South Africa Travel Tips
Travelling in South Africa is a life changing experience. Before you plan your trip, ensure you have read the following South Africa Travel Tips so you have all the information you need to make your journey an easier and more enjoyable one. Find out about the weather, how to get to and around in South Africa, the time difference and the currency.
South Africa's hottest and busiest time is during the UK winter months of November to March. This is also the busiest period for tourists and locals. For a cooler temperature and less busy period, the UK summer months of July and August are a good time to go. When I visited South Africa, in July and August the weather was mainly sunny and warm but not too hot, so this was the best time for me to travel. It was perfect for all activities. It was nice and quiet at this time too, and this is the cheapest time to visit. I made sure I read many South Africa Travel Tips before I travelled to ensure I travelled at the best time for me, which was July and August, as I prefer the milder temperatures.
The main airports are Johannesburg International Airport and Cape Town International. Flights normally take 12 hours. I flew from Manchester to Amsterdam to Johannesburg on the way there, and on the way back from Cape Town extra £50 and extra 2 hours to Johannesburg, to Amsterdam back to Manchester. On the way there, this took about 12 hours and was all during the day so left first thing in the morning and got there in the evening, but on the way back I spent about 36 hours getting home as I had long delays between my different connections.
As a general guide, public transport in South Africa is not very reliable but the roads are good so it is easy to hire a car, or the Baz Bus is a very affordable hop-on-hop-off bus service for backpackers, which is an excellent way to meet likeminded people. You can also book an organized tour, which can also be very economical. I used all three methods of transport during my travels. This was a great way to see South Africa by splitting the cost and having more freedom to go where we wanted. The best South Africa Travel Tip I can give you is to make sure you trust people before putting yourself in vulnerable positions.
South Africa is 2 hours ahead of GMT and 1 hour ahead of BST, so when I travelled in the summer, I only had a time difference of 1 hour. That was excellent, as it meant no jet lag
The South African currency is the Rand. At the time of writing, the Rand is weaker than the pound, Euro and Dollar, which means you get a lot for your money. Eating out, accommodation and top attractions will be very affordable. Credit Cards can be used in most areas. I remember staying in the most beautiful hostel in the Drakensburg Mountains having a room to myself with gorgeous views, all for the equivalent of about £3 per night. There are many hostel reviews online you can read to decide where to stay. I ate out most nights and the quality of food was excellent in most places for very little money.