Both Jairo and I narrated this trip in its entirety on Instagram Stories. I explained the headaches of its preparation, but, above all, day by day more than 6,000 people saw our adventures and misadventures in a trip that went from less to more. So much less that I had no confidence that I would like it, that I was really afraid of the news I had read, and so much more that I ended up crying my eyes out as the plane took off.
To tell the truth, when I thought about traveling to South Africa on my own, I was quite scared. The crime rates are shocking and it is well known that sensationalist news are the ones that appear the most in the media. However, after having returned from this trip, I can say that the fear I had was quite unjustified.
We were also walking around the more touristy area of Johannesburg’s Soweto neighborhood (the one around Mandela’s house and the Orlando Towers) and I noticed an atmosphere that was more festive than dangerous.
I want to clarify one point: this mini guide is ideal for those who travel to South Africa on their own because that’s how I did it. I didn’t pay for a travel agency to set up the route for me, I let the destination itself do it for me during the 22 days of the trip.
This will depend on your country of birth. For example, I am Chilean and I only needed my passport to travel there. For many countries it is not necessary to apply for a visa if you will stay in the country for less than 90 days (3 months).
This is one of the most frequent doubts for those who visit South Africa, especially if they come from Latin America. Most of the trips from this part of the continent have a stopover in Sao Paulo (Brazil), so the yellow fever vaccine is mandatory. And when I say it is mandatory, it is real. I was asked for the vaccination certificate when I was about to board the plane to Johannesburg and if I had not had the famous paper, I would not have been able to take the plane. So do not take this point lightly.
There are many travelers who have been to South Africa and are eager to return to this wonderful country. In social networks and blogs you will find all kinds of testimonials that will surely give you the final push to visit southern Africa, but you can not be unaware and ignore some facts. It is true that the crime rate in South African cities is high and that muggings, robberies and thefts sometimes happen. However, it is also true that the authorities are aware of this and that tourist areas are heavily guarded. In addition, a trip through the country does not only include big cities and all travelers agree that, outside of them, South Africa is a very quiet country.
Therefore, we can tell you that it is safe to travel to South Africa, but keeping some basic precautions that will make you enjoy your trip. Although traveling in the African country is not like traveling in Europe, do not become paranoid and be consistent.
Because we want you to love South Africa as much as we do, we want to give you some tips for you to plan your trip. Evaluate all the factors, visit areas where you feel comfortable and, above all, enjoy a country as great as this one.
South african airways
Of course, you must have your passport in force before traveling to South Africa, a document that must meet these two requirements: It must have an expiration date of at least 30 days after the date of departure from the country and have 2 blank pages.
Malaria treatment is advisable if you are going to visit risk areas, located in the northeast of the country, such as the Kruger Park. In the big cities there is no risk of being bitten by the mosquito that transmits the disease.
Being located in the southern hemisphere, the seasons in South Africa are the opposite of those in Europe. Winter in South Africa, which runs from June to September, is dry and not too cold. This is the best time to enjoy the wildlife. The vegetation is less lush and the animals concentrate on the rivers to drink. In addition, the southern whale begins to reach the coast. It is also a good season for outdoor activities and sports.
The South African spring is from September to November. Temperatures rise during the day. It is a season that allows us to see beautiful landscapes full of flowers, such as those of the West Coast National Park, about 90 kilometers from Cape Town.