Safety In Cape Town
Cape Town is relatively safe. You will generally find policemen very helpful. Violent crimes in the city center are rare. Unfortunately we do not suggest you venture far from Cape Town for any reason. The surrounding area can be unsafe for foreigners. As with any city, always use caution and care when travelling around.
You can find out more information here:
Safety Information at the US State Department
Arriving In South Africa
Useful Recommendations For A Trouble-Free Stay In South Africa
In order that your stay in South Africa will not be spoilt by any complications, please adhere to the following warnings. The overwhelming majority of tourists leave the country satisfied, so why spoil your memories with an unpleasant experience?
1. Do not give pickpockets a chance
Sites attractive to tourists draw not only visitors but also thieves. They are quick to take advantage of any situation when you are not paying full attention to your personal belongings in order to make some of them their own. Pay particular attention to your belongings, therefore, in places where many people congregate, such as the public transport system, clubs and popular tourist sites.
Where to look for help: In the case of thefts, go to the local police. Your country's embassy will help you with arranging replacement or emergency documents.
2. Only exchange money in certified places
Every traveler, even if he or she has only a little experience, knows that exchanging money in the street never pays! The safest way is to exchange in a bank or in the hotel exchange office. Exchange offices in the town centre are more advantageous as they offer the best exchange rates. For your security, however, always verify the final amount that you receive from the exchange office. An extremely favorable exchange rate, for example, may be available only for exchanging more than a set amount (for example, 100 euro), or fees may be added for the exchange. Every exchange office must always indicate such information in several languages; however, it frequently happens that tourists do not digest this information (for example, because it is intentionally provided in small writing).
For more info on valid currency exchange check here:
3. Public Transportation
Unfortunately public transportation can be unreliable in Cape Town. A detailed list of various forms of public transportation you can take in the city can be found here:
4. Tipping in restaurants
In Cape Town, it is considered a good habit to leave 10% of the cost of the meal as a tip for restaurant service. In some establishments, this sum will appear as a separate item on your bill. Information as to whether you will be charged a fee for service will always be found on the menu or on other official printed matter. Your waiter or waitress must present a receipt for the entire amount paid. Should your attendant not provide you with a bill for the whole amount, and ask you for a separate payment outside of the bill, then he or she is probably attempting to illegally increase the bill. Should you disagree with the bill you should ask for an explanation from the restaurant manager, as the owners often do not know that their personnel are increasing their earnings in this way.
A small tip of 5-10 Rand is encouraged for “car guards” (people in bright vest guarding cars in parking lots) and hotel staff carrying your luggage.
5. Unpleasant personnel, unsatisfactory service
In the course of your stay, were you unsatisfied with the level of service at your hotel, restaurant, travel office or elsewhere? Please, try to solve your complaint directly on the spot with the manager or director of the given establishment. In this case you will still always have the possibility of obtaining better service, whereas after your return home you may only ask for redress circuitously from the senior manager of the institution.