Fly to South Africa
One of the largest countries in the world, South Africa plays host to an astounding mix of climates and cultures, combined with the most advanced infrastructure in Africa. From wildlife-rich savanna to vast stretches of coastline and bustling urban centres – South Africa has it all.
Where to stay
There are a number of national hotel chains, with Best Western at the top of the range at around R590 a night, City Lodge in the middle at around R400 and Formula 1 and Protea at the cheaper (R249 per room for up to 3 people and R200 per person respectively).
B&Bs and hostels are both common and cheap – a night at a hostel is about R160. A 5 star system is used across the country.
How to get around
Generally the best option for inner city travel in South Africa is by car – certainly in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Buses in Johannesburg can be flagged down anywhere, so are best left to those familiar with local geography. Sedan taxis offer metered, fixed prices.
A metered taxi in Cape Town will set you back around R8-R10/km. Golden Arrow buses are a cheap way to travel city centre routes but usually only operate during the day. The local train service Operator MetroRail is popular with locals, but tourists are advised to stay away.
What to eat
Native cuisine is largely meat and bread based. Weekends and social occasions are dominated by Braaivleis – meat roasted over open wood or charcoal fire, like a barbecue.
Bunny chows – half a loaf of bread with the inside replaced by lamb or beef curry – are essential when visiting the KwaZulu Natal region.
South Africa is a world-renowned wine producer, so be sure to sample some local wine.
Roughly speaking, daily budgets for travel in South Africa range from R400 at the low end, R800 mid-range to R1500 and upwards at the high end.
A sit down lunch will range from R50 to R100 per person, with a beer setting you back anywhere between R7 and R18. Fast food is around R20.
Tipping is customary in restaurants and gas-stations and is usually around 10% of the bill.
The local currency is the Rand. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are widespread. However, be careful to use ATMs indoors and do not accept unsolicited help withdrawing money.