Is Pretoria Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On November 7, 2023
Pretoria, South Africa
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data
User Sentiment:
* Rated 65 / 100 based on 12 user reviews.

Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa.

Mainly, it can be said that it is a country consisting of two countries.

On the one hand, it is, without exaggeration, a first world state, especially the major cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg, and on the other hand it has a staggering rate of crime, only imaginable in Africa.

It is one of the most unequal countries in the world, where you can see opulence and poverty standing side.

For ane example, life in Pretoria isn’t all that laid back, but it’s a way of life, not stressful.

Warnings & Dangers in Pretoria

Overall Risk


As amazingly fun and exciting Pretoria might be, you should be aware of the many dangers that await the unsuspecting tourists. This country has extremely high rates of crime. You should be vigilant and take all possible precautions measures.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Public transport in South Africa is where many criminal activities occur. There have also been reports of luggage thefts at the airports. Rails and metro trains are also the locations where assaults and robberies have occurred.

Pickpockets Risk


Pickpockets were once a serious problem in this country, but it has been on a decline during the past couple of years. Still, the riskiest locations where you may encounter petty theft are crowded places such as markets, public transport and bus, and train stations.

Natural Disasters Risk


South Africa is often the victim of many natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, storms, and wildfires. One of the bigger floods in South Africa occurred in 2011 killing 91 people.

Mugging Risk


Mugging and robberies are a much bigger issue in this country than petty theft. And though usually, the motive of these incidents is theft, rape is sadly not uncommon at all, so female tourists should be particularly cautious.

Terrorism Risk


Threats are coming from extremists linked to Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL), as well as threats from individuals inspired by terrorist groups, including Daesh, who might try to carry out so-called ‘lone actor’ attacks targeting public places.

Scams Risk


There are a couple of popular scams, one of them involving criminals posing as "tourist police" with a goal to rob visitors. However there's no such thing as "tourist police" in South Africa, so be on the lookout. Then there are so-called "strollers", and they can be anyone from children to junkies. Their only goal is to rob you blind so keep your valuables well hidden.

Women Travelers Risk


Though many female travelers went to Pretoria and had no problems at all, this country might not be the safest choice for female solo travelers. Be very careful at night and avoid risky situations such as winding-up in deserted and poorly lit streets or finding yourself in an unknown area with strange people.

So... How Safe Is Pretoria Really?

Life in Pretoria is a rather dangerous city and extreme caution should be advised.

As for crime, there’s a lot of it here.

Since there are staggeringly poor areas in this country, it is not at all uncommon to hear about muggings and armed robberies in this country.

Since crime is present in all areas, and you’ll see many residential properties that are protected by an electric fence/CCTV cameras/guards.

And though usually, the motive of these crimes is theft, rape also occurs from time to time, which is especially relevant for female visitors.

Having said that; common sense goes a long way.

Being aware of your surroundings and taking reasonable precautions should reduce your chances of becoming another crime statistic.

There have also been reports of food and drink spiking, with victims ending up being assaulted and robbed after the incident.

Traveling by a rented car is also not very safe: there have been tragic instances of foreigners being carjacked and murdered.

Half the people are problematic, and they make life hell on the roads, and they bully each other.

Many people love to prove themselves to their friends by picking on random strangers and smashing them to a pulp.

How Does Pretoria Compare?

CitySafety Index
Cape Town43
Port Elizabeth65
La Paz (Bolivia)52
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43
Sofia (Bulgaria)73
Siem Reap (Cambodia)63
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61

Useful Information



While U.S. citizens visiting the Republic of South Africa for tourism purposes do not need a visa for any stays shorter than ninety days, along with many other countries, some nationals do need a visa to enter South Africa. Make sure your passports are valid for at least 30 days past your planned date of return from South Africa.



South African rand is the official currency in Pretoria. ATMs can be found throughout the city nd credit cards are widely accepted.



Pretoria's climate is classified as warm and temperate. When compared with winter, the summers have much more rainfall. Most of the city experiences warm, sunny days and cool nights.



Wonderboom Airport is the busiest airport serving the city of Pretoria. It is located north of Pretoria, South Africa.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Pretoria, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Pretoria Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 22° C
Feb 22° C
Mar 21° C
Apr 18° C
May 14° C
Jun 11° C
Jul 12° C
Aug 14° C
Sep 18° C
Oct 20° C
Nov 21° C
Dec 22° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

South Africa - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Cape Town43
Port Elizabeth65

Where to Next?

12 Reviews on Pretoria

  1. You’re an idiot. Most of this article is nonsense.

  2. From a South African

    I concur with Jay, terrorism threat, when have you heard of an incident in Pretoria. So if you proposing that’s a truth the rest of your assessment is a flaky. Yes there are risks, but a bit of common sense and you will be safe.
    My suggestion to you is get off the internet, get out of your cave and travel.

    1. So how safe is it really?

  3. A
    Anonymous says:

    Be very careful, it is still very unsafe. I am from this city.

  4. Bullsh•t

    Terrorism risk? What now? Are you on drugs?

    Pretoria isn’t safe, but it definitely isn’t a 19. Your climate info is also WAY off. Pretoria goes into the high 30s for parts of summer. I grew up there.

    Don’t use the local taxis. Use Uber. Don’t go into townships and don’t speak to locals who seem overly friendly. You’ll be fine.

    Stop fearmongering. South Africa is unsafe, but no more unsafe than most poor countries. If you stay out of bad areas and avoid overly friendly people who approach you on the street, you’ll be fine. Also – when the sun goes down, you stay inside; unless you’re in a tourist area with private security. Simple.

  5. Inaccurate.

    Terrorism?Really?? Never heard of such in South Africa. Temperature index is why off. go do more research

  6. The SA Government is the only terrorist you are likely to find, it will not steal property from tourists (yet). I lived there about 12 years in the 1990s but I keep in touch with events. When I was there I never had any trouble, just used common sense. Don’t let a group surround you or distract you while others get behind you. If you are on foot try to keep moving and don’t stop to talk to anyone who is over friendly. Be especially vigilant when driving if you are stopped at red lights. Sunnyside and city centre be on your guard.

  7. T
    Tanisha says:

    OK, but get to know the locals

    Really beautiful with the Jacaranda’s blooming. Didn’t notice a security threat but that said, I went on an alcohol and drug fuelled bender. Ace time, but found you need to find a good coke dealer because quality is shit, so carefully ask at red lights, and flash some tit.

  8. T
    Tanisha says:

    Pretty but rapey

    Pretoria in the spring is very beautiful with the Jacaranda trees. I didn’t feel safe at night, but then I was under the influence. Mind you I struck lucky going to the Voortrekker monument and noshed off a hottie in exchange for a couple of cans of Castle and a bowl of crack. Good times.

    1. Tanisha – we are currently doing research on the city because we have some work out there. I have to say that you are f-ing awesome!!! Right now, our biggest concern is being able to find an elephant to travel down the street on. After reading your comments, I’m looking forward to hanging out at the Voortrekker Monument. I’ve already got plenty of Castle, working on the quality bowls.

  9. wut?

    who do i believe, people say this is a great city and others say its dangerous, i want to know so i can host my around the world tv program with 20 contestants!

  10. Too biased to be taken seriously

    Crime “only imaginable in Africa”?? OK.
    You’re bias is showing

Pretoria Rated 3.25 / 5 based on 12 user reviews.

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