Cape Town Safety?


Jan 14th, 2014, 06:16 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 63
Cape Town Safety?

Our college aged daughter is contemplating a semester at University of Cape Town next spring and I'm interested in getting input regarding safety issues. While she has traveled to many countries in Western Europe, the Galapagos and Costa Rica, South Africa would be an entirely new experience and one which we know little about. I'm hoping to benefit from the experience of others. Thanks!
Roadrunner4 is offline  
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Jan 15th, 2014, 08:01 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,085
My daughter spent 2004-2005 as a student at the University of Cape Town and loved it. At the time, she was 18 years and straight out of high school. She lived with us on Middle Campus and walked to and from Upper Campus for her classes. At first, we were quite nervous about her walking about on her own. We would have her call when she reached campus and when she was headed home. That lasted less than a month, until we realized it wasn't necessary. We had no concern for her safety. She is an athlete and would go for long runs on campus, up to Rhodes Memorial and in nearby neighbourhoods - she never had a problem while on these runs. She was on both the varsity volleyball and track teams, and traveled with both, including to one volleyball tournament in Port Elizabeth. She has a lifetime of memories from that year, and I would highly recommend that you encourage your daughter to go with one will not be if your daughter wishes to go back but when. Be prepared to lose your daughter to Africa. Ours has just returned from another 2.5 years in Cape Town, where she worked for a filming company. She loves it there and will no doubt find a way to go back again. The good news is that it gives my DH and me an excuse to return to SA for a visit.

In the most recent 2.5 year visit ( we were not there - she was there on her own), despite the fact that she drove herself at all hours all over Cape Town for work and frequently took the train down to the city bowl, she experienced only one safety issue. Walking back to her apartment late one afternoon with some groceries, she was robbed at knife point by a single male. He demanded her cell phone which she handed over without hesitation. Luckily, he then ran off and she was not hurt. She admitted later that she realized she should not have been where she was when she was - there was no one else about at the time.

So things happen, and your daughter will have to be careful, but no more so than in any other big city. She will have the experience of a lifetime.

The one piece of advice I would give your daughter is to make certain that she finds a way to interact with the local students. We saw many American exchange students on the UCT campus, and I was always disappointed to see that they spent most of their time interacting and hanging out only with each other. Encourage her to find a way to interact with local students/families - the sports teams that my daughter were on presented this opportunity and made her year so memorable. CR
canadian_robin is offline  
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Apr 20th, 2014, 05:26 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 37
I am planning a trip which includes a few days in Cape town. The reply for another user was promising. However, I bumped a few websites which list Cape town the top 10 dangerous cities (see below). Should tourists doing normal stuff be concerned?
mike_L is offline  
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Apr 20th, 2014, 12:07 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 37
From a resident of Cape Town, it was good reading the positive realistic response from 'Robin'.
LewRood is offline  
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