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Is it safe to live in Cape Town

Safety in South Africa: Cape Town vs Durban

Safety in South Africa (is South Africa better than India) may be one of your concerns because of the country’s high crime rates. You’ve probably also read all the stories online and heard from your own friends who’ve been here.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s still fairly safe to visit the different cities of the country. Honestly, all you need is some solid local insight, and you’re good to go.

Let us start you off with a common comparison: Cape Town and Durban. Let’s explore each city together and learn which one is generally safer to visit or live in!

Which is safer, Cape Town or Durban?

Cape Town is 32.45% safer than Durban, based on Safety Scale. The former 26.40 scored on the Safety Scale while the latter scored 19.03.

Is it safe to live in Cape Town?

Is it safe to live in Cape Town
Photo by David Stanley from Flickr

It’s generally safe to live in Cape Town. With a Safety Scale score of 26.40, it is also known as one of the safest cities in South Africa because of its strong police force.

It’s also 97% safer than other places in South Africa, as found by 2021 crime statistics.

What are the areas in Cape Town with the lowest crime rates?

1. Victoria and Alfred Waterfront

Victoria and Alfred Waterfront
Photo by South African Tourism from Flickr

Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is one of the city’s most expensive neighbourhoods, and for good reason. 

Its limited road access ensures that no one can easily penetrate the airtight security in the area. It has lots of CCTV cameras and 24/7 security guards on duty so you’ll feel comfortable walking around the place.

Staying here also gives you access to high-end shops, hotels and restaurants. That’s worth the high price tag, don’t you think?

Both tourists and locals also love visiting this area since it’s home to various beautiful attractions like the Two Oceans Aquarium, the Cape Wheel and Robben Island Museum.

A word of caution, though: the area is often packed with visitors, especially during summer.

2. Clifton and Camps Bay

Clifton and Camps Bay
Photo by Capsol from Wikimedia Commons

Sister neighbourhoods Clifton and Camps Bay are surrounded by various security companies that offer private services, apart from the local police on patrol.

Since it’s an affluent place, so expect to see lots of mansions in the area – all with the perfect view of the Atlantic Ocean by their balconies! This is a great place to look for luxury properties, if you’re looking to invest in one.

As for restaurants and beaches, you definitely won’t run out. We can guarantee you’ll get your fair share of Vitamin Sea here!

3. City Bowl

City Bowl
Photo by Martin Power from Wikimedia Commons

Located at the foot of Table Mountain, the City Bowl has different guards on patrol daily to ensure your safety.

While staying in the area, you can easily walk to nearby destinations like the famous harbour and the Company’s Garden, which is where you’ll find most of the locals.

City Bowl is also strategically located near the central business district (CBD) of Cape Town, so it’s a great place to stay for working professionals.

4. Mowbray

Photo by Zaian from Wikimedia Commons

You can find Mowbray in the southeastern part of Cape Town. 

Here, officers from the South African Police Services (SAPS) patrol the area, adding to residents’ peace of mind.

Living here puts you in close proximity to notable spots like the Starke Ayres Garden Centre and Groote Schuur Zoo.

5. Pinelands

Photo by Danie van der Merwe from Flickr

Pinelands is one of the most peaceful towns in Cape Town. It’s located near the Mowbray and Rondebosch areas.

This is the place to live in if you love modern homes and plenty of green space. Security guards are also routinely on patrol to ensure everyone’s safety.

Pinelands also scores high on convenience as there’s easy access to excellent schools, medical facilities and large shopping malls.

Is it safe to live in Durban?

Is it safe to live in Durban
Photo by Mister-E from Wikimedia Commons

Although it falls behind the security features Cape Town offers, Durban is still one of the safest cities across South Africa compared to other places.

It has Safety Scale score is 19.03, according to Numbeo’s 2023 data.

Generally, there are many parts of the city that have 24/7 CCTV cameras, along with different police officers on patrol. 

What are the areas in Durban with the lowest crime rates?

1. Durban North

Durban North
Photo by Chris Bloom from Flickr

Durban North is one of the safest neighbourhoods in the city because it’s in a secure location surrounded by big establishments. It’s also routinely patrolled by local police officers and has several CCTV cameras on various well-littreets.

We can describe this suburb as family-friendly because it has many tourist attractions that are safe and fun to visit. Our personal favourites are Beachwood and Japanese gardens because of their breathtaking scenery!

2. Umhlanga

Photo by South African Tourism from Flickr

Located in the northern part of Durban, Umhlanga is one of the most secure neighbourhoods in the city. It’s only ten minutes south of King Shaka International Airport, so it’s perfect for frequent travellers.

Although this area is notoriously pricey with its posh hotels and luxurious shopping centres, it’s worth the investment with its breathtaking views and great security systems.

Apart from the local officers patrolling the area, there are also private companies that offer bodyguard services and alarm system installations so you can double up on your security if you want to.

3. Glenwood

Photo from

For all the art enthusiasts, we have Glenwood. Located in the southside area of Durban’s City Centre, it’s home to several art galleries like The Kwazulu Natal Society of the Arts and Phansi Museum.

We love that local businesses here are invested in the community’s overall safety, as evidenced by their generous donations toward this effort. 

Honestly, staying in Glenwood is great for those looking for a chill lifestyle where they can learn yoga, see beautiful art and visit cafes whenever they want. It’s the perfect place to simply eat, sleep and repeat.

4. Musgrave

Photo by Chris Bloom from Flickr

Musgrave is located on the west side of the City Centre. Its most iconic landmark is the Durban Botanic Garden, which is the oldest garden in existence in the entire African continent.

There’s a nostalgic feel to this nieghbourhood. Driving around the area will give you a glimpse of streets lined with Victorian and Edwardian-style homes, if that’s your kind of aesthetic.

It’s also close to many high-end shopping malls and historic museums, as well as near different institutions such as STADIO Higher Education and NewBridge College. This makes it a great choice of locale for families.

5. Morningside

Photo by Dogg Ripper from Wikimedia Commons

Known for its trendy and hip vibe, Morningside is a great place in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. 

This area is mainly known for its Florida Road, which features a series of galleries and cafes that make for a perfect Instagram shot. We’re not surprised this town gets so many millennial and Gen Z visitors!

To ensure the safety of the area, they have a community safety forum where residents can get all the necessary updates on their locale.

Although Cape Town is generally safer than Durban, it’s still vital to practise different safety precautions at all times in both cities!

Got any insider tips to share on living safely in either city? Let us know in the comments below!

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