10 African Cities with the Highest Crime Rates and their Global Standings

According to Numbeo, an online data platform, crime rates can vary greatly depending on a city’s geography and population density.

Numbeo’s Crime Index, which is based on visitor surveys, provides an evaluative estimate of the overall level of crime in various cities and countries.

The platform rates crime on a scale of extremely low to very high, providing significant information into the safety circumstances of various places. HowAfrica looks at a few of these cities.

1. Pretoria, South Africa

With a stunning crime index of 81.8, Pretoria is the world’s second most dangerous city and the top African metropolis. According to Numbeo’s assessment, this South African capital city has a “very high” crime level.

This grade represents a complicated mix of factors, including poverty, unemployment, and governance issues, all of which are frequently identified as contributing to high African crime rates.


2. Durban, South Africa

According to global rankings, Durban has a high crime rate of 80.8 and is the fourth most dangerous city in the world. Despite its reputation for gorgeous beaches and bustling ports, crime, particularly serious actions such as murder, has been on the rise.

The area near Durban was even declared the most deadly in South Africa in 2015. As a result, while the city has a lot to offer, it’s critical to be extra cautious, especially at night. Because of its high crime rates, Durban is an important city to examine when addressing African city safety.


3. Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg, one of South Africa’s largest cities with a population of over 5 million people, has a dual reputation as both a must-see global destination and the world’s fifth most dangerous city, with a crime index of 80.8. While the city has many attractions, it also has a high rate of crime such as murder, assault, and robbery.

Johannesburg has also been dealing with xenophobic violence since 2015. These worrisome statistics are part of a larger discussion concerning high crime rates in African cities. To reduce the danger of theft or other criminal behavior, it’s critical to be alert, stick to safer neighborhoods, avoid walking at night in crowded places, and keep your belongings secure.


4. Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Port Elizabeth, often known as the Windy City, is a popular tourist destination along South Africa’s Eastern Cape coast. It is well-known for its mild temperature and cultural legacy, as well as historical ties to early explorers such as Vasco Da Gama. Despite its charms, the city ranks tenth in the world in terms of crime, with a crime index of 76.8. Muggings and other street crimes are all too common in this city, as they are in other South African cities.

Port Elizabeth has also experienced xenophobic violence, particularly when national tensions are high. The city has a notably high murder rate in 2014, closely tracking the previous year’s figure. This report adds to the growing worry about crime rates in African cities, highlighting the importance of remaining vigilant while enjoying the region’s many attractions.


5. Cape Town, South Africa

Despite being South Africa’s legislative capital and a popular tourist destination, Cape Town ranks 16th on the worldwide crime index, with a crime score rate of 73.6. The city, long known for its high levels of crime, outperformed both Johannesburg and Pretoria in terms of murders between April and March 2011. Drug trafficking and mugging are common crimes in Cape Town, as are violent robberies and bribery.

The city’s nocturnal violence is frequently associated with drug gangs and persisting income disparities in non-white neighborhoods. These sobering numbers contribute to the ongoing debate concerning high crime rates in African towns, emphasizing the importance of exercising caution when exploring Cape Town’s generally beautiful surroundings.

It’s worth noting that the index’s top five most dangerous cities in Africa are all in South Africa.


6. Lagos, Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria’s booming metropolis, ranks 33rd on the worldwide crime index, with a score of 67.8. Lagos, as one of the world’s largest cities, also has the terrible distinction of being one of Africa’s most hazardous cities. Crimes against residents and expatriates range from murders and armed robberies to kidnappings and cybercrime.

Armed robbers have been known to scale fences and disarm guards in some cases, while others get entry to shoreline regions via boat. Street gangs, often known as “area boys,” contribute to the city’s high crime rates by frequently causing havoc on Lagos’ main streets.


7. Windhoek, Namibia

Windhoek Namibia, Africa, modern skyline with skyscrapers and downtown a clean Capitol city (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Windhoek, Namibia’s capital, ranks 34th on the worldwide crime index, with a score of 67.6. Windhoek, while not as populous or well-known as other African cities, confronts considerable security problems. Theft, burglary, and violent attacks are commonplace, affecting both locals and tourists. Despite being one of Namibia’s most important cultural and commercial centers, the city’s crime statistics rank it on the list of locations to avoid.


8. Harare, Zimbabwe

Harare ranks 33rd in the world in terms of criminal activity, with a crime index of 67.8. Despite its role as Zimbabwe’s economic, political, and cultural center, Harare is plagued by safety issues such as theft, assault, and other violent crimes.

These challenges have marked Harare as one of the African cities with high crime rates, necessitating increased care on the part of both inhabitants and visitors. This mirrors the greater issue of high crime rates in African cities, implying the need for more effective safety measures.


9. Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya’s economic and political center, ranks 33rd on the worldwide crime index, with a score of 67.8. While the city is appealing to both domestic and foreign investors, it is also a hub for various types of crime. Residents and visitors are both at risk of armed carjackings and burglaries, as well as kidnappings and muggings.

Furthermore, Nairobi has experienced an increase in more specialized crimes such as credit card skimming and cybercrime. In recent years, the city has also been the target of grenade and terrorist assaults. These figures add Nairobi to the list of African cities with high crime rates, emphasizing the need for increased security for both inhabitants and visitors.


10. Casablanca, Morocco

Casablanca, Morocco’s capital, ranks 33rd on the worldwide crime index, with a score of 67.8. The city is well-known for its economic vitality and cultural monuments, but it also has significant safety problems. Theft, violence, and burglary are all challenges that both residents and tourists encounter.

Casablanca’s crime problems put it in the company of other African cities with high crime rates, mirroring bigger issues across the continent. The event highlights the necessity for improved safety measures in African towns to safeguard both natives and visitors.

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