For many travellers, South Africa is
all about going on safari and adventure. From wildlife spotting in Kruger
National Park, shark cage diving with Great White Pointers, walking amongst
penguins, cruising along the river near hippos and crocodiles to bungee jumps
and swings, there is an adrenalin pumping experience around every corner.
If hiking is your thing, the Drakensberg
Mountains in the Kwazulu-Natal province are popular for those who crave the
wide open spaces. In the northwest, Namaqualand is worth a visit in spring when
the wildflowers bloom in the desert. Otherwise, try catching a wave at Jeffrey’s
Bay, Long Beach or Victoria Bay for surfing, and the Maputaland Coastal
reserve, which has tropical reef fish, and migrating whales and whale sharks for
South Africa is well known for its
award-winning wineries at the Stellenbosch, Hermanus
Bay and Wellington regions near Cape Town. South African wines are
excellent, especially the local red specialty, Pinotage. The big cities like
Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town have vibrant cultural scenes, with
eclectic music, galleries, jazz and festivals.
There is nothing like feasting on a
protein overload by devouring meat that’s been cooked over hot coals at a braai
(barbeque) – try the local spicy sausage, called Boerewors for a tasty morsel.
For those who love food from the subcontinent, the coastal city of Durban
specialises in Indian dishes, including the quirky ‘Bunny Chow’ which is
quarter or half loaf of bread filled with a delicious curry.
South Africans are also mad about
sporting events and depending on the season, try and experience a rugby, soccer
or cricket game while you’re there, such as the Soweto derby between the
Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs in the Premier Soccer League.
Cape Town is probably one of the best
party locations on the planet, and you’ll be mixing it up with the locals on
Long Street, or even try one of the informal bars in communities around the
country (called a ‘shebeen’). Regardless of your travel type, you’ll find
something exhilarating in South Africa!
South Africa is about fun, exciting
and adrenaline-charged experiences but it’s also important to consider your
health and safety when travelling around this fascinating, but sometimes
Crime in South Africa can sometimes be
an issue, but if you take sensible precautions, you and your items will be safe
and you’ll experience the holiday of a lifetime. Smartraveller advises that you exercise a high
degree of caution in South Africa because of the high level of serious crime. Violent crimes, including rape and murder, do occur and have sometimes involved
foreigners. If you are mugged or robbed, hand over belongings quickly without
Keep your bags and backpacks within sight in
public places - including restaurants and bars. Valuables such as cameras,
mobile phones and jewellery should be kept out of sight. Muggings, armed
assaults, theft and car jackings can also occur. When parking, choose a
security patrolled or well-lit parking area. Self-employed street guards can
watch over your car for a small fee.
It’s wise to visit your GP before you
go for appropriate vaccinations, and also take precautions to prevent mosquito
and animal bites. Take anti-malaria drugs if travelling in areas where malaria
is prevalent, which sometimes occurs in the north-east of the country. Wear
loose clothing and insect repellent.
The water supply is safe to drink in
major cities and large municipal areas, but bottled water should be consumed in
in rural areas and is readily available.
If you do require medical care, the
standard of medical facilities can vary greatly. South Africa has good services
in the cities and major centres, but may be limited in rural areas. If you are
in a remote area and require urgent treatment, you may need to be air-lifted to
a major city to receive the treatment and care you need. If you require medical
attention, both public and private facilities will require an up-front deposit,
a payment guarantee or medical insurance confirmation before commencing
The rate of HIV/AIDS infection in
South Africa is very high. Other diseases such as typhoid, cholera, malaria,
hepatitis, rabies, measles, and tuberculosis can also occur.
When self-driving through game parks
always follow signs and directions. Keep your windows closed for your safety
and to prevent animals from entering your car. The sun can be harsh in South
Africa especially between 10am and 4pm. Be sure to protect yourself from the
sun with appropriate clothing, sunscreen and keep hydrated.
South Africa has eleven official
languages, reflecting the diversity of cultures within the country. English is
widely spoken, but it’s worth knowing a few words of the other languages which
- Sawubona - 'Hello' in Zulu
- Ngiyabonga - 'Thank you' in Zulu
- Dankie - 'Thank you' in Afrikaans
- Verskoon my - 'Excuse me' in Afrikaans
- Ngiyacela - 'Please' in Zulu.
Visitors to South Africa are also
advised to use common sense and caution while travelling to avoid the potential
Being a smart traveller by getting
vaccinated before you leave Australia and by taking precautions to minimise the
risk of illness, accident or theft while overseas can help improve the chances
of your trip to South Africa being memorable for all the right reasons.
However, some things are outside even the most cautious traveller's control; ensuring
you have adequate travel insurance is an essential way to minimise the costs of
an illness or misadventure in South Africa.
Whether you have to change your travel
plans for health reasons, have your new camera stolen or even suffer an injury
that requires medical evacuation, Allianz Travel Insurance can help minimise
the financial impact. Allianz offers Basic Travel Insurance, Comprehensive
Travel Insurance and Multi Trip Travel Insurance for your trip overseas. Get a
quote from Allianz today!