Spotting wild animals, rugged landscapes, culture, sights, South Africa has a lot to offer: Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities in South Africa with the imposing Table Mountain and Robben Island, the famous Kruger Park wildlife park, walks in the Drakensberg in KwaZulu Natal, sitting on the beach in Durban or exploring the wine countries in Franschhoek ... All just a few of the many possibilities of South Africa.
There are several protected nature reserves where you can spot a lot of wildlife. For example, during a trip through one of these areas you can encounter Africa's great pride 'The Big Five', in other words: the lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and the leopard. Plus many other wild animals. From Krugerpark to the Cape of Good Hope to Bondebok and Karoo National Park ... you have a wide choice of national parks and nature reserves.
In the west of the country you will find mainly rugged landscapes, various sand plains and semi-deserts. Besides safari island South Africa is also known for its wines. In the Western Cape you can try tasty wines, or do a wine tour starting in Stellenbosch and then continue to Franschoek and finish in Paarl.
One of the areas that has been discovered less by tourists is the Wild Coast coastal strip in the former Transkei. It is a very rural and underdeveloped area, ideal for adventurous travelers. With a private car, the coast is easy to reach, provided it has not rained for a long time. South Africa is regularly touted as 'The world in one country' and that is not for nothing.
“Not all those wander are lost.” @J.J.R. Tolkien
We are travellers that like to experience everything a country has to offer. In every country we visit there are also a few basics we value and that is comfortable sleeping and good food. Of course this has to fit within our budget, which isn't a backpacker budget, but we also don't have unlimited financial resources.
What we usually strive for:
Local food which is cheap and most of the time the best food you ever had.
Value for money accommodation where we focus on cleanliness and a comfortable bed.
A mix of must sees which are almost for nothing as it is a hard to reach place or yet unknown and must sees which are pricy as it is very touristy.
To travel through South Africa you can use the numbers below to set up your daily budget.
FOOD & DRINKS
on the basis of .. days and excl. plane ticket
A tourist visa is often valid for 30 days to 3 months, but that can vary from country to country. Actually there are always three options: either you do not need a visa, or you can buy the visa at the border (visa on arrival at the airport) or you must have already arranged your visa before departure. In that case, you must show this at the check-in. With a visa on arrival, you can also arrange this before departure so that you do not have to queue at the airport.
South Africa has a lot to offer. But before you go you need to know what the hotspots of the country are. Beneath, we have selected a few of our finest moments. Of course there is much more to explore and if you want to see more, please click on the button below. You will not only find our highlights, but also from fellow travelers. Are you also one of these travellers that takes the unbeaten path, leave us a message.
DRINKS & BITS
One of the hottest tents in Cape Town is without a doubt La Parada. Here, after busy times, it is busy with people who have a drink with tasty tapas. Try to get a place in front of the window from where it is wonderful to watch people on the busy Breestreet. #107 Bree Street, Cape TownGo to link
Situated in Woodstock, The Neighbourgoods Market, also referred to as Old Biscuit Mill, is the perfect way to kick off your Saturday morning shopping. You will find a mix of delicious local dishes, organic snacks, good fresh coffee, juices, pizza and other delicacies. There are also many nice stalls and shops for trendy souvenirs and art.
First Thursdays is a public event and free to attend. Art galleries and cultural events around Cape Town's central city stay open until 9pm or later on the first Thursday of every month, allowing anyone to explore the city on foot and experience the cultural wealth this city has to offer.
The trail going up Lion’s head is a screwtop: you’ll be circling the mountain getting to the top. This means you’re getting views in all directions. At a certain point the dirt path gives way to rocks and you have to step up, sometimes even use your hands to climb. Nothing hard though. This is rated an A+ hike (if taking the easy way) which means it is a very easy hike technically. Total time up and down on the Lion’s Head hike: 2 hours, including about 25 minutes up top.
Seapoint, Camp’s Bay and Clifton are gorgeous Cape Town suburbs which sit at the foot of the Twelve Apostles and adjacent to Lion’s Head and Table Mountain and have awesome beach town vibes! The beaches are some of the best in South Africa with pristine white sands and clear blue water and are the perfect escape from city life.
Nothing beats a drive along the windswept Atlantic Coast and Chapman’s Peak captures the ocean road at its most spectacular. The road is a nine kilometer long, cut out of the cliff and the drive is a hair raising experience with near vertical cliffs and blind bends. It begins in the fishing village of Hout Bay and winds its way up to Chapman’s Point before ending at Noordhoek.
Nestled between the Cape Dutch buildings, this small university town is surrounded by the iconic Cape Winelands. Along with the historic oak trees, winding back roads, and art galleries there are several Stellenbosch wineries that can really give you a taste of what South Africa has to offer.
The Cape of Good Hope sits at the tip of the Peninsula and is one of the great capes of the Atlantic Ocean. On the first sailing around the Cape it was christened Cape of Storms by a Portuguese sailor but now goes by the beautiful Cape of Good Hope. The views are incredible and the raging Atlantic Ocean mesmerising. It felt like we were at the end of the earth! The Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point are often thought of as the most Southern points in Africa.
TIPS & TRICKS
If you visit a restaurant or a bar in the evening, be sure to take a taxi or Uber. Especially Uber has become big in South Africa and have many great deals. If you want to go by taxi ask the hotel as they know reliable taxi companies.
You can easily rent a car and explore the neighborhood.
BEST TIME TO GO
CAPE TOWN AREA
There can be no doubt about this: from October to the end of April. Cape Town flowers as soon as the sun shines. The winter months around July and August are relatively cold and especially drizzling. The Table Mountain then hangs most days in the thick gray rain clouds. In the summer it can sometimes be too hot at forty degrees in Cape Town. But fortunately you will find the most beautiful city beaches in the world with a sea that is even colder in the summer than in the winter - a result of the water that flows from the South Pole. Capetown is perhaps the best in November and March. Somewhat cooler and less crowded.
Johannesburg, and also Pretoria, lie in the so-called Highveld at almost 1,700 meters above sea level. In the winter months around July, it can literally become icy cold at night. The advantage is that during the day the sun always shines. In the summer months it is much warmer in both cities and surroundings, but also wetter. If you go north from Pretoria, the temperature increases in every season. However, you also have to deal with dry months around the turn of the year and wet times by August.
Rainfall (mm) Temperature (°C)
Rainfall (mm) Temperature (°C)
21th of March Day of Human Rights, Last weekend of April African Burn, 24th of September National Heritage Day, 10th of October Kruger Day, 16th of December Day of Reconciliation.
A positive travel advice applies to South Africa, but be vigilant. Check the current travel advice for South Africa before departure.
We advise you to consult your doctor or the National Coordination Center for Travelers Advice (www.lcr.nl) in good time before departure.
Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.
You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Madagascar. It is recommended to take this vaccine, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.
There is no yellow fever in this country. However, if you come FROM a yellow fever area, vaccination may be REQUIRED.
A Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for all travelers to this country, because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water regardless of where you are eating or staying.
Hepatitis B is advisable if you might have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures.
Malaria occurs in some areas. You should be well protected against mosquito bites in the evening and at night. Also the use of tablets to prevent malaria is sometimes necessary. The drug that is recommended is personal. Let yourself be advised by an expert.
Rabies can occur in mammals in this country. Avoid contact with mammals. .