Travel Expertise: First Hand Tips for Visiting South Africa

Stellenbosch Vineyard, Western Cape, South Africa  

First-hand travel tips for visiting South Africa. 

I’m back from South Africa and I miss it already! Here are a few quick tips to help you have the time of your life on a South African adventure!

– I highly recommend staying in a lodge for your safari. We stayed at the Shepherd’s Tree Lodge in Pilanesberg National Park. We saw the big 5 and lots more, over our 3 game drives. Our guide Ryan was great!Colorful house in Bo-Kaap, Capetown, Western Cape

– If you’re looking for a driver in Johannesburg or to Pilanesberg, I highly recommend Jason of DeepRift. He’s a safe driver, SUPER prompt and reliable. Tell him I sent you.

– Don’t skip Joburg! It has a lot to offer and felt like a younger city. Do a Soweto tour while you’re there – it was my favorite part of Joburg. Soweto looks nothing like what you’ve seen on TV. It’s a thriving community with warm people.

– South African Airways is a great airline. Worth it to fly them if you’re struggling over the cost between them and Kulala/Mango/British Airways.

– Stay in Camps Bay if you can afford it. It’s a bit far from everything but it’s gorgeous! It’s a beach neighborhood with lots of great restaurants and bars. We stayed near Long Street and it was fine.

– Long street has a lot going on. Good restaurants and bars but exercise caution as you would in any country.

– If it’s a clear day, drop everything and go to Table Mountain. The Table Mountain Cableway is dependent on the weather so it can close for the day without much warning.

– Buy your Table Mountain tickets ahead of time. It’ll save you a bit of a wait. The wait time is listed on the website, but I found it to not be very accurate.

Girl at a winery– If you’re looking to get clothing made in Cape Town, check out Joja African Clothing Shop at the African Women’s Market (stall 25 & 26 at 112 Long Street). My sister and I got 4 skirts made total and were very happy. I paid under $100 for both of my custom made skirts.

– Visit the Constantia wineries if you don’t have time to get to Stellenbosch. Constantia is the oldest wine area in South Africa. Try the pinotage! Related: I bought wine diapers a while back for an Italy trip and they’re perfect to bring back bottles of wine. Buy them here.

– Manage your expectations for the Robben Island tour. I don’t know if it was just our tour, but it was very rushed and we didn’t have enough time on our own. Also – Robben Island is weather-dependent too, so check the weather before going. They may cancel ferries.

This article was originally published on Robin's blog,