South Africa Travel Guide

About South Africa Travel

The largest National Park in all of Africa sits like the cherry on the top of one of Africa's premier travel destinations, but South Africa is more than just Kruger. The most striking capital city on the continent, diverse cuisine, friendly local people, great value and some of the best road trips you'll find anywhere, make South Africa appear on pretty much any intrepid traveller's bucket list.

This is a place where one minute you're driving down perfectly paved highways and the next, after a quick exit for a sign pointing to a national park you step back a few million years and you're in suddenly in the Savannah, watching lions hunt their prey.

When you leave the metropolitan capital of Cape Town, within a few hours you can be along the dramatic shores of The Wild Coast, the vineyard clad hills of Stellenbosch, or the southern most tip of the African Continent at Cape Agulhas. 

In this South Africa Travel Guide we'll cover everything you need to know about travelling in South Africa, including when to visit, where to go, things to do and more. 

Places To Visit in South Africa

South Africa is a nation made for road trips. If you want to get around the country, the best way to do it is by your own rented vehicle. There is some public transport in the country, but it won't get you to the more far flung destinations and it ends up being a bit of a hassle, plus it's not cheaper than renting a car, particularly if you're sharing the cost with more than one person.

From the southern capital of Cape Town to the border with Mozambique to the north is over 2,000 kilometers, and that's if you take the fastest, non-scenic route. Hugging the coast and enjoying epic drives like the Wild Coast, the Elephant Coast and the Garden Route will take you even longer.

But with a car, every hour on the coastal roads in South Africa is a pleasure. Take locals' recommendations every chance you get. If they know a more scenic way to get from point A to point B, go that way. Give yourself time to explore South Africa and leave plenty of room for spontaneity if possible.

Below you'll find all of our posts about the places we visited in South Africa.

Top Stops On The Garden Route in South Africa

We travelled across South Africa for 5 weeks in our tiny Chevy Spark car. The trip was a blast, but what really made it amazing was the freedom we had to make many stops along the way. The Garden Route, which extends from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to the Storms ...

South African Safari: National Parks You Can Afford!

When people think of seeing the Big 5 in Africa, they typically picture the Masai Mara, Kenya, the Serengeti in Tanzania or Kruger National Park in South Africa. These parks are all fantastic, but they can be quite crowded and not to mention, pricey! South Africa boasts ...

Budget Backpacking Guide To: South Africa

Have you ever considered backpacking through South Africa but thought it would cost you too much money?  Well, think again.  This is a backpacker’s haven.  Yes, some excursions and things along the way will cost you a bit more than other countries, but the value for ...

South Africa Travel Information

South Africa isn't necessarily a difficult place to travel, but knowing a few important travel tips can really help you make the most of your trip. The biggest tip I can give you is to rent a car and explore here. Even if you only have a few days, there are plenty of places that you can drive to near Cape Town or other major cities. There's a national park at every turn it seems, so don't just reserve yourself for Kruger. Also check out Addo Elephant National Park, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, and Hluhluwe Umfolozi (Imfolozi) National Park.

If you've never been on safari before, then just assume you're going to become addicted to it. There's an old quote that goes something like: "Everything in Africa bites, but the safari bug is worst of all" and it's true. Once you see your first lion or leopard or elephant, you'll want to rearrange your whole itinerary to spend more time in National Parks.

Below you'll find all of our posts on this blog that have useful South Africa travel tips and information to help you plan a better trip.

South Africa Travel Guide

The most striking capital city on the continent, diverse cuisine, friendly local people, great value, and some of the best road trips you'll find anywhere, make South Africa appear on pretty much any intrepid traveler's bucket list. The largest National Park in all of Africa sits ...

Our South Africa Travel Blogs

We spent more than 6 weeks driving around South Africa and to this day it was one of the most incredible travel experiences of our lives. We visited five different national parks, we spotted lions, elephants, zebra and giraffes, we drove The Wild Coast, The Elephant Coast and the Garden Route and we had a blast the entire time.

Below you'll find all of our posts about our experiences travelling in South Africa. These are our personal South Africa travel blogs and hopefully by reading them, you'll get an idea of what your trip might be like in this fantastic country.

Dar Es Salaam to Kathmandu – A Slight Change Of Plans

We had one more day in Dar Es Salaam before flying out (very convolutedly) to Nepal. Even though we had this flight booked 6 months in advance, we still managed to royally screw it up. We were to fly from Dar Es Salaam to Johannesburg to ...

Umzumbe, Umkomaas, St. Lucia & Swaziland – Reaching The End Of Our Epic South Africa Journey

We drove our little Chevy Spark from Port St. Johns to Umzumbe to stay at the recommended backpackers – Mantis and Moon. There were no tourists there at all! Just me, Nick and the 3 staff that worked there. We hungout with them, went down to ...

Coffee Bay & Port St. John’s – Festivals & Flat Tires

After the most amazing animal spotting in Addo National Park, we decided to let our adrenaline calm down a bit and head to the chilled out/hippy area of Coffee Bay. As it was pretty far away, we decided to spend the night in Chintsa, too bad ...

Tsitsikamma & Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa – This Is Why We Travel

We left J-Bay at around 10:30am and drove back the way we came for 3 hours to Natures Valley. Almost every local we’ve met has recommended that we stay in a place called Wild Spirit Backpackers. Originally a travellers lodge built in 1983, Wild Spirit was ...

Travelling to Wilderness & Jeffreys Bay, South Africa

We peeled ourselves away from the gorgeous surrounds of Robertson (and the delicious wine) and headed east on scenic Route 62, the longest wine route in the world. We were heading to the coastal strip of the country called “the Garden Route” towards the town of ...

Hermanus to Robertson, South Africa – Wine Tasting & Whale Watching

From Stellenbosch we headed to a town dubbed “The best place in the world for land based whale watching”, Hermanus. The entire drive there was on the windy route 44 coastal road and every time Dariece or I saw the slightest movement in the water I ...

Stellenbosch, South Africa: Winelands & Penguin – 2 Of My Favourite Things

The following morning we packed up and said goodbye to Cape Town and our first Backpackers. We headed East to the Winelands area of South Africa…my favourite kind of land! There are over 200 wineries in 1500 meters of mountainous area where it’s the perfect climate ...

Travel to Cape Town, South Africa

Day 3 in Cape Town was a day Dariece has been waiting for for a long time. PENGUINS!! We headed out to Boulders Beach where a colony of 3000 penguins live. We arrived after an hour drive down the coast and Dariece was almost too excited ...

Cape Town, South Africa – A New Way Of Doing Things

Our 21 hour travel day began by us taking the hour-long train ride from downtown Istanbul to the underground train line that would take us to the airport. From there we checked in, walked around and had something to eat. It was the biggest and busiest ...


When To Travel To South Africa

The Best Time To Visit: September-November & April-May

September to November and April to May are the best times to visit South Africa, but these times can change depending on your travel pursuits. For safaris, you'll want to visit in the winter (drier) months, for the mountains you'll want to come in the summer months and for Cape Town you can come any time.

The temperatures are neither too hot or too cold in the months of September-November and April-May and the skies are at their clearest. But don’t worry, you can visit South Africa at any time of the year and still be quite comfortable. 

If you’re planning an ascent to higher altitudes, like those surrounding the Drakensberg Mountains, then you are better off visiting during the warmer months.

The climate is driest around the winter months however, which makes animal spotting easier as they tend to congregate around ponds and rivers.


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