South Africa

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East South Africa

Last Post This thread is marked as being about South Africa
1. Posted by JLav (First Time Poster 1 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Hi guys! I am planning to go to South Africa in October/November. I would like to ask thouse who'ce been/lived there for some info. I am not going to ask about where I should go or what should I see, or how to get from point A to B.
I would like to know your opinion on travelling around SA as a solo female. Also about camping, hitchiking and driving around. Are roads busy? Is it easy to find help if your car breaks?
Is it easy to find accommodation in remotenplaces?

And most importantly 'little secrets' as I call them. Something enexpected you've discovered, experienced, did. Place of interest, activity or else :)

All help is much appreciated :)

2. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1588 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

We were there for just a couple of nights at the end of our trip a year ago. We stayed in a backpackers in Soweto and it was a brilliantly unforgettable experience. We walked round the area visiting historic landmarks from the apartheid era and the locals were wonderful - definitely recommended.

3. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 4831 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

I went to South Africa on my own and had no issues whatsoever, nor did I ever feel uneasy. I was advised not to walk around alone at night in Cape Town so I didn't; during the day it was absolutely fine though. I spent a few days in and around Cape Town on my own and then did a 5 day tour along the Garden Route with a company called Bok Bus which was excellent.

4. Posted by Lynne Hamman (First Time Poster 1 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

I would never recommend hitchhiking as a solo female
It is just not safe

Camping- is ok if you camp in a designated camping area

Driving at night is a no no- the roads are busy (especially with long haul trucks) and drink drivers there are plenty of

Keep your car doors locked at all times, and do not place valuables on car seats were they are visible
Keep rather in locked boot of car

I lived most of my adult life in South Africa (Cape Town) so I speak with experience of the problems, without meaning to scare you..........just be very aware all the time
Its a really beautiful country and the people are friendly. t may be a good idea if you can find a travel mate. Regarding cars breaking down- There is a service called AA (Automobile Association) I suggest that you register with them

Both my son and daughter travelled around on the Baz Bus which is cheap, popular and safe

5. Posted by Traveleering (Inactive 10 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

In October/November month weather is pleasant in South Africa.
I love the beach close to CapeTown. La Splendia is perfect place to spend time.

Post 6 was removed by a moderator
7. Posted by Hans28 (Budding Member 10 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Quoting bex76

I went to South Africa on my own and had no issues whatsoever, nor did I ever feel uneasy. I was advised not to walk around alone at night in Cape Town so I didn't; during the day it was absolutely fine though.

Same here. Good advice. I was there during World Football Cup in 2010. The street life was boiling, but it went fine, luckily.

Wish you to have a good trip!

8. Posted by oddgrace (Budding Member 40 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Hey there! I was two months traveling solo in South Africa as a female just last year. I loved EVERY second of it! I found South Africa had some of the best backpacker hostels I've stayed in....and you could opt to pitch your own tent in all of them as opposed to staying in the dorms (which were all very good!). A lot of my girlfriends I met were doing that to save on costs and also have their "own space" with all the comforts of the amazing hostels. I know you said you didn't want to know any of the trivial details like getting around, but I will say that I started in Cape Town and traveled by public transport and the Baz Bus (seems convenient but soooo expensive and inconvenient if you want to be on your own schedule) for the first two weeks. I then got my own car for a month and I wish I would have gotten it sooner! Renting a car in South Africa is cheap (the longer the cheaper) and really allows more access to where you want to go. I recommend getting a car ASAP! I found driving very safe....I generally didn't drive at night except south of Durban where the roads were excellent. BEWARE THE POTHOLES. They are everywhere, even on the seeming best roads, so drive safely to avoid flat tires. Also, a little driving tip, if you aren't going about 20 k over the speed limit, everyone drives in the side lanes to let faster drivers by and beware cars in the opposite lane overtaking people just in the nick of time. It's no worse than driving in any big city but you do have to be constantly aware....but it is safe! I'd never recommend hitchhiking though I met quite a few gals that were doing it and we're feeling safe enough. It is a risk though, as it is anywhere. Gems? Wilderness and Storms River on the Garden Route. Hogsback. Umzumbe stayed for like a week and traveled around the area to Oribi Gorge and the coffee plantations. If you like hiking or mountain scenery the Drakensberg region is my absolute favourite....hostel in central Drak called Inkosana Lodge....central for hikes and the area....loved. Happy for you to PM for any more details on anywhere! Have the best time ever! And South Africa is safe....but it is restricted in some ways because everyone wants you to be SO safe. It's the only country in the world I've ever been in (and I've been in many) that I felt I had to be constantly on guard of what I could and couldn't do alone. Outside that sense of caution, it is safe, beautiful, and one of my favourite countries in the world!

9. Posted by davidhart (Budding Member 2 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

I live in Durban, well just outside Durban. DO NOT hitch hike as there are bad people here. It is a wonderful country with many beautiful places to see. Just be cautious of your surroundings and stick to the main cities. Travel by car or plane only. Roads do get very busy during the school periods and at the beginning and end of school holidays. There are plenty of caravan parks/camp sites that you can enjoy. There are so many 'gems' here it depends on your preferences.

10. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Again, the original post was a year ago and the original poster will have been back home for over 6 months since his/her trip...