Looking for ideas for my trip to South Africa

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Looking for ideas for my trip to South Africa

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1. Posted by John999181 (Full Member 41 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Hello again.

After my trips to Australia, USA and China I'm now looking to plan a trip away to South Africa over the new year and looking for ideas on a where to visit. Think I'll be there for about 16 days and I'll be looking to work my was across the country. I'm into allsorts so would like to see the sights, safaris and cities..... Been told that its not safe in Johannesburg if I was to be travelling alone.. Is this true??

I'm looking to start at Cape Town then make my way along the South Coast, though not sure on where to go.

Any ideas would be welcomed...



2. Posted by Krikri3 (Budding Member 12 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Hi John.

Just posted a thingy myself.... wondering if people had heard of this tourcompany.
You could check it out too. Looks good! :-)
I am planning on trying them out in January


3. Posted by oslaue (Full Member 571 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

i was just in south africa...

my advise...forget about the north of south africa like places such as pretoria and jo'burg...there is nothing in these places! jo'burg isnt even safe for the white man! and there is nothing to do. i was there myself! i only went there because i got friends in the suburbs in jo'burg. too dangerous!

head to cape town! and check out cape town, cape town peninsula and doing the whole garden route.

be warned...cape town is very dangerous too even in the city at night!

4. Posted by Strider (Budding Member 34 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Firstly, Oslaue - careful... I am a South Africa, and yes there are areas which are dangerous - however most of these areas are not tourist destinations and are of no interest to a person travelling through SA - I am from Cape Town and lived in Jo'burg - I was never mugged, hijacked or stabbed... In any third world - you should be aware that there are dangers and not be fullish - these usually are the city centres and rural squatter camps... which have little interest anyway... But dont start knocking a country which you have travelled to once and stayed in for less than a month. You can travel to any 1st world country and find places which are just as dangerous - if not more - just this mrning they disarmed a car bomb near piccadely circus in London - that sounds a bit dangerous to me but I plan to go to London next month anyway... so, Oslaue when you start attacking countries on a 2 week experience or some information you read in the local tabloid... think again! People with your attitude can affect peoples livelyhoods, as tourism plays a huge role in SA's economy... You enjoyed yourself in SA, I am sure of that... just be careful not to spoil for all!

Secondly, SA highlights... You have 16 days which I would say is just enough to see some the popular ones and fit in some unusual places... You must go to the Blyde RIver Canyon, the Kruger National Park, Drakensberg, St Lucia Wetlands Reserve, the Wild Coast, Kosi Bay or Coffee Bay, Knysna/Tsitsikama, Hermanus and Cape Town - also try and fit in Swaziland if you can - You could hire a car and drive this route on your own through www.avis.co.za or could join an adventure route through Drifters (www.drifters.co.za) or Nomad (www.nomadtours.co.za) both are reputable adventure travel companies - you can also look into Bundu Safaris or Sunways - You can also get a Baz Bus Ticket (www.bazbus.com) which is a student/backpackers bus which travels through all the major destination of SA and stops off at some very good backpackers along the way. You can buy a jump on and off ticket which will allow you multiple journays whenever you want... I hope that helps

Krikri - I hope the info I provided helps...

Ian Pollard
Strider Expeditions

5. Posted by mikeandave (Full Member 84 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Cape Town! Defo go there. I'm not just saying it because that's where I'm from. It's got an amazing vibe. So beautiful and lots to do. So much to see just in that area. I would love to go back.


6. Posted by Krikri3 (Budding Member 12 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Ian! Thanks for the info! I have checked out several overland tours, but even though Drifters is more expensive it includes much more than the others, and it seems like they know what they are doing... I will check out www.nomadtours.co.za too now.

Nothing is better than to get info from a local!


7. Posted by oslaue (Full Member 571 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Quoting mikeandave

Cape Town! Defo go there. I'm not just saying it because that's where I'm from. It's got an amazing vibe. So beautiful and lots to do. So much to see just in that area. I would love to go back.


dude i am not slating south africa. i loved the place! and it has been one of the best holiday destinations that i have had.

you were never mugged in jo'burg because you know were to go and what is what.
no matter how street wise you are johannesburg its a bad bad city to be in and it does not matter what part of jo'burg! a tourist explores a city! exploring jo'burg on your own is just asking for trouble.

you cannot compare jo'burg to any other city in the world...i have never been to a city in my life were i am told do not take
public transport! even the tourist operators say that one should not take any public transport in jo'burg.

bombs in london...that is all down to terrorist activty and the chances of getting caught up in a terrorist bomb is very slim! the chances of being mugged / killed in jo'burg is a million times higher! you guys got guard dogs, eletric fences, armed security etc...i cant say any european country resorts to such measures.

the dangers you have in jo'burg far exceed any dangers that come with any other city that i have been to never the less i will be going back to south africa next year! and again in 2010 for the soccer world cup. when i was in cape town city centre i didnt feel comfortable walking about at night. i didnt like the idea of being harassed by hiv beggers, threathend etc...and this was not just 1 night it was every night on long street in cape town. i was okay but all the girls i knew got mugged and some of the guys. i mean what can one do when a knife is pointed at them. i cant really say that i have ever had any kind of trouble in any of the citys that i have been to...new york, dublin, glasgow, london, amsderdam, sydney, boston etc etc...

i only stated that the south of south africa is better to be in then the north! of course you got kruger park up north but thats about it.
a long the south you got mountains, ocean, wine fields etc...very pretty were the north its the opposite.

plus the dude to the original post only has 16 days in south africa! to see cape town, cape area, garden route and to have lots of fun and enjoy yourself takes more than 16 days.

i think been in jo'burg is an experience to see what poverty and a 3rd world country is all about.

for the original poster do bare in mind that getting buses and commutting from one place to another takes some time. south africa is huge and it takes forever to cover distance!

8. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5774 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

If you have about 2 weeks, stick to the area roughly between Lesotho, Swaziland, Durban and Kruger/Pilanesberg NP. You can not visit everything of course but loads of opportunities.
The south near cape town is nice as well, but the Garden/wine route is, although nice, something for people who are retired...with all respect that is!

9. Posted by mikeandave (Full Member 84 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

I think oslaue is right to an extent. I had my bike stolen from me when I lived there by some guy with a knife. I went to court and he was sentenced!

One of my mates who went travelling around the world for 12 months went to south east asia, australia, new zealand, fiji, hawaii the u.s and south africa now thinks the best place was South Africa.

I think Jo'burg is more dangerous than Cape Town. Can't remember Jo'burg but Cape Town is amazing. I don't think it's just for retired people. Just think about the the beaches around the cape, theres loads of stuff to do there. There's also table mountain in cape town!


10. Posted by John999181 (Full Member 41 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for all your posts.

I have also travelled alone in a few cities around the world both through the day and at night, which include Beijing, Hong Kong, New York, Sydney, Washington DC, London, to name just a few. I have always felt safe, even when travelling on public transport, though obviously you choose the times to travel as I wouldn't be riding the underground at night in some places, so a lot of it is common sence, though with J/burg, I have heard a few stories that it isn't the safest place to travel alone, even through the day. As someone mentioned, when I travel to a city, I like to explore a city and often find I'm taking public transport through resident areas just to get to a point of interest, perhaps on the outskirts of town, which I have been advised not to do in J/burg.

I think my best bet is to maybes find a travel buddy for this trip or miss J/burg all together as I have heard to many bad stories about it, which obviously worries me.

So far I'm looking to fly into Cape town, and work my way along the coast finishing off at Durban. Normally when I'm away during the December/January, I don't normally get the weather, though it looks like I might get a bit of sun this year which will be good for a change as Beijing and New York are freeeezing in January....