(and fivefold more why you should)
Shortly after the Dewani saga in Cape Town last year (but before the details of her murder came to light), I was asked by a hotel company to write an article reassuring people that Cape Town was in fact okay to visit. Over the next few days I’m going to share with you my thoughts. So let’s get started.
Reason Number 1:
Cape Town is located in South Africa: South Africa has a high crime rate.
Without delving into depressing statistics, suffice it to say that South Africa’s crime rate exceeds that of most tourist destinations in the rest of the world. Cities that experience high levels of crime generally share a common characteristic – the dire state of their informal communities and poorer, densely packed urban areas. According to the South African Institute of Race Relations, “poorer urbanized areas suffer from considerably higher levels of violent crimes than wealthier areas”. Places like Gugulethu – where Dewani was murdered – “have been neglected and forgotten by Government when it comes to the maintenance of law and order”. Residents, according to SAIRR, “have been left to run the gauntlet of violent crime on a horrific scale.”
Although Cape Town is not exempt from high South African crime statistics, when the noon gun is fired on Signal Hill each day you really don’t need to take cover. As a visitor, the only gauntlet that you should be running in this beautiful city is the natural heritage gauntlet. The exquisite Natural World Heritage Site of Table Mountain National Park stretches from Signal Hill, overlooking the city and harbour, to the rugged coastline of Cape Point in the south. From sea kayaking and scuba diving to hiking and cycling, there is a plethora of activities to keep visitors on their toes and out of trouble.