TravelComments.com country guide South Africa
quicklinks: accommodation | travel itinerary planning | Overland Trips | Travel Highlights | route suggestions & selfdrive tours | Cape Town | Johannesburg & Pretoria | Durban | Garden Route | Kruger National Park | Pilanesberg National Park
South Africa, or the “Rainbow Country”, is a very diverse country with eleven official languages, stunning landscapes and booming cities, like Johannesburg in the North and Cape Town in the South. After the end of the political and economical isolation because of the racist, white Apartheid regime, the new democratic and free South Africa was born in 1994 as Nelson Mandela became president of the country.
By Car - by far the easiest way of getting around in South Africa. Rental cars are available throughout the country at moderate prices. If you’re in a group, renting a car is also often the most economical way of exploring the country. Most major roads are in excellent condition. Driving is on the left-hand side of the road.
By Baz Bus - A good alternative is the Baz Bus - Backpacker hop on and off travel in South Africa, which mainly caters for backpackers and other travellers. It offers hop-on, hop-off fares and door-to-door service between Cape Town and Johannesburg via the Northern Drakensberg, Durban and the Garden Route.
By Bus - The main long-distance bus operators Intercape, Translux and Greyhound have services connecting most of the major cities. Note that many long-distance services run through the night. Booking for the buses should be made a minimun of 24hrs prior to departure (72 hours in advance for Intercape , and as much in advance as possible for travel during peak periods, such as school hols!). It’s sometimes possible to get a seat at the last minute, but this shouldn’t be counted on.
By Train - Shosholoza Meyl passenger trains offer regular services connecting major cities. These are a good and safe, but slow, way to get around. On overnight journeys, 1st- and 2nd-class fares include a sleeping berth. (additional charge for bedding hire). Alternatively, you can hire a private compartment (which sleeps 4 in 1st class and 6 in 2nd class) or a coupe (which sleeps 2 in 1st class and 3 in 2nd class) – these are a good way of travelling more securely. Meals are also available.
Tickets must be booked at least 24 hours in advance (you can book up to three months in advance). Bookings can be done at any individual station, or through the Shosholoza Meyl Reservations Centre. Also see our blog for recent updates on travelling by train in South Africa.
By Air - travelling by plane became quite affordable over the years. It is no big deal to find cheap flights connecting Cape Town with Durban or Johannesburg. Regular flights at pretty good rates are connecting the three major cities in South Africa, as well as Port Elizabeth. Flights to Nelspruit (Kruger National Park), Bloemfontein or to airports along the Garden Route are also available, but more expensive.
Airport Transfers - you can either take a metered (!) taxi, or book an airport shuttle!
|Kruger Express - Camping (4 days) - Intrepid Travel|
Day 1 Johannesburg/ Kruger National Park: Depart the urban wilds of Johannesburg and discover the vast plains of the Kruger National Park where the Big Five roam. The park is home to 150 species of mammals, including cheetahs, lions, zebras and aardvarks. The staggering amount of bird species, plus the wide variety of insects and reptiles make this the ultimate wildlife experience. Jump on board an open safari vehicle to explore the park in search of iconic animals.
Day 2 Kruger National Park: Depart at first light for an entire day's game viewing. With luck there will be close encounters with lions, elephants and even a giraffe or two. At night, head out once more for a sunset safari drive and keep eyes peeled for night predators and other nocturnal animals.
Day 3 Greater Kruger National Park: Enjoy another full day of game-viewing in Kruger before travelling to a private reserve in the late afternoon. In the evening, settle into a lodge and enjoy a drink and a tasty traditional dinner.
Day 4 Greater Kruger National Park/ Johannesburg: Complete the safari experience with an early morning nature walk. Explore the wilderness one last time with a field guide and learn how to track wild animals. Sadly, it's then time to bid the African wilderness farewell. Travel along the Drakensberg Escarpment and see the spectacular Three Rondavels while overlooking the awesome Blyde River Canyon. Continue on to Johannesburg where this short but thrilling adventure ends.
|City Sightseeing Cape Town|
|Explore the best of Cape Town’s world-famous attractions aboard an open-top, double-decker bus! With two routes to choose from, this hop-on hop-off tour of Cape Town is the easiest way to get around the city and see all the sights in just one or two days. Also included in the two-day pass are a wine tour and a nighttime bus tour to see the famous Cape Town sunset over the Atlantic Ocean.
Bustling and beautiful, with a wealth of attractions, Cape Town has a lot to see – get around town easily and conveniently on this hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour. With great views from the top of the bus, strategically placed stops and interesting commentary, this open-top, double-decker bus tour is the ideal way to explore the multitude of sights around Cape Town at your own pace.
A fascinating tour through the colourful streets of Soweto to sample its diverse and vibrant culture, learn about its tragic history and its hopes for the future.
|more tours in South Africa - Cape Town, Garden Route, Wildcoast, Durban, Zululand, Kruger National Park, Johannesburg ...|
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South Africa at a glance
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School & public holidays
in South Africa 2012/13 »
South Africa boasts a huge collection of wildlife regions and game parks - both public (rather affordable) and private (a little more expensive). Read more »
New and old city/place names in South Africa NEW!
The South African Constitution mandates government and, indeed, the entire nation to take active steps to redress the injustices of the past. Read more »
World Heritage Sites in
Southern Africa has currently 14 official UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique. Read more »»