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Advice for travel to Africa

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Advice for travel to Africa

1. Posted by zachary (Respected Member 471 posts) 8y

Hi, I'm beginning to plan a trip to South Africa sometime next year, I have a few questions and tips to ask from you that know about travel there:

1. when is the best time to travel around SAfrica? is there a high tourist season there? or a good weather season?
2. is there any nightlife there? what is it like? I love to go to nightclubs, I love to eat in nice restaurants, I love 5 star hotels, is this all available?
3. how is the food there? what is a common SAfrican dish?

would love to hear your comments and tips

thanks

2. Posted by Backinafri (Budding Member 15 posts) 8y

Hi Zachary,

Magic that you've made a decision to visit our awesome country!!! Now to answer your questions:

1. Best time to visit?
Depends on what you want to do & see. SA is a big country so different parts experience different weather at different times of the year. eg July/August is best time of the year to visit Kruger & most other game parks - dry season so grass low & fewer waterholes so better chances of spotting elusive game. Cape Town - probably at her best in Jan & Feb - worst in Aug/Sept - windy & rainy seasons. Jo'burg - definitely Sept when spring is bursting (largest man-made forest in the world) - looks bleak & dried out in June/July - but that also has its own appeal. Peak season is generally end Sept - end Mar (higher prices, less availability). Another thing to bear in mind is school holidays - everything booked out far in advance & prices can triple or more - whole of December, first few weeks of Jan, week or two around Easter - look at http://www.saschools.co.za/calendar.htm for exact dates. Basic rule of thumb: If you want crowds & action - book in peak season but be prepared to pay the premium. If you want to sip & savour ... book in off-season & save!:;)

2. You need the big cities - Cape Town is more beautiful & touristy - Jo'burg is more African, alive & hectic - Durban is more chilled & casual. Very good night clubs - loads of excellent music - contemporary & ethnic & whateva!!! These big cities also have excellent cuisine - you'll also find wonderful gems in places like Franschhoek (Western Cape Winelands). To give you a sample - look at some of the top gig guides -
http://www.5fm.co.za/events/EventsGigGuide.aspx
http://www.nationalgigguide.co.za/
http://www.thegigguide.co.za/
http://www.overtone.co.za/index.php
- what's hot & what's happening ...
There are loads of 5 Star hotels in the big cities - Sheratons, Hyatts, etc. Try some of the lesser known, but excellent groups eg http://www.africanpridehotels.com/home/index.html
The Last Word group of boutique hotels (in & around Cape Town) http://www.thelastword.co.za
http://www.tenbompas.com/ - Jo'burg

3. Food is pretty good & standards generally high. Usual fast-food joints - eg McDonalds & Wimpy. Saffers eat a lot of meat generally - so steaks, ribs, chops etc fairly standard - Italian food - but you can get almost anything. There are some favourite/unique treats like Carnivores in north western Jo'burg - specialising in game meats served on huge skewers http://www.restaurants.co.za/details.asp?resId=3213 There are lots of great eating hubs eg Greenside in Jo'burg, Franshhoek near Cape Town, V&A Waterfront - can give you more info or just ask the consierge at your hotel. Some good sites to try are : http://www.wininganddining.co.za/ - some forums/blogs also have great info http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php?t=124042 and http://blogs.thetimes.co.za/blogumists/index.php?tag=good_food
http://www.megaplex.co.za/restaurant-reviews-rivonia-morningside.htm
http://www.mothercityliving.co.za (Cape Town)

Hope that gives you some points of departure ... just shout if you'd like any more info or suggestions.

Best wishes, Alison

3. Posted by zachary (Respected Member 471 posts) 8y

WOW, Alison, thanks a LOT for all your advice, I really appreciate your thorough tips and input. I'll be checking into all those links today.

Thanks thanks!!!:)

Post 4 was removed by a moderator
5. Posted by Melspring (Budding Member 6 posts) 8y

We ate at La Colombe and loved it. It was very well priced (for a Canadian) and the food and service were excellent. It's a bit of a drive out of Cape Town so make sure to finish your wine early. Also, the V&A waterfront is quite nice. Have fun!