South Africa: Tips

General

People are pretty nice and helpful. In order to approach someone always starts with “Hello, how are you?” and wait for the response before you get to your original question.

South Africa is easy for self driving. It has a good infrastructure, big freeways and much space. Still make sure that you are fine with driving on the left-hand side.

Transportation

The easiest way to go around in South Africa is by renting a car. Direct pickup at the airport in Johannesburg possible. In general the streets are good. South Africa has big freeways with a toll system. Toll can be paid at the toll station or the rental car has a toll toggle integrated. Smaller streets can have pot holes, consider you warned. Speed limit on freeways is 120 km/h on regular streets 100 km/h. In general, no 4×4 wheal car needed. Be aware where you want to go – South Africa is a huge country -, usually attractions are not signposted that good, you may, will find a sign 5 km before.

Accommodation

In South Africa you can find accommodation for every range of budget, depending on your preferences. The following 4 accommodations are especially recommendable:

Money

In general the most of the places take credit card (restaurants, entry fees, …). Nether the less have some money with you for example to pay in smaller supermarkets, entry fees in the Dragensberge.

Drakensberge

Have cash with you, in order to hike in the Dragensberge it is necessary to pay entrance & hiking fee for the different Drakensberge regions (Royal Natal National Park, Champagne Castle and Giant Castle). Be aware that the Drakensberge region is huge and the distance between the different regions taking away a lot of driving time. In order to hike more, either way concentrate on one region or choose accommodation in the park region (lodge, hotel or camping).

When you plan to hike the famous Amphitheatre, be aware that the last 7 kilometer to the
Witsieshoek’s Sentinel car park is not recommenced to drive with a none 4×4 wheal car. In order to get to the start of the hike you can drive to the Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge and ask at the reception for a drive to the car park.

Kruger National Park

The bigger camps of the park have restaurants, gas stations, post office and supermarkets. It is possible either way to eat in the restaurant or use the grill attached to the hut, everything for the barbecue can be bought in the supermarket in the camp. In order to get the most of the park buy in the supermarket at your entry gate the small booklet “Kruger Park Maps and Guide”, this was helpful with orientation in the park, directions, animals and more.
A day drive in the Kruger Park only scratch the surface for that reason take 3 to 5 days to explore the whole park or have game drives to different times.

Travel Duration

South Africa is huge, don’t underestimate travel distances. Even that it has highways, travel time between locations can be up to 7 hours. For east Africa (Johannesburg→DrakensbergeSt LuciaKrüger National ParkBlyde River Canyon→Johannesburg) at least plan in 12 Days. If you are planning to hike a few days in the Drakensberge even up to 20 Days.

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