Durban, South Africa
The city of Durban is South Africa’s third most populous city and is surrounded by beautiful nature reserves and botanical gardens. But Durban also ranks among the most violent cities in the world. As of 2018, Durban had a population of 4,055,969 and 1,562 homicides. This is very high however most homicides occur in townships and not in the central tourist areas.
There are very poor areas in the city, and therefore it is not uncommon to hear about muggings and armed robberies. There have been reports of food and drink spiking, with victims ending up being assaulted and robbed after the incident. Rapes also occur in Durban, and it’s not a suitable city for solo women travelers. Though Durban is a very dangerous city, tourist areas such as the areas near the beach are secured as they are frequently visited by policemen, and have many CCTV cameras.
Transport & Taxis Risk: HIGH
You are most at risk when you are traveling, especially to and from the airport. Robberies and muggings commonly take place at rail stations or near airports, as criminals know that tourists are carrying valuables. Remain vigilant and use a pre-booked taxi from a reputable company.
Also at night, it is highly recommended to stick to the main streets and not wander in the city unless you are very familiar with the places you’re going.
Scams Risk: HIGH
Some scammers pose as police officers in Durban. They may ask to ‘search’ your bags before robbing you. A recent scam involved a fake police officer from the head police station in Durban calling people saying they have a rape case against them and a warrant of arrest has been issued. He would then ask for a bribe to make the case go away.
Natural Disaster Risk: HIGH
Durban is at risk of floods, wildfires, and earthquakes. In 2019, a flood has resulted in at least 70 deaths caused by collapsed buildings, mudslides and sinkholes. It is one of the deadliest disasters to hit the country in the decade.