you are catching a train, avoid the station, due to the crowded street markets around it, where pickpockets abound. Avoid poorly lit streets at night just as you would in other major world cities. Outside the city you should not venture into any of the townships unless you are on a guided tour. Do not stop your vehicle anywhere near one of these townships.

You will find that most parking areas, including shopping malls, have guards in yellow hi viz vests in attendance. They are there to help prevent your vehicle from being broken into or stolen and are not threatening. It is customary and advisable to tip these guards a few rands (3-4 rand is now the norm depending on the time spent at the venue).

These are just the common precautions to be taken as you would anywhere nowadays...London, New York etc. In over 20 years of visiting this fantastic place, I have never had a problem. Just be aware of your surroundings and enjoy it.