Travel Tips South Africa

Hiker on Mountain in Midlands of KwaZulu Natal

Planning an Adventure Holiday in South Africa

The Vast Country of South Africa is the southernmost African Country, and its diverse ecosystems offer long summers. It is brimming with spectacular scenery ranging from Golden coastlines, lush green regions, and beautiful Mountain ranges, and it is known for its wildlife and National Parks. Here are some advice when planning your adventure holidays to South Africa.

Picturesque green mountain range Midlands Meander Kwazulu Natal South Africa
Mountain range in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa

South Africa at a Glance

The Sunny Country of South Africa borders Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe on the North, Mozambique on the East, and Swaziland (Eswatini) on the North East enclaves Lesotho. Known as the world’s 24th most populous nation, the country covers an area of 1,221,037 square kilometres with over 60 million people and 11 official languages. 

How Safe Is Cape Town and South Africa

FAQs are: How safe is Cape Town, which are the Safe areas in Johannesburg, and Is Pretoria safer than Johannesburg? Also, which are the safest place to live in South Africa, Without any sugar-coating, South Africa has a reputation for its high crime rate, which unfortunately increases yearly. Many people, especially foreigners, like to say it’s due to Apartheid… although apartheid came to an end 28 years ago.

Sadly, everything in the Country is degrading, and crime and corruption increase daily, mainly due to mismanagement and corruption-hungry citizens. Poverty increases, but it worsens because many uneducated people have children only to receive social grants.

Safety Tips when Visiting South Africa

These safety tips are for savvy travellers. As a South African who was born here and lived here all my life, also travelled around the Country, I am sure I know much more than some bloggers from other Countries writing posts for Top travel Blogs about how safe South Africa is. If you’re not living here and visited the Country only on holiday, you can’t talk.

  • Use common sense, and do not flash money or any valuables around.
  • Don’t leave anything in a vehicle, not even the car’s boot.
  • If you cannot take valuables with you and look after them, leave them at home.
  • Do not trust anyone, not even the Police, as they might not be police.
  • Don’t wander alone at night or visit deserted regions while travelling through South Africa.
  • Do pay to wrap your bags in durable Plastic at the airports in South Africa, as you won’t want to arrive on the other side to see that your stuff was stolen.

Tips for driving in South Africa

Safety awareness begins before your travel adventure holidays to South Africa. Therefore, make arrangements beforehand, for example, agreements regarding who will pick you up, where, where and how.

  • Rent a car from a reputable Company and keep the car windows closed and all the doors locked. If the Police ask you to stop, open the window only a little.
  • Do not put bags or items on the seat while driving; lock them in the boot.
  • Confirm that the Uber service you called exists before entering the Uber vehicle.
  • Although many cases happen during the daytime, avoid driving after dark. A regular occurrence is when so-called police officers force you to stop. They then either ask you to pay a bribe or take you somewhere where you get moved to draw or transfer all your money. So, one can’t be too cautious and don’t fall for any scams.
  • Please ensure you know the route when you drive to your destination so you do not become one of the statistics. Recently, a doctor from another country was shot dead before his family when he left Cape Town airport and incidentally took the wrong turn-off. Unfortunately, you do not have to be a threat to someone for them to kill you. Your life means nothing to them.

Tipping in South Africa

Regarding beggars and car watches (people so-called check your car), the reason they do not look for work is that by you tipping them, they get more money by begging (standing on the street) than going to work. I have insurance and do pay for a tracking device in my car. Please tell me why I must pay someone to watch my vehicle.

When is the best time to visit South Africa?

South Africa is an all-year-round destination, depending on where you want to go and the experiences you wish to have. However, the high season and the busiest months are December and January due to the primary school holidays.

Weather & Seasons of South Africa

This Country is famous for its excellent climate with long summers and ideal weather for the perfect adventure holidays in South Africa. September is Springtime, and the blossoms already start to bloom in August. Summer lasts until April, with the highest temperatures from December to the end of February. April is the start of Autumn, and the winter lasts until August, with June and July the coldest months.

Currency & Language

The local currency is the South African rand (ZAR), but most shops have Credit card facilities. English is mainly spoken, although there are 11 languages in total. Tips are not compulsory, and I suggest you tip according to the service.

Cape Town


Also called The Mother City, Cape Town is one of the most popular regions to endeavour for a vacation in South Africa. Perfect for solo travellers and those looking for Family adventure holidays in South Africa. Although December to mid-April is the most popular time to visit Cape Town, it depends on your desired experience.

Experience the Cape Peninsula – driving along Chapman’s Peak, stopping at the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Point, and getting close to Penguins at Boulders Beach and Simons Town. Besides that, explore the Cape Town Waterfront and Restaurants.

Things to do in Cape Town in Winter

Don’t let the winter season put you off. The Franschhoek Wine Tram hop-on hop-off tour is an excellent way to discover the picturesque valley, vineyards, and breathtaking scenery. This way, you can enjoy the top wines with cheeses on the Stellenbosch, the Paarl and Franschhoek Wine Routes.

Best Time to Visit Cape Town

Although you can expect hot summer weather from November to March, December and January are high season and very busy. The ideal time is March and April.

One day in Cape Town

If you only have one day in Cape Town, it is difficult to suggest anything as I don’t know your preferences and interests. If you contact me in advance, I can assist you in making the best of your day. If this is not possible, I suggest you check out the following:

Unique Restaurants in Cape Town

Cape Town is Huge; we all know that. So, let me know what and where you are heading, and I’ll assist you with information on the Best Eateries in Cape Town.

Gauteng

Johannesburg & Pretoria

If you want to visit a city and are interested in history, visit the city of Johannesburg in the Gauteng province. However, I encourage you not to observe the region alone unless you are familiar with the area. How safe is Johannesburg? The safest way to observe the part of Johannesburg and its surroundings is on a tour with a reliable Travel guide. Check out prices and read reviews on this variety of the Best Tourist Attractions in Johannesburg.

Besides the Union Buildings and a few Museums, there is nothing much except for the Game Reserves. Do not visit the City of Pretoria alone, as you’ll likely get mugged. Instead, book a tour.

Self-Catering Game Lodges near Pretoria

A mere 30-minute drive from Pretoria, in the Gauteng Province, Dinokeng Nature Reserve is only an hour from Oliver Tambo International Airport. Another gem you cannot afford to miss is the incredible Pretoria Nature and Game Reserve.

KwaZulu Natal

The beautiful Province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is the easternmost province of South Africa. Characterized by a subtropical coastline, beautiful grasslands on the eastern side and the spectacular Drakensberg Mountain range on the Western side. KwaZulu-Natal is an all-year-round destination famous for its beautiful Coastline with golden sandy beaches and the warm water of the Indian Ocean. But, that is not all South Africa’s Natal Province has to offer. The region also provides impressive, exciting places, hikes, and attractions that will keep you hooked.

South Coast, Kwa-Zulu Natal

The stunning KZN South Coast and the KZN North Coast are ideal for any adventure holiday in South Africa. Its long, hot summers and Indian ocean waters provide the perfect beach Holiday. But that is not all. Kwazulu has some of the best National Parks and Game Reserves with wildlife.

Are you looking for the Best Family Getaways to Kwa-Zulu Natal, a Beach Holiday resort, or just a getaway in KZN? You will find it here on the South Coast of Kwazulu Natal. See info on self-catering accommodation on the South Coast.

The Midlands of KZN

Altogether, do not miss exploring the famous KZN Midlands is another piece of paradise you cannot afford not to explore, and different to the Coast but uniquely so. Then, the dramatic Drakensberg Mountain region will leave you breathless. All these parts of Natal offer an array of attractions and, activities, places to see, and each is unique in its sense, catering to any type of traveller.

Zulu Rock Lodge is high on a mountain overlooking the rolling green hills of Babanango Game Reserve’s 22,000ha of African Wilderness. Home to many wildlife species, from bushbuck, kudu, zebra, giraffes, Rhino, leopard, buffalo, hyena, and hippos. If you want to immerse yourself in the distinctive heritage of the Zulu people, this is the place.

Game Reserves in KwaZulu Natal

Some of the Best Game Reserves in South Africa is situated in KZN. Therefore, do not miss visiting the following impressive Nature Reserves and Canyon in southern Kwazulu Natal.

KwaZulu Natal Drakensberg

A bit of history: The Drakensberg rises to more than 11,400 feet (3,475 metres) and extends roughly north- and southeast for about 700 miles (1,125 km) parallel to the southeastern coast of South Africa. With its many Game Reserves and National Parks, the uKhahlamba/Drakensberg Park was declared a UNESCO WORLD Heritage site.

What to do in the Drakensberg

The Drakensberg Mountains and things to do in the region are entirely overwhelming. Besides the fantastic places to stay, there are unending activities and things to do.

To follow shortly – Our most incredible time at Dragon Peaks Mountain Resort.

Game Lodges in North West

Etali Safari Lodge, located in the Madikwe Game Reserve in the Northern Province, is about three and a half hours from Johannesburg and is highly rated. Moreover, it is only 40km from the Capital of Botswana, Gaborone. To extend your journey further in Africa, check out these activities and Game Lodges near Potchefstroom.

Mpumalanga

The Province of Mpumalanga, formerly and most known as Eastern Transvaal, is the 2nd smallest province in South Africa. Known as one of the Top Holiday destinations in South Africa, Mpumalanga borders Limpopo, Gauteng, and KwaZulu-Natal within South Africa. As well as Swaziland, “The Place Where the Sun Rises”, and Mozambique to the East.

Next to the world-renowned Kruger National Park in the Lowveld of Mpumalanga lies the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, which consists of a group of private game reserves. Some of the best-rated African Wild Life Safari Lodges in Sabi-Sands are Arathusa Safari Lodge, Chitwa Chitwa Lodge, and Ulusaba Rock Lodge, owned by Sir Richard Branson.


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10 Comments

  1. Support Check

  2. Yes you’re right. Thanks for taking the time to read my article and your comment.

  3. South Africa is on my bucket list, especially visiting the Masai Mara. For any wildlife lover, Africa is an unexplored treasure. Also, going shark diving would be an experience for a lifetime. Africa has got many experiences to offer to travelers. Well written article.

  4. I think Darcee, my wife would love Cape Town the most as she loves the outdoors but isnt much of an active traveler. So spending time in the city or exploring the winelands would be a bonus for her. But as for me, sign me up for Kwazulu Natal South Coast! With all the active adventures and the safari parks nearby, this would be a true bucket list destination for me. I actually have it on my list to attempt Shark Diving, so this may be the spot for sure!

  5. Glad you enjoyed my post and experience more of Africa soon.

  6. Trust you had a great time at Sun City, and I hope you can return to experience more of this beautiful country. Thanks for commenting.

  7. Thanks for visiting my site – Hope you can return again one day. There are so many lodges with wildlife that you don’t have to visit Kruger to see the big 5. Check out my Post on DINOKENG SAFARI LODGE, for SHARK DIVING see GETAWAYS IN KWA-ZULU NATAL, and for some of the amazing waterfalls and beautiful mountains, see my post on MIDLANDS MEANDER.

  8. South Africa sounds like an incredible place to visit! I appreciated the safety tips and detailed explanations of what there is to do in your post. I’ve been to a wildlife reserve in Uganda, but would love to visit one of those you mentioned in South Africa.

  9. I wish I really explored S. Africa. Went there on honeymoon but only stayed at Sun City. Wish we went all over also. This post makes me wanna go back.

  10. We spent several weeks in Cape Town and had a few days in other areas. But we are sad we missed Johannesburg and a chance to do a real overnight safari in Kruger. We were surprised at how much we loved South Africa. And will definitely plan to return one day. Hubby wants to do shark diving and I want to chase the waterfalls.