8 Guiding Tips to Travel Around South Africa

South Africa is fast emerging as one of the most popular tourist destinations globally. The varying landscapes in the country are attracting thousands of tourists each and every year. The culture in there is pretty diverse which makes it an even more interesting place to explore. Whether you’re looking for adventure or whether you’re looking to explore the wildlife, South Africa has it all. It is also a pretty challenging place to navigate. That is why it is important to plan your trip in advance.


We will today share with you 8 tips which will guide you in exploring South Africa in its entirety. We will not only go into the details of the regions which you should explore but the precautions which you should take in order to explore the country easily.


Travel Around South Africa


Go for Backpacking


In order to explore the real South Africa, it is a good idea to go backpacking. This region of the world is a backpacker’s delight due to the varying geography and affordable accommodation options. You need to, however, keep a few tips in mind when you start your backpacking trip. These are:


  • Make sure you explore the Wild Coast: Wild Coast is one of the best regions in South Africa to explore. If you’re an adventure lover, this is the region that you should definitely visit.


  • Go for car rentals: The public transport system here is not that efficient. The best way to explore is to rent a car. This will provide you with complete freedom while exploring the country.


  • Fly in and fly out from different cities: Tthe fare to fly into one city and fly out of the country from different cities is almost the same. Thus, you can arrive in the country in Cape Town and fly out of Johannesburg. When you do that, it will become easier for you to avoid any internal flights.


  • Prepare your budget in advance: The native currency is the South African Rand is pretty weak. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to prepare a proper budget for your travel expenses in advance. You have to include things like food, car rental, tourist attraction tickets, accommodation, and miscellaneous expenses. When you are able to prepare the budget in advance, it will be easier for you to explore the country without any problem.


  • Explore the lesser-known destinations: You need to keep in mind that rather than just exploring Cape Town and Johannesburg, it is a much better idea to explore the destinations which are lesser-known. When you explore the lesser-known destinations, you will be able to explore them in their entirety.

Thus, when you’re backpacking in Australia it is important to follow these few tips. It is one of the best countries to go on a backpacking trip.


Do Not Miss Western Cape


In the Western Cape Province, horses Cape Town as well as garden route. That is why; it is one of the main areas which you should definitely explore. Even when you’re on a short holiday, these 2 places should be definitely explored.


Cape Town is one of the most famous South African cities. The natives are also pretty well coming. There are multiple tourist attractions to explore in and around Cape Town like:


  • Cape Peninsula
  • Table Mountain
  • Stellenbosch wine country


While the city of Cape Town is pretty affluent but you will find plenty of diversity in the smaller villages nearby. These are not as affluent. However, if you want to explore the native culture and traditions, these are a must-visit. On the other hand, if you want to try out some adventurous activities like shark cave diving or whale watching, you should head over to Hermanus which is a 90-minute ride away from Cape Town. It is also famous for its plenty of water sports.


The town of the garden route and wilderness are also pretty famous. The Garden route consists of beautiful beaches along with forests and plenty of green landscapes. Wilderness is perfect for hiking as well as kayaking. The Storms River town is famous for the tallest bungee jump. Thus, if you want to try out bungee jumping, this is another town that you should definitely visit. All in all, there are plenty of towns and cities which you can visit in the province of Western Cape. That is why; you should not miss exploring this province.


Head Over to the Eastern Cape


Wild Coast is part of the Eastern Cape Province. It is an adventure lover’s paradise. It is also a good province to visit for backpackers. One of the destinations which you should definitely explore in this province is the J-Bay. It is famous among surfers as it provides perfect surf breaks. The Addo Elephant Park is also a must-visit. The park is famous for Lions, Buffalo, zebra, and elephants. You have a self-drive option as well as a guided tour option. Kruger is another option that you have for exploring wildlife. Port Elizabeth is the nearest industrial town of Addo.


Coffee Bay is another rural town that you can visit. The place is not commercialized yet and therefore, you will be able to easily explore the natural beauty of the place. If you want to explore life in and around the jungles, Mpande and Port St. Johns are a must-visit. You will be able to cover these places within a couple of days. Thus, this province is definitely worth visiting due to the numerous attractions which it has to offer.


Explore the Beaches in KwaZulu Natal


KwaZulu Natal houses the Shelly Beach which is a scuba diver’s paradise. It is one of the best places in the world to spot sharks. If you love scuba diving, this is the beach to visit. This province also houses the city of Durban. The city of Durban has plenty of shade to it. While not as prosperous as some of the other cities, but it has a unique amalgamation of the low-income neighbourhoods as well as affluent neighbourhoods.


A walking tour will provide you with a clear perspective of the city. It is definitely worth a visit. It is also home to a large Indian population. There are plenty of minorities in Durban. The natives are pretty welcoming and guide you regarding the directions in the popular tourist attractions.


When you head over from Durban to Johannesburg, you will come across the Drakensberg Mountains. The Tugela Falls is also located in this mountain range. From these falls, there is often a hike as well. The mountains are pretty mesmerizing as well. Thus, it is worth it to spend a day hiking as well as explore the mountain range.


These are all the tourist attractions that you should definitely explore when you head over to this province.


Beginner Country


The best thing about South Africa is that it is a backpacker’s paradise. Due to the weak native currency, you can be sure that you will be able to explore the place on a budget. There are plenty of hostels in most of the major cities. Thus, you will not have to spend a significant amount of money in order to explore the country.


Additionally, as long as you are able to stick to the tourist circuit, you will be completely safe and the natives are friendly in most of the tourist cities as well. Thus, there is no problem at all in exploring the country. This is the reason why, if you’re looking to start your backpacking journey, this is the country that you should definitely try out.




You need to keep in mind that the native currency is South African Rand. The cost of the basic necessities is on the lower side. We will share with you some examples.


  • Basic Breakfast costs only 50 rand which is approximately $ 3.
  • A dorm bed costs only 200 rand which is approximately $ 11.
  • Craft beer in costs only 50 rand which is $ 3.


With that being said, there are plenty of luxury accommodation options as well. NoxRentals.com can help you book luxury accommodations in most of the major towns in South Africa quite easily.


When you plan a visit to South Africa, it is a good idea to set a separate budget for each and every aspect of your travel. Even though the local currency is weak, but setting a separate budget will ensure that you do not overspend at any point in time. Some of the overheads which you need to factor in for include:


  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Entry charge at tourist destinations
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance


When you plan for these overheads in advance, it becomes much easier for you to plan your trip within your budget without having to spend anything extra.




Most of the tourist destinations are safe. However, in the countryside, there is a considerable amount of crime as well. There are a few tips which you have to always follow when you explore. These include:


  • You should not be flashy.
  • You should stick to the tourist circuits.
  • You should not let anyone assist you at the ATMs.
  • You should travel in groups as far as possible.


As long as you are able to follow these few safety tips, it will become easier for you to explore without any problem.


Do Not Forget to Get Travel Insurance


Last but not least, you should always opt for travel insurance when planning a trip. This will help you cover medical expenses as well as theft and other such incidents. You will be able to instantly get help as well as guidance from your travel insurance provider in case of any such problem. It would also protect you from any kind of unplanned expenses as well.


There are plenty of insurance providers that you can opt for depending on your country when it comes to getting travel insurance. The premium is pretty minimal and therefore, it is a good idea to always opt for travel insurance when you head over to South Africa.


So, if you want to explore the beautiful country of South Africa, these are the few tips which you should definitely follow. With the help of these 8 tips, you will be able to explore the country without any problem at all.


About Christa Thompson

view all posts

Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

We love hearing your thoughts, stories and adventures. Share them here:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.