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SOUTH AFRICA

Beautiful in every way. Stunning beaches, wildlife, jaw-dropping mountains, and epic sceneries.

Best time to go

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December to February is when the weather is best in South Africa, but the shoulder seasons, September to November and March to May, are just as good.

Currency

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South Africa’s currency is called the Rand. 1 USD is equivalent to 19 South African Rands.

Cape Town

What is load shedding?

Load shedding is scheduled power outages that preserve South Africa's power supply, often for 2 to 6 hours at a time. If you're staying in a hotel or a hostel, they'll most likely have a generator or UPS battery system. If you're staying in an AirBnB or homestay, ask your host what happens during load shedding. Download the app EskomSePush for notifications when load shedding is happening in your area. Make sure to keep flashlights handy and your phone charged. Depending on your provider, cell service goes down during load shedding, so plan ahead.

Book activities through Hyperli.

Download the Entertainer app to save up to 50% on meals. Even after paying the subscription fee, the BOGO savings are huge. Cities are sold separately.

Book safaris on a budget through deal sites, such as Bush Breaks.

Buy a Wild Card if you plan on visiting parks during your trip.

Travel to South Africa

South Africa is a very beautiful place with a very complicated past that affects South Africa’s present. Like anywhere else, there are safe places to go and not-so-safe places. Most likely as a tourist, you won’t be visiting the areas with the highest crime rates.

How to Plan Your Trip to South Africa

Use my South Africa travel guides to plan your perfect trip! Traverse the picturesque mountaintops of the Drakensberg, embark on a safari in Kruger National Park, or explore the rowdy nightlife of Cape Town. Whether you're drawn to happening cities or nature escape, South Africa has something for every type of traveler.

Check out my complete 2-week Cape Town itinerary or read my informative travel guides.

Best Time to Visit South Africa

Summer (December-March): During the hot summer months, temperatures rise, offering ideal conditions for beachgoers and outdoor lovers. Explore the scenic beauty of the Garden Route or indulge in wine tasting in the Cape Winelands.

Winter (June-August): With better visibilty in the bush, the winter months are popular among safari-lovers. Witness the spectacular wildlife in national parks like Kruger or explore the cultural landmarks of Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Autumn (September-November): The rains bring lush landscapes and vibrant flora to South Africa. Witness the blossoming of wildflowers in the Western Cape or embark on a scenic drive along the Panorama Route. While rain showers are frequent, they often provide relief from the heat and contribute to the country's natural beauty.

Food, Culture, and Religion in South Africa

Food: South African cuisine is a fusion of flavors influenced by indigenous African, European, and Asian cultures. Sample traditional dishes like bobotie, bunny chow, or biltong, and savor the diverse flavors of the Rainbow Nation. Don't miss the opportunity to enjoy a braai (barbecue) with locals or indulge in a traditional South African potjie.

Culture: South Africa's cultural landscape is as diverse as its people. Immerse yourself in the vibrant street art of Johannesburg, attend a traditional Zulu dance performance in KwaZulu-Natal, or explore the historic neighborhoods of Cape Town. From the colorful Bo-Kaap district to the vibrant township of Soweto, South Africa's cultural heritage is celebrated and diverse throughout the country.

Religion: South Africa is a multicultural society with a wide range of religious beliefs. While Christianity is the predominant religion, there are also significant Muslim, Hindu, and traditional African religious communities. Explore historic churches in the Western Cape, visit Hindu temples in Durban, or witness traditional rituals in the Eastern Cape's rural villages.

Safety and Travel Advice in South Africa

South Africa is a very beautiful place with a very complicated past that affects South Africa’s present. Like anywhere else, there are safe places to go and not-so-safe places. Most likely as a tourist, you won’t be visiting the areas with the highest crime rates.

Crime and safety in South Africa:

Don’t leave your phone or valuables unattended, especially while at a restaurant or at the beach. Keep your phone, wallet, and purse at the front of your body or in your front pockets. Don’t walk around alone at night. If you are enjoying Cape Town’s night life, it’s better to take an Uber from stop to stop instead of walking.

Road safety in South Africa:

When you're driving, keep your windows up and doors locked, especially at stoplights and intersections. Don’t keep your purse or phone near the windows of your car. Keep your valuables (even shoes) in the trunk of your car while parked.

Travel Insurance

Don't forget travel insurance for your trip! Heymondo covers medical emergencies, theft, delays, cancellations, lost luggage, and more with 24/7 worldwide assistance and medical chat. Get 5% off here!

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