For such a big country like South Africa, tourists usually need a lot of time to plan their trip before they actually travel. There are many places and experiences to explore in South Africa and if you are not careful, you might just happen to go back home not seeing even half of what you wanted to.
Also known as the Rainbow Nation, South Africa is a melting pot of cuisines and cultures where you will come across people from every walk of life. The landscape of the country is a breath-taking combination of wetlands, deserts, subtropical forests, mountains, and grasslands.
When traveling to South Africa, making smart choices throughout your visit can make sure your trip is meaningful for both you and the destination – without forcing you to sacrifice any part of your dream adventure. We have listed 5 things you must know before visiting South Africa so that you can explore the country responsibly.
South Africa is a combination of cheap and expensive travel, so plan before
Most tourists believe that visiting South Africa is cheap, but it is certainly not the cheapest in the world. Getting to South Africa is expensive, but once you’re there – local food and accommodations come at an affordable rate. South Africa is a budget-friendly trip with a lot of hotel choices, but if you wish to do a lot of touristy stuff – it can come at a higher rate. The trick to spending less is to make online bookings for expensive activities early on in advance. Certain places like Robben Island take a limited number of visitors on a regular basis and you must book your tickets way early.
Touring Cape Town must be on the top of your list
If you are planning to carry memories of this old colorful place with you, you must spare 4 to 5 nights to explore Cape Town completely. There is a commercialized waterfront and even though there is so much tourist movement around, you will not feel being overcrowded. There are many cafes, shops, restaurants, and bars making walking around the city safe and pleasant. We are sure that there is never a dull moment in Cape Town. Also, do not forget to explore Bo-Kaap, a photo-worthy place in Cape Town, popularly photographed for its architecture, and also known as a historical center of Cape Malay culture in the city.
Use Taxis as a common option, or rent a car
Taxis have become more and more popular in bigger cities like Cape Town, and Pretoria. Download the Uber App to have it ready for use. You can also rent a car in South Africa which is cost-effective and go for a self-driving road trip. Also, make sure to only travel in taxis that follow price meters. You may also haggle prices with the tax driver before the trip starts. It is easy to get taxi service in South Africa because the industry is quite vibrant.
Avoid conversations about Politics
There are a few things you can follow to keep yourself as safe as possible while exploring South Africa. We recommend skipping discussions about politics, as many people feel quite passionate about this topic. Locals tend to be divided in their opinions on well-known figures such as Nelson Mandela. Bringing up politics can lead to an awkward moment at best, and lead to arguments at worst. It’s best to stick to safer, more neutral topics when conversing with locals. On that note, South African locals tend to be very friendly, so you will probably have a conversation with one at some point.
Airport is the best place to exchange money
Another vital travel tip for South Africa is knowing where to exchange your money. The simplest place to exchange money is right at the airport, so be sure to this at arrival. Most banks or hotels also exchange money. But do note that you might have to wait in long queues at the bank and you’ll need to take your passport along. In cities like Cape Town, exchange bureaus are quite easy to spot.
South Africa is diverse in temperatures and landscapes, as well as extremely culturally rich, and has 11 official languages. There are some amazing sites and museums that you absolutely shouldn’t miss such as the Apartheid Museum, Zeitz MoCAA, and the Robben Island. We at TravelGooru, work by the motto to help you make your travel easy. We keep reading interesting posts about traveling and expand our horizons to meet your expectations.
At TravelGooru, we help with all the logistics that precede international travel. We are here to make all your reservations, compare the costs of various flights and hotels to make sure that you get the best deal. We search, compare, and save on your travel expense. If you wish to take a trip to South Africa anytime soon and are scared of the process, you can simply contact us.
We will make sure that your trip is one filled with pleasure bereft of the stress of planning.