South Africa is the land of diversity, Mandela's rainbow nation. Explore magnificent landscapes, walk on the wild side with unbelievable safari experiences, discover unique cultures and a diverse people. Regardless of what you do, you'll leave a changed person.
Where to stay
Your options are endless. From 5-star hotel chains, to boutique lodges, BnBs and much more, it all comes down to preference. What do you want to spend, where do you want to be, and what kind of experience are you looking for? And finding reviews on these accommodations is as easy as opening your browser and googling their name.
You can spend about R200 a night for a hostel stay and up to a couple of thousand rand for a night's stay in some of the more popular and high-end hotels.
How to get around
You’ll have no difficulty getting around South Africa. From catching a flight to hiring a car or buying a train ticket, travel is easy. Within the city the best mode of transport is by car. You can hail a cab or a bus (particularly in Johannesburg and Cape Town), alternatively hire a car, request a gps and explore on your own.
If you’re not comfortable driving in a foreign country, sedan taxis are a great way to get around. They offer metered, fixed prices, setting you back about R12-R15/km. If you have the Uber app, you can quickly arrange an Uber driver to pick you up. But, prices can escalate during peak travel periods, so plan your trip carefully. Golden Arrow buses are also a cheap way to travel city centre routes, unfortunately they usually only operate during the day.
What to eat
South Africans love to braai. It’s a chance to gather friends and family, light a charcoal or wood-burning fire, roast their choice of meat, drink beer and be merry. Anyone visiting the country has to try it.
Other popular foods include bunny chow (a mild to hot beef or lamb curry placed inside half a loaf of bread), koeksisters and melktert (two delicious treats not to be missed), mielie-meal (a quick and fulling breakfast which costs very little), and bobotie (a tasty traditional dish). If you’re open to trying something new, chicken feet, tripe and sheep’s head are a must.
It’s also a world-renowned wine producing country. Wherever you go, order some local wine, you won’t be disappointed.
Your daily cost is largely determined by what activities you have planned. Roughly speaking you can spend as little as R500 a day to as much as R1800. Days spent at the beach or in a forest cost very little, whereas, hiring a game drive vehicle or visiting table mountain will set you back a few hundred rand.
A sit down lunch can range from R80 to R150 per person. Add in a beer or glass of wine, and you can pay anywhere between R15 and R50. For a cheaper alternative, there are plenty fast food joints capable of delivering a hearty meal at no more than R30.
It is customary to tip in restaurants and at gas stations. We’d advise at least tipping 10% of the bill.
The local currency is the Rand. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, and you're never far from an ATM. We do caution you not to accept unsolicited help when withdrawing money, and to use the ATMs indoors.