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Planning your next trip and thinking about heading to South Africa? You’re definitely in for quite the adventure! Whether you’re looking for a trip where your belly will be filled with an enticing cuisine, magical scenery and an appreciation for nature, or a trip that will bring out the adrenaline junkie in you, South Africa has it all!
If that’s the kind of trip you’re looking for, then here are a few tips to consider:
Don’t underestimate the size of the country
South Africa is quite a big country and getting around can take more time than anticipated. For example, getting from Johannesburg to Cape Town can take around 13 hours by car, however, flights within South Africa are really cheap and you can find really good deals on Travelstart as it’s one of the largest travel websites used in South Africa. With flights taking roughly 2 hours you can do a lot more exploring than you initially intended making your trip full of activities and adventure.
Take safety into consideration
In general, South Africa has been a destination just like any other place, meaning that there are certain areas where you need to be extra cautious, especially at night. You can go about your day normally, but just make sure you Uber your way around to avoid walking alone at night and prevent being put in a situation of any danger. It is also recommended that you stay within the city center and always ask the locals whether the destination you have in mind is safe or not.
Don’t book tickets for Table Mountain too far in advance
If you’re a frequent traveler, you know that booking the main tourist attractions in advance is always necessary, not only to ensure the availability, but also to get really good deals. While this tip is one that is always recommended, when it comes to Table Mountain it’s not a very good idea. That’s because it’s very difficult to factor in the weather as there’s no guarantee that the famous tablecloth will appear on the day you’re planning to go as the weather might be too windy or raining. It would be a shame to have spent all that money and wasted a day going all the way up, only to be met with a heavy cloud blocking the view. This can be avoided by checking the weather forecast a week in advance and if the skies are predicted to be clear, book beforehand to make sure you find tickets available.
Don’t forget to tip
Understanding the culture of the place you’re visiting can help prepare you for your visit and make sure you know what is expected of you as a tourist. Tipping is a huge deal in the South African culture and it is the norm to tip around 10-15% of your bill. Even if you’re in an Uber or filling up your tank, tipping even something as little as 10 Rands will be expected as well as appreciated by the locals.
Take care of your water consumption
Water is scarce in South Africa and so it’s important to be aware of your water consumption. Don’t keep the tap running, don’t take long baths and only use water when necessary. There were fears that water would run out by 2018, however, they were lucky enough to be able to have the situation under control. Still, that is no reason not to limit your consumption and respect the culture’s struggles.
Go to Safaris
When visiting national parks, don’t try to feed the animals as they can become extremely vicious and your safety could be in danger. Also, there are certain parks such as Kruger National Park that require you to take malaria pills in advance. Do your research properly before you decide on the safari you’re thinking of taking and make sure you’re fully prepared.
You might feel a little odd when a complete stranger offers to watch your car for you while you’re running an errand, but this is completely normal in South Africa. Due to the high unemployment rate, many locals have resorted to car minding in exchange for a few Rands just to be able to put food on the table. So, while you might feel uncomfortable at first, the locals would really appreciate your help if you go along with it and spare a few Rands for a good cause.
Make the most out of your trip by being prepared and doing your research thoroughly. Understanding the culture, the tips and tricks of the country will allow you to plan efficiently, ensure your safety and even save money when necessary. Now, you’re ready to start enjoying your South African trip!