10 Things You Wish You’d Known Before Arriving in South Africa

Let’s face it… South Africa really is like nowhere you’ve ever been. It is an unparalleled confluence of beauty, colours, cultures, wildlife, nature, entertainment and food that will no doubt knock your socks off!

To prove that we aren’t biased… here are a few of our favourite comments from recent travellers on Tripadvisor.

  • “I wish I had known that I would be bitten thoroughly by the safari bug before my “once-in-a-lifetime” trip. Now it’s all I dream about, and I’m plotting a return!”
  • “I wish I had known how addictive it was!!!!”
  • “I’ve already decided I want to emigrate to Cape Town!! I know I am going to love it!!!”
  • “The one thing is that Africa gets under your skin and you just have to keep going back it’s so addictive!!”

And my MOST favourite:

  • “I wish I had known visiting Africa that first time would change my life forever.”

There are a few quirky things that we have realised travellers from afar really should know before arriving on our shores. Here we go… we hope they are helpful!

1.Mobile phone coverage is extensive, and easy to access. A SIM card can be bought at any airport (you just need the address of where you are staying.

2.If you are going to self-drive be aware that South Africans drive on the left-hand side of the road. Driving yourself is relatively safe, but you might to brush up on the local road rules before getting behind the wheel.

3.It can get really HOT! In the summer months from December to April, temperatures further north can exceed 40 degrees Celsius. Perhaps have a look at Accuweather where you can see monthly statistics, and the normal average highs and lows. Whatever you do – always stay hydrated!


4.Don‘t be flashy. Keep jewellery and expensive cloths to a minimum. Try not to look too much like a tourist walking around with a huge camera and don’t leave your bag or cellphone unattended – just to be on the safe side.

5.Roundabouts are called circles and traffic lights are robots!

6.Something a little different when dining out is that you need to ask specifically for the bill when you are ready for it, waiters do not usually bring it automatically. Please also note that the food really is delicious here so don’t be surprised if you go home a few kilos heavier!


7.Fuel stations are called garages and are not self-service. It is customary to tip fuel attendants.

8.If you can bring with you a 3 pronged, adapter with wide pins. Most hotels and lodges will lend them to you but just in case. For more on electrics click here. http://www.southafrica.net/za/en/travel-tips/entry/travel-tip-electricity

9.Wherever you park, day or night, in a supermarket, outside restaurants, in town or by the beaches, you will find car guards who will watch your car for you. Again a tip for this service is much appreciated.

10. Feel the rhythm of the people and ‘go local‘ whenever possible. You will find them to be warm, friendly and delighted to share their corner of Africa with you.


If there is anything else that you arrant sure of or any other questions you might have please do let us know.





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