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South Africa travel guide

From the heights of Table Mountain to the vibrant wildlife of Shamwari, the stunning scenery of the Winelands to the crashing waves of the Garden Route, South Africa is a nation of epic landscapes. And not only that, the likes of Cape Town and Johannesburg are home to exciting urban renewals, captivating art scenes and hipster hangouts as well as traditions routed in history. All eyes are on South Africa at the moment as it transforms itself into a southern gem, and so, there seems no better time to visit!

South Africa Fast Facts

south african language

Languages Spoken

There are 11 official language spoken in South Africa - yep, you heard us! A few of these are English, Southern Sotho, Swati and Zulu.

south africa currency


South African Rand (ZAR).
Symbol: R
100 South African Rand is approximately £5.80

time zone south africa

Time Zone

South African Standard Time is UTC +02:00, and is ahead of London by 1 hour.

cost of beer in south africa


A bottle of local South African beer costs on average 25R (around £1.40) - the most popular and well-known is Castle Lager, but you can also get imported beers.

cost of food in south africa


For a sit-down meal in an inexpensive restaurant you're looking at an average of 100R (approx £5.80), or if you prefer the street food scene ask for a Kota (bread filled with loads of different ingredients) from as little as 16R!

cost of accomodation in south africa


A basic dorm bed in South Africa can cost you as little as 103R (about £6) per night.

south africa hotel cost


For a mid-range double room in a hotel or guesthouse, it costs between 400-1500R (approx £23-£88). If you're looking for a bit more high-end, you'll be spending around £100 a night.

taxi cost south africa


Taxis vary in price, depending on where you are in South Africa. On average, they're cheaper in Cape Town, with journeys starting at 10R (approx 60p) and the starting rate in Johannesburg is around 22R (approx £1.30) - although it's still cheaper than anything you'd get back at home!

transport cost south africa


One of the best ways to get around South Africa is by a hop-on hop-off bus, which can either be bought for a specific route or for flexibility. We offer passes with Baz Bus, with fixed routes starting at £107 or 7-day passes starting at £115.

The most popular places to visit in South Africa

Cape town
Cape Town
With plenty of history and an exciting culture Cape Town pleases visitors time and time again. It's dramatic location at the southern tip of Africa means incredible cliff tops, a rugged, beautiful coastline and having the Cape of Good Hope just a stone's throw away. Add to that a vibrant urban scene and you've got yourself one epic city!
South africa tour
The Winelands
Within easy distance of Cape Town sits one of the world's best wine regions, perfect for a day trip or for exploring further. Taste some of the areas famous produce and explore the stunning vineyards by bike or horseback. For a real local experience stay in chamring Stellenbosch, a university town in the heart of the Winelands, full of charming colonial buildings and great restaurants and cafes.
The Garden Route
The Garden Route
One of the most famous attractions of South Africa, and rightly so, The Garden Route is one of the greatest driving routes in the world. Stretching 300km from Mossel Bay to just past Plettenberg Bay, discover a breathtaking coastline dotted with hidden beaches, world-class surf breaks and local wildlife. Inland, hike through indigenous forests and admire the stunning mountainous landscape.
South Africa tour
South Africa Discoverer | 10 days
Explore South Africa's fascinating cultural diversity on this exciting journey through the Rainbow Nation. Chase stunning views through Tsitsikamma National Park and on a safari drive in Addo Elephant National Park. Led by a knowledgeable and dynamic Chief Experience Officer (CEO), journey across the southern coast in search of phenomenal wildlife and dramatic scenery. 

When is the best time to visit South Africa?

The best time to visit South Africa is between May and September for the safari parks, this is because it's the dry season, which means that you have more chance of seeing the animals as they'll be congregating around the waterholes. Surprisingly it's not as busy with tourists as you would think - this could be due to people going for the more pleasant weather between April and May or September and October.

South African

Adventure tours

South africa tour
Cape, Safari & Falls | 11 days
Don't want to compromise? Think of this trip as the best of the best. From seeing the beautiful city and beaches of Cape Town from the top of Table Mountain, to having a chance of spotting the Big 5 in two of Africa's top wildlife destinations, and experiencing the adrenaline-filled activities of one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, Victoria Falls, this trip lets you tick off all the highlights that Southern Africa has to offer.
From £1,785
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cape town to kruger
South Africa & Swazi Quest | 17 days
The unvarnished grandeur of South Africa is on display in this comprehensive exploration of one of the continent’s most diverse and fascinating destinations. Africa’s incredible culture and wildlife are at a premium on this tour — from the coastal shores of Tsitsikamma to extensive wildlife safari drives in Addo Elephant National Park and the famed Kruger.
From £1,799
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South Africa tour
Hiking South Africa | 17 days
On this lively and active tour through South Africa you'll hike up the famous Table Mountain in Capetown. Explore the kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland. Discover the true meaning of "Ubuntu" as you dance and laugh with the locals over a traditional meal in the Kruger area.
Now from £1655 | 20% off
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Getting to South Africa

Lucky for us travel fans there are convenient flight routes between the UK and South Africa. Direct flights are available between London and Johannesburg and Cape Town with connections available to other destinations. What's more, some airlines offer STA exclusive student and youth fares meaning you can save a few bob too! 
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Top highlights in South Africa



View safaris


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Adventure tours

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Bus passes

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Tailor make your world, your way

Want to design your own trip, but need some people in the know to help you out? Our INDI tailor made itineraries give you the freedom to tailor make your own unique South African adventure, exactly the way you want it.
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