Getting the most from a trip to South Africa

     Basic Principles For Making the Most out of your Trip to South Africa

Aerial view of Cape Town
A vacation or trip to Africa opens so many different doors in terms of the activities and adventures that lie before your feet. When one thinks of Africa they see wilderness, wild life, exotic people and adventure along with a romantic vision of this mysterious continent.
With so much jaw dropping scenery and the chance to emerse yourself in it’s vibrant culture such as townships and robin island. Africa is a great tourist destination. If it’s adventure you’re looking for through exploration and safari, the sheer size of the beast, pun intended, can be overwhelming. With so much on offer it’s important to explore through a well established safari team who know the lands well. This is also key to having fun and staying safe, with many animals out there that would be delighted to have you for their lunch, wandering around is not a good idea. This is why picking the right company is an important investment. When it comes to traveling in South Africa etiquette is needed to aid a smooth trip without any problems, life in South Africa is not as widely understood compared with that of European and US destinations. This is why it’s important to know about the country, it’s cultural norms, economic policies and also possible risks to tourists.
4 Top guidelines for traveling South Africa.
1.- Staying  healthy. It’s always important to consider your health when traveling. The majority of regions of South Africa are free of malaria, however if you are planning to travel north to Kruger National Park, you should consider malaria tablets, if you decide not to purchase them there are still measures to put in place to minimize your chances, make sure to bring lots of insect repellent and wear clothes that cover your wrists and ankles.
2. Staying safe. Unfortunately, crime in South Africa is significantly more common compared to other holiday destinations. There is no need to be paranoid while you travel, but its important to keep your wits about you. When exercising caution one key thing is to try and minimize your appearance shouting tourist at people. Pack your valuables in your bag so they are not on show. When it comes to attire, consider the time of year and where you will be visiting. Cape Town is cold and rainy in the winter but very hot in the South African summertime, Johannesburg is hot from October to March and mild the rest of the year. Some parts of SA can be very conservative in regards to fashion, outside of the city centers, it’s advised that women cover up to avoid unwanted attention and be respectful to cultural norms.
Cape Town at Night

3. Be respectful as a traveler. Tipping is also polite in restaurants, the rate is between 10-15% Bartender tips are about a couple of rand per drink. For Car guards, informal or otherwise, the rate is about R3-5, at petrol stations the attendants earn very little but often offer additional services, for example washing your windows or checking your oil. If you have the change it’s nice to give them something up to 5R, this is very little by our standards but goes much further for local people in South Africa. Getting on with the local people is always important, engaging with them, it’s always fun and they will have some great advice that you are unlikely to get from a travel book.

A tower of Giraffes by the waterhole
4. Getting the most from the experience. Safari: when to go- Wildlife spotting is incredible and exciting all year round. During winter, June to September, spotting is easier as many of the bushes and trees are leafless, limited food and water for animals at this point in the year mean that they are a lot more active as they are often out foraging or visiting the waterhole. During the months December to February the landscape is at it’s most lush.
A lot of people on their first safari only focus on the big 5 and neglect the incredibly diverse range of other animals out there. A tip to make sure you get the most out of a safari is to do some research and write a list.

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