The rainbow nation, South Africa, is one of the most diverse destinations on earth. The country is known for its thousands of miles of coastline, vibrant culture, vast mountain ranges, and profusely hospitable people. So, here is our South Africa travel guide that will help you navigate the ins and outs of planning your trip to South Africa. See why September in South Africa is the best time to visit and which trips and tours are worthwhile considering.
Starting in the north, you can sink your teeth into the bush, where safari holidays in South Africa are the name of the game and the perfect starting point to your trip. To the east, you will be in a tug-of-war between sublime warm coastal waters and the dramatic verdant scenes of the Drakensberg as you explore the best national parks in South Africa. Pass by the Garden Route to reach the Western regions. These are known for their vast arid expanses and the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, which is one of the most underrated corners of the country.
Cape Town is the jewel of South Africa with world-class food, shopping, and adventure experiences. There is no corner of the country that is not worth visiting and the list of things to do in South Africa is borderline overwhelming. Work your way through this travel guide to get the inside scoop on all the must-do tours and how to spend 10 or more days in South Africa to ensure you don’t miss a single beat.
Top Destinations in South Africa
Discover the highlights of South Africa.
Go on a Safari in Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park is the pride and joy of South Africa’s world-renowned natural heritage. It is here where you will go searching for the “Big 5” and feel the heartbeat of the African bushveld while at it. Waking up to the song of the savannah is an unforgettable experience that should be felt by everyone on their quintessential Safari run in South Africa. View Tours
Explore the Wonders of the Garden Route
The Garden Route boasts some of the most scenic coastal roads in the world. Your journey there will take you through lush tropical forests and unspoiled stretches of coastline, winding through charming towns and past blissful panoramic viewpoints. The beauty and character of the Garden Route is undeniable and exploring it is an enchanting journey that will leave an indelible mark on your soul. View Tours
Sip Wine in Cape Town
Embark on an unforgettable wine-tasting journey in Cape Town and discover the art of savoring the finest vintages. Indulge in the exquisite flavors of Cape Town, where breathtaking natural beauty and a rich wine culture converge. Sample world-class wines, take in stunning vineyard landscapes, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this captivating city. View Tours
What to do in South Africa
Read all about the top things to do in South Africa.
Whale Watching in Hermanus: The Ultimate Guide
Selected as one of the top 12 whale watching locations in the world by WWF, and with a location easily accessible from Cape Town, Hermanus is a prime destination for those hoping for a close encounter with some of the largest animals on our planet. Herman ...Read more
14 Things to do in Garden Route National Park
Garden Route National Park in South Africa is one of its top destinations as it is different from many popular South African national parks that are known for wildlife safari and game viewing. Consisting of sprawling coastlines, dense forests, scenic vist ...Read more
10 Must-Try Traditional South African Foods
South Africa is a beautiful country with stunning natural surroundings, a deep and twisted history, and some mouth-watering traditional foods that cannot be missed. So, while you are busy seeing, doing, and experiencing everything South Africa has to offe ...Read more
South Africa at a Glance
Quick facts about South Africa.
South Africa has three capital cities. Pretoria is the executive capital city, although many people mistake Johannesburg as the capital. Pretoria is where you will find the official seat of the government, while Bloemfontein in the center of the country is the judicial capital and houses the high court. Cape Town is the legislative capital, where the South African parliament is located.
1.22 million km². South Africa is a large country with airports in each major city. Public transport is unreliable and car hire or e-hailing apps are the best way to get around.
+27. If you want to contact someone in Cape Town, you will have to add 21 at the end of that.
South Africa uses the Rand and the currency code is ZAR. ATM and banking services are widely available. There are four major banks in the country, all offering reasonable rates and safe banking. Seek out FNB, ABSA, Standard Bank, or Capitec banks for the most efficient service.
O.R. Tambo International Airport is the main international airport serving domestic and international travelers. It is located in Johannesburg, 50 kilometers from the capital, Pretoria. CODE: JNB CLOSEST CITY: Johannesburg
Most visitors can get a visa on arrival at the border which lasts for 90 days. There are some exceptions and we advise travelers to refer to their country-specific travel advisory before booking a trip.
South Africa has a whopping 11 official languages. English is widely spoken across the country and everything from shops to road signs and broadcast media is available in English.
The nationwide emergency number is 10111. You can also dial 112 or 10177 for the fire department.
“Braai” culture is a big deal in South Africa and is regarded as the number one national pastime. Come rain or shine, you will find a fire burning and meat grilling. There is even a national holiday dedicated to this culinary culture.
When to visit South Africa
Read the below travel guides to find the best time to visit South Africa.
- Jan Avg Daily: 26 ° C Avg Nightly: 16 ° C
- Feb Avg Daily: 26 ° C Avg Nightly: 16 ° C
- Mar Avg Daily: 25 ° C Avg Nightly: 14 ° C
- Apr Avg Daily: 22 ° C Avg Nightly: 12 ° C
- May Avg Daily: 20 ° C Avg Nightly: 10 ° C
- Jun Avg Daily: 18 ° C Avg Nightly: 7 ° C
- Jul Avg Daily: 17 ° C Avg Nightly: 7 ° C
- Aug Avg Daily: 18 ° C Avg Nightly: 8 ° C
- Sep Avg Daily: 19 ° C Avg Nightly: 9 ° C
- Oct Avg Daily: 21 ° C Avg Nightly: 11 ° C
- Nov Avg Daily: 23 ° C Avg Nightly: 13 ° C
- Dec Avg Daily: 25 ° C Avg Nightly: 15 ° C
Best Time To Visit South Africa
South Africa is an incredibly diverse country — one that has escaped the notice of many a traveler in the past. From the extremely cosmopolitan Cape Town, to the raw natural beauty of the Karoo Desert, South Africa is chock–full of adventures ...Read more
South Africa in August: Weather, Tips & Whale Watching
As winter starts to loosen its grip on the country, the weather in South Africa in August takes a turn for the better. Long, sunny days start to beat the crisp morning chill and the usually stormy Cape Town also sees light at the end of the tunnel. The te ...Read more
South Africa in October: Weather, Tips & Beach Fun
Spring is a great time to visit any country and South Africa is no exception. The month of October is when spring ends and summer starts in this part of the world, and traveling to South Africa in October means enjoying warm temperatures that are not over ...Read more
Where to go in South Africa
Unravel the top destinations to visit in South Africa.
Gansbaai: The Best Shark Cage Diving in South Africa
Stare your own mortality in the eye when getting up close and personal with one of nature’s most majestic creatures, the great white shark. Great white sharks are by far one of the most elegant marine creatures on the planet and can be found in just ...Read more
Robben Island Tour: South Africa's Most Significant Historic Site
Visiting South Africa is an overall enriching travel experience, made more so by the country's fascinating history. Along with intriguing wildlife safaris, sun-kissed beaches, and breath-taking views, South Africa has a rich story to tell - of oppression, ...Read more
Top 7 Holiday Destinations in South Africa
A trip to South Africa is perfect for anyone who enjoys glorious sunshine, has a knack for adventure, and wishes to explore diverse cultures. The country has so much to offer — from big five safaris, scenic road trips, rewarding multi-day hikes ...Read more
How long to stay in South Africa
Read about the ideal duration to stay in South Africa.
Great South Africa Itineraries: How Many Days to Spend?
If you’re looking for a country with sunshine, adventure, wildlife, and wine, these South Africa itineraries will have you racing to plan your next trip. In one unforgettable vacation, experience exhilarating face-to-face encounters with wildlife as ...Read more
One Week in South Africa: Our Recommendations
In addition to its ‘Big Five’ population, a trip to South Africa will include jaw-dropping coastlines, sun-soaked beaches, dramatic mountains, and idyllic towns. If you plan it well, then one week in South Africa is enough time to explore ...Read more
10 Days in South Africa: Our Recommendations
Home to roaming lions, leopards, rhinos, and elephants, a trip to South Africa offers the opportunity to explore wildlife in a way few countries can match. 10 days in South Africa opens up a lot of opportunities and is a great length of time to traverse m ...Read more
Top Safaris in South Africa
Read the ultimate safari guides for South Africa.
Best Safaris Near Cape Town
Any trip to South Africa is incomplete without a tour of Cape Town – the city of sun-kissed beaches and magnificent mountains. There are plenty of things to do in South Africa, and Cape Town has a lot to offer. For the ultimate holiday in the countr ...Read more
10 Safari Holidays in South Africa: Itinerary Possibilities
South Africa is one of the continent’s pre-eminent safari destinations, and while catching sight of some of Africa’s most distinctive wildlife in its natural habitat is always an emotive experience, there is so much more to the country than ju ...Read more
Recommended Luxury Safari Itineraries in South Africa
South Africa has a long-standing reputation for the very best high-end wilderness adventures. While the wildlife-rich country is already acclaimed for the regular safaris offered in its several national parks, a luxurious safari in South Africa is the cr& ...Read more
South Africa Tour and Holiday Packages
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FAQs for South Africa
Read the most frequently asked questions and answers about traveling to South Africa below.
- What is the best way to travel to South Africa?
- How much does it cost to tour South Africa?
- How many days are enough for South Africa?
- What is the best month to go to South Africa?
- Is vacationing in South Africa safe?
Sustainable travel — How to travel through South Africa responsibly
In line with Bookmundi’s vision, we wish to provide our travelers with a sustainable travel experience through South Africa. As part of this effort, we carbon offset any South Africa tour that you purchase through us. Read more details about our carbon offsetting program.
Here’s what you can do to travel South Africa more responsibly:
- Carbon-offset your transport to South Africa via Emirates. The moment your tour starts in South Africa, and provided that you have purchased your tour through Bookmundi, we will carbon-offset your tour from its starting point to its ending point.
- South Africa has an increasing problem with recycling and donating to an organization like Wasteaid.org helps promote a circular economy in local communities.
South Africa travel tips and insights
- Wear something that does not draw a lot of attention.
- Come prepared with malaria pills, though most of South Africa is malaria-free.
- Lock the doors and windows of your car and ignore anyone who approaches you.
- Mobile coverage is pretty widespread.
- Take the off-the-beaten paths on your South Africa tour for the real travel experience.
Ready to customize your South Africa Vacation
Book your trip when it is perfectly designed and customized, just for you.
- Victoria Erskine Travel Expert in Kenya & South Africa
- Remondy Kabura Travel Expert in South Africa
- Carla Ferreira Travel Expert in Mauritius & South Africa
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