South Africa Travel Guide

Every minute detail was taken care of and I felt so pampered and relaxed. They took care of all our drop-offs, pick-ups, and COVID tests and guided us through visas. Alym was so great to work with and so attentive to detail. He and his staff were always a text away from answering our questions. The camps were top notch and the food was amazing. Everything exceeded my expectations. Love Kenya!!! Best adventure of my life!!!


South Africa is a large, diverse and incredibly beautiful country. It varies from the picturesque Garden Route towns of the Western Cape to the raw subtropical coast of northern KwaZulu-Natal. The vast Karoo semi-desert stretches across its centre, while one of Africa’s premier safari destinations, Kruger National Park, sprawls along the northeast border. The big cities attract immigrants from across the continent, making them great, bubbling cultural crucibles. Read our South Africa Travel Guide for everything you need to know before you go.

Before You Go

Your holiday decisions — where you go, how often you travel, the hotels or lodges you stay in, even the season you travel in – can make a huge difference to your African Journey… This is going to be the best guide to find out before visiting any African countries!


When To Travel To South Africa

The best time to visit South Africa depends on where you want to go and your interests. The west is best visited in the warmer months (November to April), while the eastern flank of the country is ideal in the cooler months (May to October).

Peak season is from December to January and at Easter, when prices soar and accommodation is booked up months in advance, especially along the coast and around national parks. If you’re travelling to South Africa for its iconic creatures, spring is best for whale-spotting while autumn onwards is perfect for wildlife-watching.

June to August is rainy season in Cape Town and the Western Cape, though prices are low and these are great months to visit South Africa’s arid areas, like the Karoo.

Top Things To Do In South Africa

South Africa’s diverse landscape of mountains, forests, rugged coast and sandy beaches makes the country supreme outdoor terrain for sport and recreation. South Africans have been playing outdoors for decades, resulting in a well-developed infrastructure for activities, an impressive national network of hiking trails and plenty of operators selling adventure sports.

    • Safari
    • Hiking
    • Watersports
    • Diving and snorkeling
    • Spectator sports
What To Eat & Drink In South Africa

Traditional African food tends to focus around stiff grain porridge called mieliepaporpap, made of maize meal and accompanied by meat or vegetable-based sauces. During your South Africa trip, you’ll likely come across braai (“meat grill”). This is most commonly barbecued steak, lamb cutlets and boerewors (“farmer’s sausage”). Potjiekos is a common meat and vegetable dish cooked in a cast-iron cauldron.

If you ask most people why travel to South Africa, and they’ll mention the wine. South Africa is one of the world’s top ten wine-making countries, producing fantastic Cabernet Sauvignons, Zinfandels and Merlots. Some of the oldest most historical wineries are in South Africa&rsquo’s Stellenbosch. 

The Best Souvenirs To Buy In South Africa

You might have noticed that we are keen souvenir shoppers when we travel around the world. This time, we look at the best souvenirs to buy from South Africa.

    • Biltong. Biltong is the unequivocal South African snack. …
    • Carved Stone Sculptures. …
    • Painted Ostrich Egg. …
    • Rooibos (Red Bush) Tea. …
    • Wooden Mask Carvings. …
    • Wooden Wildlife Carvings. …
    • Woven Bowls, Bags & Baskets. …
    • Zulu Beaded Jewellery
    • Elephant Dung Gin 
What To Pack For South Africa

Whether you’re visiting to see big game on a safari or to explore the culture of Cape Town and Johannesburg, discover what you need to pack for your trip to South Africa.

    • ID documents (passport, driver’s license, visa)
    • Money, credit cards.
    • Appropriate seasonal clothing and undergarments.
    • Bathing suit, sunscreen.
    • Sunglasses, hat.
    • Basic toiletries.
    • Cameras, batteries.
    • Laptop, cell phone, chargers.
Travel Tips For South Africa

Currency: The currency in South Africa is called the Rand. 1 USD is equivalent to approx. 15 South African Rands.

Language: South Africa boasts 11 official languages. The main language spoken in all the big cities is English, but the two most widely spoken languages are Zulu and Xhosa.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Currency Should I Bring?

The local currency is South Africa is the South African rand which can be broken down into 100 cents.

Upon entry to and exit from South Africa, you are required to declare all foreign currency in any form. We suggest you change your money as and when required, there are lots of facilities to do so in hotels and lodges.

All major credit cards are usually accepted, however some form of identity may be required.

Can I Do A Self Drive In South Africa?

There are lots of different ways to travel South Africa, and self-drive is definitely one of them.

South Africa is a great destination for a self-drive safari. The infrastructure is good, the roads in good condition and the areas well signposted in English. A self-drive will give you flexibility which is fantastic if you have a family with you.

If your driving license is printed in English with a photo, you will not need an international license.

Take note that in South Africa they drive on the left-hand side of the road and give way to the right. Overtaking on the inside, or ‘undertaking’, is not illegal in South Africa, it is common practice, so make sure you beware of cars on the inside when changing lanes. There are a number of toll stations; these are clearly signed before you reach them.

The major roads and highways are in excellent condition. The more rural roads can be bumpy and a little less cared for. You must beware of wildlife on the roads.

Is South Africa Good For Families?

South Africa is an excellent destination for families. There are malaria-free game reserves where you stand a good chance of seeing the Africa “Big 5” which can easily be combined with exciting activities in Cape Town.

What Is The Weather Like In South Africa?

Summers (from October to April) are hot and the nights can come alive with exciting big thunderstorms.

During the day the weather is hot and the sun strong, making this a great time to visit if you are looking for beach time or bird watching. The winters, from May to August, are a bit cooler, averaging at about 15 degrees per day. This is the preferred time for wildlife watching, but the temperatures at night can drop to 0 degrees, so you need to make sure you have warm clothes for the evenings.

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