The simple answer is no. You aren’t going to book international or even domestic flights to South Africa and have a true taste of what the country and its people are all about if you simply choose the first tour or package that you come across. Sometimes, designing your own trip (and activities) and booking your own flights is the best way to ensure that you have a true, authentic travel experience.
Demystifying the term “authentic travel experience”
What it means is to set aside the hype of visiting the world’s “top” attractions and seeing the things that everyone seems to be checking off some sort of universal bucket list. Yes, top tourist attractions are great, but international travel (and local travel) should be about so much more.
It should be about living and interacting with the locals -as a local. That is a true authentic travel experience. When you see the destination or country through the eyes and opportunities of the actual locals.
So, have you ever had an authentic travel experience? If not, now is the time to select your destination and use our flight search feature to find cheap flights international and domestic flights to South Africa today!
South Africa Delivers Authentic Travel Experiences Effortlessly
South Africa is a diverse country that doesn’t need to try hard to deliver the type of travel experience that allows tourists to connect with locals, meet new interesting people, enjoy the local cuisine and participate in community activities and attractions. If you are planning to book flights to South Africa and enjoy an authentic South African safari, here are five authentic travel experiences you simply must have in the country!
- The Great Trek!
Most travellers have heard about the many spectacular multi-day hikes in South Africa including the Otter Trail, Whale Trail, Fish River Canyon Trail, and the Fanie Botha Trail), but most haven’t heard about the gruelling major long distance trails that offer breathtaking rolling scenery and landscapes and are nothing short of life-changing. If you’re exploring Africa’s rugged terrain, be prepared to go the distance on foot. Try these out:
- The 600km Rim of Africa Trek which runs from Cederberg to the Outiniqua Mountains along the garden route.
- The 400km Eden to Addo Great Corridor which runs from Knysna Forest (where you can stop at the Baviaanskloof World Heritage Site) to the Addo Elephant Park.
- The 256km Tankwa Camino trail of remote Karoo desert, which runs from Calvinia to Ceres. This major trek is considered a “soul journey”.
Eat Like a Local!
True authentic South African cuisine is none other than a braai or Cape Malay dish. It’s not always easy to invite yourself to a local’s braai, but you will find many braai lounges or Chisa Nyama outlets which are run by locals. The Chisa Nyama outlets have no fancy frills and pretences.
Be prepared to sit on the side of the road or at very rustic locations and be served by South African’s who are visibly happy to introduce you to the delights of cultural South African braai food. They are run by locals who will braai your selection of meat for you, while you wait. You don’t get more “local South African” and authentic than that!
There’s nothing more authentic than facing your fears and you will find that South Africa’s towns and cities are jam-packed with opportunities for adrenaline junkies to let loose and go wild. Go shark cage diving, whale watching, bungee jumping, diving, game viewing in open vehicles, rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, and anything else that truly challenges you and entices you out of your comfort zone.
Set Your Creative Soul on Fire at Karoo’s Burning Man Festival!
Imagine a city of tents in the middle of the desert, just a few hours from Cape Town. At this city, thousands of costume-clad people party all night, display exceptional artworks and enjoy a free-spirited week together. AfrikaBurn is held every year and tickets can be bought online through the Secure Ticket Exchange Programme.
Embrace Small Town Syndrome and Living!
South Africa is dotted with quaint towns, cities and villages. Spend a few days in a small town where you can bond with the locals and learn more about what life is really like in South Africa.
Visit the local bars instead of the swanky international restaurants, spend time at local flea markets instead of wasting hours in a stylish shopping mall, get your hair and nails done in the local salon, visit a local picnic spot or reserve instead of booking a guided tour designed for foreigners.
If you have the time, try to stay a little longer in some of the following small towns.
- Western Cape: Simon’s Town, Kalk Bay, Montagu, Franschhoek, Knysna, Betty’s Bay.
- Northern Cape: Loxton, Sutherland, Victoria West, Nieuwoudtville.
- Eastern Cape: Port Alfred, Hogsback, Graaff-Reinet, Cradock, Kenton-on-Sea, Bathurst, Grahamstown.
- KwaZulu Natal: Howick, Nottingham Road, Underberg, Southbroom, Ballito.
- Mpumalanga: Kaapsehoop, Sabi, Barberton, Dullstroom, Waterval Boven.
- Free State: Clarens, Ficksburg, Parys, Rosendal.
- North West: Potchefstroom, Lichtenburg.
- Gauteng: Bronkhorstspruit, Cullinan, Irene, Henley on Klip.
- Limpopo: Haenertsburg, Hoedspruit, Makhado, Tzaneen.
Book Cheap Flights Online & Prepare for an Authentic SA Travel Experience
Having an authentic travel experience in South Africa is made easy by the warm and welcoming people of the country.
With so much to see, do and enjoy with the locals, there’s no excuse to miss out on all that happens behind the commercial tourist scenes when spending time in this colourful, diverse country. Use our flight search feature to find, book and securely pay for domestic flights in South Africa today.