Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Tips on travelling to South Africa from Jenni Southey


I am passionate about South Africa and everything that it has to offer. I love creating personalised packages for my clients that suit their exact requirements; I do not feel that one-size-fits-all works when it comes to travel. I started my own travel company, Southey Travel (www.southeytravel.com), to offer clients a personalised service with expert advice. My favourite holiday is to go on safari!
How well do you know South Africa?
I am a born and bred Cape Townian. I spent my childhood years enjoying holidays up the east coast and visiting many of the wonderful seaside towns. My fathers side of the family is from the Karoo so we also spent many holidays visiting towns such as Colesburg, Somerset East and Grahamstown. Once I joined the travel industry (about 9 years ago) I have visited many of our beautiful safari parks as well as some of the more unknown places such as the West Coast.
 
Why should I visit South Africa, as opposed to other African countries?
South Africa has so much to offer you; whether it is a family seaside vacation or a honeymoon safari trip you have so much choice. The country is totally geared towards tourists from the many hotels on offer to the variety of activities. These activities vary from sedate and gentle such as wine tasting to the adrenalin filled and exciting such as skydiving. It is also easily assessable from many countries in the world via our Johannesburg Airport hub.
 
Is South Africa safe to visit?
South Africa is as safe as any other country as long as you abide by normal tourist etiquette. By this I mean avoid flashing your cash around, keep your passport & personal belongings safe and do not walk around areas in the dark that are not busy. Stay in well lit areas with other people.
 
How long should I spend in South Africa?
How long is a piece of string? To be honest I do not recommend a trip less than 2 weeks if you really want to get a good feel for the country and see a lot of places. Having said that a 10 night stay is perfectly suitable if you only wish to do a safari, Cape Town & surrounds.
 
Where are the best places to see wildlife?
The Kruger National Park has the most prolific Big Five sightings in South Africa, however, this is a malaria risk area and more expensive due to its popularity. So, the Madikwe, Kwazulu-Natal area & Eastern Cape also offer excellent safari & Big Five options
 
Are there any place that are overrated, or best avoided?
Personally I feel that Johannesburg, as a tourist destination, is overrated, however I do not feel that it should be avoided. It offers excellent hotels and some great tours but a 2-night stay would be the maximum amount of time I generally recommend to clients.
 
What do I need to pack for a trip to South Africa?
The main essentials for any holiday is obviously your camera and charger! There are so many wonderful photo opportunities in the country that you certainly do not want to find yourself without a camera. Then, if you are going on safari we suggest wearing lightweight clothes and they should be in lighter colours such as beige, army green, etc. For the cities a good pair of walking shoes is a must and a jersey for the evenings as they can sometimes get a little cool, even in summer. In winter a warmer jacket and long pants are recommended. South Africa is quite a casual-dress country so you very rarely find the need for smart clothes even for dinner. The only time you would have a need for this is if you were travelling by either Rovos Rail or Blue Train.
 
What are some of your favourite local dishes?
I would not be a true South African if I did not love a good braai (barbeque) and biltong! I also love a good Cape Malay curry, tomato bredie as well as bobotie.
 
Which is better: Cape Town or Johannesburg?
Cape Town without a doubt! It has so much to offer and is just so beautiful and picturesque. Nothing beats a beautiful evening on Camps Bay beach enjoying the sunset.
 
What is something most people don't know about South Africa?
Due to the varied climate throughout South Africa; you really can visit all your round and still get favourable weather conditions though your trip.