South Africa Travel Guide — How to Travel Safe, Fun and Cheap

South Africa is an iconic travel destination in the African continent, and it isn’t just because of a history that dates back to the colonial and apartheid era. From amazing cultural mixes, picturesque sceneries, captivating socio-cultural activities to a welcoming atmosphere and people, there is a lot to see and do. And, now that summer is around the corner, there is no better place to sunbathe than South Africa’s thrilling coastlines.

Questions to ask before taking a trip to South Africa

However, before you catch the next flight, here are some important questions to ask:

  • What is there to seeing and do in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Witwatersrand, Durban or any other major city?
  • Do you need a travel budget?
  •  Are there cheap travel tours options?
  • How do you stay safe throughout your stay without running into muggers and petty thieves that roam the streets of major cities?

The above questions could go on and on, which is why you would need an in-depth travel guide to South Africa, possibly from the perspective of a seasoned globetrotter. Moreover, given that, it is a hotspot of plentiful for a travelling enthusiast, the earlier you get started with your plans, the better and more adventurous your holiday would be.

Travel Guide to South Africa-Safety Tips

Now, are you ready to take a trip to South Africa? Well, for someone who is heading to Johannesburg for the first time, cheap flight options are everywhere. You could choose to arrive via Cape Town International Airport, Durban International Airport, Kruger Mpumalanga or Tambo/Johannesburg, all of which meet international standards. And, when it comes to booking a ticket, choose from the following options:

  • Off-peak season ticketing. If you are planning a trip in summer, then this is the time to make the most out of discounted advance fares to South Africa.
  •  Find out about the best times of the year when you would get incredibly low flight fares. You can start by comparing price variations across different months of the year. Moreover, early morning and late night ticketing are usually cheap.
  • Travel agencies can also help you save money on ticketing. From discounted packages, connecting you with local car hire services to hotels in which you would stay, authentic and reliable travel agents are a worthy consideration if you want to have a breathtaking experience from departure to landing in South Africa.

Transportation options to help you move around South Africa

Being one of the most developed countries in Africa, Zululand enjoys infrastructural interconnectedness from its many cities to the countryside. It means travelers always have wide-ranging commuting options from which to choose the fastest, cheapest or the most convenient. They include the following:

  • Bus services such as Intercape, Greyhound and Buz Bus are ideal any day, especially for backpackers who want to visit remote areas. However, for convenience and flexibility, Uber taxis should be your best option any day. Bus services, while connecting you to tourist attraction sites, aren’t cheap in the long run, and a fact that they only ply routes makes them inconvenient.
  • Car for hire is another option you can choose, especially for solo drives or ridesharing. It is also ideal for visitors who want to take off-the-beaten-path areas. A good deal would save you a few more bucks.
  • Train trips are also popular, and a top choice for visitors in South Africa. From Blue Train, which is a luxury shuttling option connecting Cape Town and Pretoria to a cheaper option such Shosholoza Meyl connecting many areas  such as Port Elizabeth, Durban, Jo’burg, Cape Town, Queenstown and many other cities, train trackers serve the country well. There is no other better way to beat traffic snarl-up reminiscent with South Africa’s cities that to take a train.
  • Local airlines are popular among travelers moving around South Africa, and they happen to be one of the cheapest options. For budget travelers, Kulula and Mango airlines wouldn’t disappoint.

Places to visit and Have Fun

A trip to South Africa shouldn’t end with evening stroll in the streets of major cities. And, even if you are looking forward to getting up and close with the largest slum in Africa-Soweto, there are many other places to which you should pay homage. They include the following:

· A date with Cape Town’s rich sceneries

You wouldn’t go wrong with choosing Cape Town as a stopover destination. From a hike on the Table Mountain, a date with Zulu and shone street performances, a walk on Robben Island, Museums, open-air markets, exploration of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens to partaking in extreme sports in the high seas, plenty await here.

· Kruger National Park

There is no way you can give a complete account of a trip to South Africa without visiting Kruger National Park. It is the most popular and biggest, straddling over 2 million hectares of land and accounting for numerous safari stopovers.  While you should also visit other game reserves and parks such as Umfolozi, Addo and St. Lucia wetlands, Kruger plays host to thousands of animal and plant species, including the big five.

· The Golden Rand

Witwatersrand, the country’s gold hub is only a few hours away from Jo’burg. Enjoy a local dining experience along the way at stopover eateries and shop around for local crafts, books etc. Moreover, there is never going to be a better way to experience a glamour sunset than being at the Rand.

· Cross over to Swaziland

Crossing over to Swaziland isn’t going to disappoint. This rich country is endowed with beautiful sceneries, parks and culture. It could be your only chance to learn about Swazi Kings and thriving traditions such as reed dance.

· Jo’burg apartheid expeditions

Apartheid rule threatened South Africa’s independence to the core during the colonial era. In Johannesburg, it is a horrific tale best captured in museums and multimedia displays. Start with Robben Island, a place where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years in prison to Soweto freedom corners. You would never be the same again after learning about harrowing details of a struggle against racial segregation that tore a country apart right in the middle.

· Visit Cape of Good Hope

Cape of Good Hope sits in the Atlantic Ocean in South Africa’s Peninsula. Here, you will get to enjoy a memorable evening walk and picture scenery of rolling hills beyond. However, beware of the great sharks that lurk here because they could render sightseeing and diving experience catastrophic. 

Safe travel precautions

You shouldn’t ignore your sixth sense when visiting South Africa. Like most destinations in the world, anything can go awfully wrong. Therefore, the following safety measures are important:

  • Avoid roaming central business districts of major cities at night. Use a taxi with the help of hotel management if you must, but flag down one at night.
  • Keep car windows and doors shut when driving, even when visiting the countryside.
  • Keep your valuables off sight, preferably in your car’s truck under safety lock. Also, make sure the fuel tank is secured. Car guards with official ‘bib’ labeling will provide you with additional security.
  • Your car should be in good condition and well fueled as gas stations can be far-flung in between at times.
  • Always have your cell phone, and in case of emergencies, call police line 10111.
  • Inquire about safe routes when traveling off-road.
  • Refrain from wearing expensive apparel and jewelry such as watches and bags when out for a walk.

Bio
My name is Erica Fleming. I support the effective adoption of new technologies or ways of working within writing by communicating complex information in an informative and inspiring way.I’m fond of writing articles for students, helping with essays.

Image Credits: Travel Safe from PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek/Shutterstock

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