Find a Travel Buddy in South Africa

Discover the rich cultural diversity, history and natural beauty of this incredible country. From its sandy beaches, to mountains, colorful fashion and wildlife, South Africa has a lot to offer for adventurous travelers!

Plan Your Trip to South Africa

If you’re planning to go to South Africa, you might be thinking…What are the best things to do there? Where to go? How to get around? What foods should you try This travel guide will show you everything you need to know about traveling in South Africa!

Top Things to do in South Africa

There are countless reasons why you and your travel buddies should visit South Africa! Here are just a few to inspire your travels. 

See Wildlife on Safari

Spot the famous ‘Big 5’: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalos! Some of the best places to go on safari are: Kruger National Park, Madikwe Game Reserve, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi park and iSimangaliso Wetland park at Lake St. Lucia. 

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Wine Tasting 

South Africa has a history of producing award-winning wines because its Western Cape is blessed with ideal growing conditions. Some of the best wines are made in Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl.

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Go hiking and camping 

Overnight camping is the best way to experience nature in South Africa. There are many spectacular hiking trails you can take, such as the Drakensberg Grand Traverse, the Otter trail or the Rhebok trail. 

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Beach activities

South Africa’s coastline has an abundance of activities to enjoy! Spot penguins on Boulder’s Beach, go shark diving in Gansbaai, watch whales and dolphins in Hermanus, learn how to surf in Durban or just have fun on the beach!

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Get to know South Africa’s unique cultural heritage

From cuisine to exquisite handicrafts like beading, wooden carvings, fashion, music festivals and cultural events, South Africa will offer experiences you won’t forget!

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The Best Instagram Spots in South Africa

Share your memories with family and friends through stunning photographs that capture the essence of South Africa’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.

Bo Kaap

Get a colorful snap of this historical spot overlooking Table Mountain!  

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Sani Pass

This dirt road winds up the valley at the border crossing between South Africa and Lesotho.

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Muizenberg

The colorful beach houses on Muizenberg beachfront are a top attraction!

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Karoo Stargazing

Get far from the city lights and see the milky-way galaxy like never before!

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The Best Travel Itinerary to South Africa

10 Days Travel Itinerary to South Africa

Are you looking for a guide for your next trip to South Africa? Here is the best travel itinerary for a ten days trip!

Day 1-2

Arrive in Johannesburg

Also known as Jo’burg, Jozi, ‘eGoli’ the ‘City of Gold’, Johannesburg is a busy city with a lot to see and do. Check out the zoo or visit the Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill, a former prison.

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Day 3 - 5 

Go on Safari in Kruger National Park 

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Day 6 - 7

Explore Kwazulu-Natal

Go hiking in the drakensberg, take a road trip on the Midlands Meander, see Zulu dancing and walk along the Durban beachfront.

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Day 8 - 9

Discover Cape Town

Hike up Table Mountain and Lion’s head, have lunch on the V&A Waterfront, take a drive along the coastline to Chapman’s Peak, Simon’s Town or the most southern point of Africa - The Cape of Good Hope.

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Day 10

Go wine tasting in Stellenbosch

It’s time to clink your glasses and celebrate the wonderful trip you’ve had! While sipping on a delicious rosé wine and nibbling chocolates, you can admire the serene landscape.

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The Best Time to Visit South Africa

Anytime of the year is great for a trip with entertaining events happening every month.

The South African summer begins in December until March with temperatures often above 30°C - perfect for catching a tan, surfing and swimming in the Indian ocean. 

In winter between June and August, you can expect temperatures of around 11°C max in the day that later drop to just a few degrees below zero at night. The colder, drier months are a good time to go hiking or on safari.

There will be cheaper flights and less crowds if you visit in autumn, from March to May, and spring, from September to October.

Hidden Gems of South Africa

Are you curious about the secret spots to visit in South Africa? Here are a few hidden treasures you can find on your trip! 

Cango Caves 

The largest cave system in Africa with fascinating tours in English, Afrikaans, German and French. 

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Howick Falls

Locals believe that a legendary serpent called ‘‘Inkanyamba’’ lives at the bottom of the falls. If you’re daring, you can abseil down this 107m tall waterfall.  

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Bourke's Luck Potholes

Where the Blyde River and the Treur River meet in Mpumalanga, thousands of years of water erosion has created this fascinating geological feature in the sandstone. 

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Soweto Towers

This old power station was converted into an extreme sports facility with bungee-jumping, abseiling, zip-lining and rap-jumping. If you’re looking for an epic,  high adrenaline adventure then this is the place to go!

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Kimberley 

The largest man-made mine in the world where they dug for diamonds by hand. 

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Augrabies Falls 

Visit the Augrabies Falls National Park to see the majestic waterfalls on the Orange river, the largest river in South Africa.

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Getting Around South Africa

By Plane

For cheap flights you can fly with Mango, Kulula, FlySafair and British Airways.

There are three major airports to consider when taking an international flight.

Johannesburg - OR Tambo Airport (JNB)

Cape Town - Cape Town Airport (CPT)

Durban - King Shaka Airport (DUR)

Train

Take the luxurious ‘Blue Train’ on a journey across the African bushveld. Starting in Pretoria, 1,600km (994 miles) and 31 hours later you will arrive in Cape Town. 

Bus 

There are a few safe and reliable bus operators that have routes between major cities, a few smaller locations and even destinations in neighboring countries. Consider using the services of InterCape, Translux and Greyhound buses for your travels. 

Car

Hiring a car is an easy and affordable option to get around. South Africans drive on the left hand side of the road and signs are in English. Be mindful that not all roads are well maintained and try to avoid ‘‘rush hour’’ when everyone is driving home from work. 

Taxi / Uber

A taxi in South Africa can have two meanings. It is either a private taxi for 3 or 4 people or a 16 seater combi van designed for public transport by individual taxi drivers. It is better to take a private taxi as these are controlled by companies so your safety is guaranteed. Uber is also a popular option for local transportation in cities.

What does it Cost to Travel to South Africa?

Travelling around South Africa can be quite affordable but it's best to be prepared.

Here's a breakdown of the average costs on a trip to South Africa:

1 - Accommodation:

Budget-Friendly: €11 (hostel) per person per night

Mid-Range Budget: €35 for a couple

High Budget: €50+

2 - Food

Budget-Friendly: €3-€5 per meal

Mid-Range Budget: €4-€11 per meal

3 - Transportation

Car hire - €8 per day

Must-Try Foods in South Africa

If there were an award for weird names for food, South Africa would probably win! These delicious and unique meals are inspired by the country’s multicultural roots. 

Bunny Chow

This street food originates in the lively coastal city of Durban. It is half a bread roll stuffed with a vegetarian or meat based curry. Don’t underestimate the spiciness of this dish! You will need the bread to swipe up all the flavors and balance the heat. 

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Chakalaka 

This simple yet refreshing dish is a mix of finely cut vegetables, baked beans, chopped tomatoes and curry powder. It is served with pap (maize porridge) or white bread rolls. 

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Bobotie

Often served with yellow rice, bobotie is a dish made of curried meat with raisins and topped with egg that is roasted until it's golden. It’s pronounced ‘‘ba-boor-tea’’. 

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Braai 

South Africans are very friendly and there’s a high chance that they would invite you to a ‘‘Braai’’ which is their version of a barbeque. The men often take a lot of pride in preparing the perfect fire to cook a tasty selection of meats, while the women prepare salads, sauces and snacks. At these events you can try boerewors (a spiral sausage), putu, tomato relish, fresh salads and roasted mielies (whole corn). 

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Potjiekos 

At a braai, you may also be treated to ‘‘potjiekos’’ which is a stew cooked in a cast iron pot over the fire, the literal translation is ‘pot food’.

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Koeksisters

This sweet delicacy is an absolute must-try food! It is made of dough that is folded into this unique shape and then it is fried and soaked in syrup. 

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Milk tart

Similar to a custard pie or ‘pasteis de nata’, it is a crumbly pastry filled with custard made from milk, eggs and sugar that has cinnamon sprinkled on top.

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Travel Tips

Here are tips from our travel experts that you should definitely check before your visit to South Africa.

Check the Exchange Rates

South Africa uses its own currency called the Rand. Before your trip, consider exchanging some money on a traveler friendly card like Revolut or Wise when the exchange rate looks good. 

ATMS and Credit Cards

Credit card payments are accepted in most establishments but it is always good to have enough cash to buy souvenirs at markets or if you need to give a tip. You can find ATMs to withdraw money at petrol stations or shopping malls. 

Tipping

It is common to tip your waiter 10% of the cost of your meal in restaurants. You should also give a few coins to the car guards in the car parks for their service of protecting your car while you are shopping. 

Drive with Caution 

Accidents can happen so please be safe on your journey. Remember not to drink and drive, the maximum alcohol blood content allowed is 0.05%. Always lock your car and don’t leave expensive items, like cameras or sunglasses, visible on the car seats. 

Stay Safe

While you may be on holiday, it’s important to be more careful in some situations to avoid unpleasant experiences. Try to be aware of your surroundings. Don’t leave your backpack or phone somewhere unattended. At clubs, keep your drink in your hands. It’s better to take a taxi than to walk home at night. Getting travel insurance is worthwhile when traveling to South Africa.

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