It is difficult to say which is the most beautiful city in South Africa or the most surprising tour. Although not on everyone’s wishlist, the country is charming and has a lot to offer. The safari is one of the most popular tours there – it is a unique and unforgettable experience.
In addition, there are other incredible activities to do, most of which involve stunning scenery. For you to make the most of your trip around the country, I have separated some essential tips for everything to happen as planned. After everything is organized, just start enjoying the trip 😉
When to go
The seasons in South Africa follow the same order as Brazil. If you want to visit national parks and go on safaris, the best time to travel is between May and September. This period is equivalent to their autumn and winter, when the savannah is not yet overgrown and temperatures are milder.
However, if one of your main interests involves the beaches, it is best to go between November and March, when the weather gets warmer. Ah, a curious thing about the climate is the way it behaves in different ways in cities in the north and south of the country. In Johannesburg, for example, summer is rainy and winter has sunnier days. In Cape Town, the opposite happens – the summer is much drier.
If you intend to visit different regions of the country, it is good to go with a suitcase prepared for different seasons. That way you will be ready for any unforeseen event over time and you won’t have to spend money buying clothes there!
Want good news? Brazilians do not need a visa to enter South Africa! I recommend that your passport is valid for at least six months, although they are not so careful about it.
Although you do not need a visa, the International Certificate of Vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory. Get the vaccine at least ten days before your trip, okay? If you want to know more about how to make this certificate, just click here.
Even if you plan to visit just one city, the best way to get around the region is by car. The steering wheel of the vehicles there are on the right side, so it is normal to find the steering strange at the beginning. One of the precautions you need to take is with the flannels. In larger cities, such as Cape Town, the center is full of them. These flannels are usually very insistent and ask for money all the time, so try not to fall into their conversation.
The country’s buses and trains are not as efficient or comfortable, so it’s not the best way to get around. Gautrain is an exception to this rule, because it works well and the trip is pleasant. The line is 80 km long and connects Johannesburg to Pretoria, in addition to passing through Oliver Tambo International Airport. Ultimately, Uber ends up being one of the best options for those who don’t drive, since the prices are fair and it’s fast and practical!
With such a rich and diverse culture, it would be impossible for this to not be reflected in food either. Most of the country’s dishes are based on beef, pork or chicken and their rice and beans are called pap – a puree made with cornmeal.
The babotie is one of the most typical dishes in the country. It is prepared with a stew of ground meat, bread, milk, spices and seasonings. Another very common one is biltong, which is a strip of dried meat usually served as a snack. The foods may not please our taste very much, but trying typical foods is part of the experience, right?
As for sweets, melkert and koeksister are the most common desserts. The first is a pie made with a thin dough and filled with a cream based on milk, in addition to the final touch of sprinkled cinnamon. The koeksister is a braided and fried dough, which is then dipped in a sugar syrup. Just imagining my mouth watered!
One of the first things they usually think of when someone mentions South Africa is safari. After all, wildlife in this part of the world is one of the richest. The most popular reserve for this type of tour is the Kruger National Park. It is among the most famous national parks in the country and has a huge variety of animals.
Other good options are the Gondwana Game Reserve and the Madikwe Game Reserve. The two also have a super diverse variety of animals. It is a unique and remarkable experience, one that you are grateful to have been able to participate in, you know?
What to visit
Cape Town and Johannesburg are often the most popular cities for tourists looking for a starting point in the country. Besides them, Durban is a good place for those who enjoy the beach and want to get to know the coast of South Africa a little.
It is also an incredible option to take a roadtrip along the Garden Route, which is 300 km long and runs from Storms River to Mossel Bay. Along the road you will see wonderful landscapes, from mountains to beaches and waterfalls. If you enjoy trails and green surroundings, you will love Nature’s Valley and Tsitsikamma National Park, which are on the way.
I feel that few people know about wine production in South Africa. Some say that the country’s wines are among the best in the world, so don’t miss the opportunity to taste any of them. To have the complete experience, it is possible to visit some super traditional wineries.
Stellenbosch, for example, is a great city for growing grapes. There you can visit Le Pommier Country, Lodge and Middelvei. Cape Point, Paarl and Franschhoek are other regions full of incredible wineries. Several of them have existed for more than 300 years, as they were founded by Dutch and French who settled in the country.
South Africa is passionate, right? The variety of tours is so great that hardly anyone will find anything interesting to do. If you’ve traveled there and know even more tips, share with us here 😉