If social media and news broadcasts are anything to go by, it might seem like a bad idea to travel to South Africa at all. Yet, it’s common knowledge that newsworthy items often focus on the negative aspects of anything.
So, before you do your flight booking, take a look at the real pros and cons of visiting South Africa, according to people who’ve been there.
Money, Money, Money
For international travellers, the biggest boon to visiting South Africa is the exchange rate – which is one good consequence of all the negativity surrounding this wonderful country.
With the power of the dollar, Euro or pound to back you, chances are you’ll be able to afford to have the time of your life while staying in any African country. You’ll find excellent hotels, five-star meals and exquisite experiences are all within your reach and readily available in South Africa.
Locally produced food, wine, art and fashion are on a par with international standards yet they’re available at a fraction of the price.
Unfortunately, you can’t take it all back with you, so unless you shop wisely, be prepared for extra baggage charges on departure, or having to leave half of your loot behind. It also means you’re bound to overspend. Keep a close eye on your allocated shopping budget, it’s easy to go overboard when faced with all these novelties.
Ups and Downs
With a wealth of unique activities and attractions available all over the country, there’s never a dull moment when visiting South Africa. Even lengthy journeys between destinations are awash with scenic delights and unique stops along the way.
Arriving for your visit without a plan of action is a big no-no. South Africa will overwhelm you with choices.
Deciding where to go and what to do on the spot could take up most of your day – plan ahead and take advantage of guided tours where you can.
Prepare for the worst – you won’t be able to see and do it all. Fortunately, once you’ve been to South Africa, you’ll have no qualms about coming back to pick up where you left off.
South Africa has a reputation worldwide for being a place of sunshine and mild winters, and this is mostly true. Stock up on sun protection when you arrive, it can get hotter than you’re used to during the summer. You’ll want to take advantage of the great weather by indulging in water, beach and outdoor sightseeing at every opportunity.
African weather operates according to the whims of nature, not the calendar. You could experience weather from all four seasons in one day when you visit, especially in Cape Town. This means you should pack accordingly – layering is your best option.
It can and does snow in South Africa, sometimes where and when you least expect it. In fact, Capetonians were treated to a rare sprinkling of snow on Table Mountain in 2013.
It’s Wild in Places
South Africa has a well-developed infrastructure when compared to its African neighbours but it’s still relatively untouched in outer-lying areas. This intentional avoidance of mod cons means you’ll experience the wild areas of South Africa at their best.
You’ll be surprised at the comforts you encounter at remote safari destinations too; South Africans are renowned for ‘making a plan’ regardless of their circumstances.
Don’t expect to be updating your feed every time something Insta-worthy comes up – internet signal can be extremely unpredictable throughout the country. Lightning fast internet is only possible in major cities and towns.
You’ll soon get used to being in the moment and enjoying your surroundings more fully without the distractions that the internet offers. A digital detox will do you the world of good.
South Africa is a large country with huge distances between noteworthy sights. This means car hire is a must during your stay.
It’s cheap and easy to arrange a rental car for your trip to South Africa but you can also hire an Uber in the main centres if preferred. You can easily book domestic flights to most airports in the country if you prefer to avoid extended road travel or hire a charter plane if you’re heading for the bundu.
Public transport is unreliable at best in smaller towns and non-existent outside of suburbia. If you’re going to hire a taxi, ask your hotel to arrange one for you. The mini-bus taxi system in South Africa takes years of experience to master – don’t go there.
Also, you drive on the left-hand side of the road in South Africa, which can be challenging initially if it works the other way around in your home country.
Are You Ready to Take a Chance?
If you think you can deal with the ‘troubles’ of traveling to South Africa, go ahead and do that flight booking right away.
It’s easy to find and make the most convenient and cheapest flight booking online. Start planning your South African trip today.