Most trip reviews tend to focus on some or all of these 5 key areas, not all of which may be relevant to you: the tour guide, travel company, service level, country or countries traveled in, and the trip itinerary.
Remember, just because you see a 1 star review doesn’t necessarily mean that person disliked the country.
First, for a majority of travelers, the flight to South Africa is long. From many spots in the United States, you’ll spend near 21 hours each direction in the air. Australia and Asia experience similarly long flights. For travelers who find themselves having a layover, consider an overnight layover, where you can spend a night sleeping in a bed. This helps ease exhaustion, especially for those who can’t sleep on planes. You’ll arrive ready for your South African adventure.
There are some security issues when it comes to South Africa, which can be a shock for some travelers. Especially if you go to Johannesburg, you’ll feel the more “dangerous” sides just by being outside and driving through the city. This should not discourage you from traveling to South Africa!
Being prepared and knowing your surroundings, it can help immensely. Many homes have bars on the windows, and security guards, even in the higher end areas. Violence was a huge concern, and can still be, but don’t let this break your trip. There will be a shock but shortly after, travelers see this is just the way of life in South Africa.
Many travelers have mentioned South Africa as one of the best experiences of their life, which is no surprise. Between the ocean, the mountains, the wineries in the capelands, and the wildlife, it’s pretty hard to not enjoy yourself. There is surely something that everyone will enjoy. South Africa is filled with history, art, and great food. There are endless adventures, and the pace of life is very relaxed.
Many reviewers mentioned the safari. Some may say a day or two is enough for a safari. You can see these animals at the zoo. This is far from the truth. There are very few things that beat seeing a family of elephants strolling during sunrise, or watching the hippo crossings between dusk.
Looking in the brush for the lions trying to hide from the hot sun, and zebras running through the grass. All of it is amazing and every game drive is different. Every animal encounter is magical.
Another South Africa “hot spot” among reviewers is Cape Town with a side trip to the wine area, either Stellenbosch or Franschhoek. Stroll through the cute towns filled with restaurants, shops, and markets. Hop on the wine tram, that transports you between wineries in the region.
Consider a stay in a bed and breakfast. Transportation between wine country and Cape Town is about an hour, and there are numerous buses that leave each day between the two. While this is an easy day trip, you may want to consider staying overnight. The region makes for a great weekend trip!
If you want a professional take on traveling in South Africa, see the Travelstride South Africa Guide »