South Africa is an unbelievably beautiful country, full of contrasts. In some areas, there are shanty towns and places that as a tourist you really shouldn’t visit. In others, you’ll find stunning coastlines, safaris and warm, friendly people. You’ll want to make sure your camera is always ready to go, so keep it fully charged by packing a USB travel adapter. Take a look at this article on travel adapters for South Africa.
South Africa’s troubled past and some say uncertain future may make you worried about traveling here. However, knowing quite a few South Africans and having visited the country, I can assure you that with the right preparation and attitude your trip to the Afrikaans will be one to remember for the rest of your life. Use your common sense and be aware of what’s going on around you, and you’ll have no trouble.
Traveling at night
If you are traveling around the city at night, always use an Uber or ask your hotel to order a taxi. Walking at night is best avoided at all costs, even if it is just a few minutes away. As with many big cities around the world, good and bad areas may be very close together and you could easily end up in the wrong place. Always ask a local before setting out.
Again, this doesn’t just apply to South Africa, and it’s good general advice for any country. Keep your valuables out of sight. Don’t be flash with a wallet full of cash. If you hire a car, keep it simple and despite the temptation, don’t hire the convertible! Try not to stand out as a tourist, although this can be difficult!
Pre-order attraction tickets
Booking online will save you money and avoid the queues, a double win! Attractions like Robben Island should be booked well in advance due to the restriction on visitor numbers.
Water is a scarce commodity in South Africa, even in big cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg. Use water carefully and always carry a bottle of hand sanitizer. Getting sick because you couldn’t wash your hands would certainly spoil your vacation.
Local SIM card
Pick up a local SIM card from one of the stores. The street sellers may be cheaper, but best avoided. There are four main telecom companies in South Africa; MTN, Telkom, Vodacom and Cell C. Mobile coverage is pretty good, but make sure your mobile is unlocked before you arrive. This will give much cheaper calls and some mobile data, which could be useful for maps and local info.
Places to visit
South Africa is a large country, but the majority of places to go are along the southern coastal stretch of Western Cape and Eastern Cape, the province of Kwazulu-Natal, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. A much longer article is needed to cover the areas in detail, so this is just a brief idea of great places to visit.
Cape Town is world-famous and also the oldest city of South Africa. It is named the Mother City by locals, and should definitely be on your list. The city sits in a bowl formed by Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head forming a dramatic backdrop. Robben Island is equally famous, as the prison that held political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela. Book as early as possible in advance, as access is limited.
To the east is the Eastern Cape Province, with 500 miles of beautiful, untouched coastline and sparse populations. You’ll find Addo Elephant National Park near to Port Elizabeth, giving sanctuary to elephants, Cape buffalo and black rhino amongst other species. It’s a beautiful area to drive through, with hidden bays and small towns along the way.
Kruger National Park is in the northeast of the country, but worth a trip for the diversity of species, including the “Big 5” of lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalo.
Don’t forget to pack your Sublime Ware USB travel adapter and make sure all your phone and camera batteries are fully charged. Visiting a safari, you only get a brief moment to get that perfect shot before the animal moves on again. Make sure you’re ready! Don't forget to check your electronic items for voltage compatibility using our handy dual and multi-voltage device guide.