Cape Town, South Africa

The Ultimate Guide to Travelling To South Africa for First Timers

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South Africa is a country that may surprise you! After all, it is a destination that combines the emotions you get from safaris, beautiful beaches, and cities of great cultural wealth, starting with Cape Town, which is as beautiful in geography. It’s a great place to discover yourself, contrary to most people’s perceptions.

Because it is well structured for tourism, South Africa receives around 10 million foreign tourists annually. It is the perfect destination for nature lovers, but not only for them, because Cape Town is almost like a “European seaside resort” due to its cultural program and youthful atmosphere.

And if it’s extraordinary places you want to explore, then book a South Africa tour package. South Africa can surprise you in this regard, as two oceans wash its shores, it has 11 official languages​​, and it has three capitals. We’re talking about diversity paired with beautiful coastal landscapes.

Copyright: Tobias Reich on Unsplash I License: CC0 Public Domain

When To Go, South Africa?

Geographically, South Africa is in a temperate climate zone, and as it is in the southern hemisphere, it has four seasons.

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For safaris, the best time is in autumn and winter, from March to September. This is the dry period, which makes the animals move in search of water, making it easier to find them. In Cape Town, however, it is usually quite windy during this period.

If you go in summer, in December and January, be prepared to face busy roads, as this is when South Africans escape the heat and travel to beaches and reserves.

High season (December to January):  As it is summer at this time of year, it is usually scorching, especially in the Kruger National Park area. In Cape Town, it hardly rains at this time of year. In addition, in summer, the days are longer, sunny, and ideal for exploring the natural side of cities.

Mid-season (July and August):  It is winter in the country and the best time for safaris. In the Kruger National Park region and around Johannesburg, temperatures drop, and the weather becomes pleasant. However, it is essential to note that it usually gets dark early at this time of year.

Low season (October and November/March to June):  Spring brings mild weather and a drop in tourists, so almost everything is cheaper and less crowded. This is the best season to see the trees bloom in South Africa’s parks.

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March to June is also a low season as it is late autumn and early winter. But it’s a great time to travel. During this period, southern right whales arrive on the South African coast, staying until October.

Best months: February, April, October, and November

What To Take

Your suitcase for South Africa will vary slightly depending on your itinerary and travel season. In any case, it’s always good to bring pants because it’s usually quite windy in coastal cities. In addition, items such as sunscreen, sunglasses, repellent, and sneakers will be essential.

Johannesburg, being more than 1,700m above sea level, is a city that can be a little colder than the others. Therefore, have a suitable coat in your luggage.

The secret to a well-packed suitcase for safari is remembering that “less is more.” The idea is to carry only a light bag to avoid headaches. Camouflage kits and safari helmets won’t be necessary, although neutral-colored clothing is best on these occasions.

What to bring in summer: Bring light and comfortable clothes and an umbrella or raincoat, as it rains a lot in the country. Also, bring a light coat or jacket just in case. Don’t forget your swimwear and accessories.

What to pack in winter:  In South Africa, winters are usually mild compared to Europeans. But there are those days when temperatures drop a lot, especially in high-altitude regions, like the Drakensberg. So bring knitwear and coats. You’ll especially need rain gear if you’re going to Cape Town.

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Besides, don’t forget your hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen, as the sun can also be intense in winter.

Copyright: Grant Durr on Unsplash I License: CC0 Public Domain


One of your trip’s main items is deciding on the type of accommodation, how much to spend, and your comfort level. In South Africa, you can stay from a luxury hotel in the middle of the Kruger National Park to trendy hostels with bars and parties every day in Cape Town.

Hostels cost between 15 and 20 USD per night; budget hotels cost between 48 and 75 USD per night; upscale hotels cost upwards of 125 USD per night. There are a variety of culinary traditions in South Africa, including British, Dutch, Indian, Malaysian, and indigenous cooking styles.

Helpful Information You May Need To Know

Capital: Cape Town, Pretoria, and Bloemfontein

Currency: Rands (R)

Language: English, African, and nine other languages.Population: 55.9 million

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