South Africa is the confluence of many diverse African cultures. It is also blessed with many geographical features which help it stand out. As a tourist, it provides you with one of the most interesting proposition.
You will be able to sample the culture of almost the entire African continent along with some splendid geographical features. In general, as long as you follow a few essential tips, exploring South Africa can be a pleasant and safe experience.
Today, we will share eight things which you should know about before you head over to South Africa. This guide aims to ensure that you can plan your trip in such a way that it can be entirely glitch-free.
1. Be aware of your surroundings
When exploring cities like Cape Town, it is always better to stick to the tourist circuit. Just like any other metropolis, it has good neighborhoods as well as bad neighborhoods. If you plan on sticking to the two-day itinerary, you can be sure that you will always be in the best of areas.
Additionally, if you come across any demonstration or any mob, it is a good better to move away from that place. You have to curb your curiosity and head to your next destination rather than waiting around. These two tips alone will ensure that you can explore almost all the cities of South Africa with relative ease.
2. Keep a low profile
Similar to any other country around the world, South Africa also has its share of anti-social elements. Due to this very reason, rather than being flashy or attracting attention, it is a good idea to be low-profile. You have to avoid wearing expensive jewelry. Once you intermingle with the other tourists, it is easy for you to stay safe. At the same point, you have to ensure that your gadgets are low-profile as well.
Also, it is advisable to know about the bad neighborhoods of the city in which you are. It will ensure that you can avoid them entirely. As a result, you can keep trouble at bay just by remaining low profile.
3. Rely on local SIM cards
As South Africa is a developing country, it has an excellent telecom network. The coverage on offer is unparalleled with other African countries. There are four telecom networks in South Africa.
- Cell C
You should get one of the Sim cards when you reach the airport. It will ensure that not only you can stay in touch with your folks but also use the data on offer and navigate your way through. Surprisingly, the Internet speed offered in most of the cities is pretty good. It will ensure that you can use Google maps and Google translate and other applications which can help you with your trip.
The best place to buy a Sim is the airport. It ensures that you are not susceptible to any tourist scams. If you have missed buying one from the airport, you can head over to any reputed supermarket, or official kiosk. You have to avoid buying it from street vendors. As long as you have a sim from any of these four providers, it is easy to stay connected. In today’s world, connectivity can help you stay safe.
Pro tip: The local Sims can only work with unlocked GSM phones. That is why it is better to check your handset before heading over to South Africa.
4. Rent the right car
You can explore South Africa in its entirety by renting a car. However, you need to remember that car theft is on the rise in South Africa. That is why; you have to follow the low-profile at all. It is a good idea to avoid expensive cars and convertibles. You have to be especially careful after sunset as that is when most of the car thefts happen. Still, renting a car is the best and most efficient way to explore the country.
5. Be wary of donating
Many scamsters have turned donations into a tourist scam in South Africa. You will be approached to volunteer for an orphanage or any other such institution. In the institution, the condition of the children, or the inmates would be such that you would pity them. As a result, the institution or the organizers will approach you to make donations. That is why; it is always better to avoid volunteering such institutions.
If at all, you want to volunteer your time, it is better to approach international organizations for the same. It will ensure that you can volunteer your time at your own will and make contributions only if you want to.
6. Respect their culture
As we stated above, South Africa is a confluence of many different cultures. Therefore, you will experience and witness quite a few things which might be new to you. Rather than being critical about their culture, it is a good idea to be open-minded. Once you respect them, it will be easy for you to socialize with them.
Moreover, South Africa has 11 different official languages. So, you will come across a variety of different individual speaking different languages. However, most of them know at least basic English. That is why; interacting with them in major towns and cities is quite easy. If you like to have new cultural experiences, South Africa is one of the best countries to visit.
7. Find out about your visa requirements in advance
Currently, tourists from Europe, New Zealand, America, Canada require almost minimal to no paperwork when they visit South Africa for 90 days. If you are a citizen of any other country, you might need a visa. It is always a good idea to get a visa much before your trip.
The best way to get a South African visa is to contact an agency like Southafricavisa.com. They have years of experience to provide a visa for two days. So, to have a stress-free experience and get your visa before your trip, you can go with this agency.
The government of South Africa is also planning on launching evisa in November 2019. Once the government launches it, the agency above can help you with that as well. The best way to keep your document worries at bay is to hire an agency to cater to your visa requirements.
8. Stick to bottled water
Generally speaking, the drinking water which you get in the taps in the cities is good enough. However, when you head over to the countryside, it is best to stick to bottled water. Many tourists stick to bottled water throughout the country. It ensures that they can keep ailments and diseases at bay.
So, if you want to explore the African continent in a short time, South Africa is the country which you should visit. With its geographical and cultural diversity, it is a country which you should explore. With our guide above, your trip will be smooth, and you can explore the country without having to worry about anything.