Here is me having a go at helping you with your South Africa travel itinerary. I’ve met some interesting people on my travels so far and the one thing that comes up, without doubt, is WOW South Africa, I really wanna go!
I give this speech over and over, so here it is 😉
I am going to start this blog off on a bit of a negative note unfortunately but this is South Africa we’re talking about and these tips will keep you safe. What you see on the news probably isn’t too accurate but here are my tips as a Saffa.
Watch your pockets. Pick-pocketing is real. It took me about 5months to shake the “2-minute pocket check”. This kinda ties in with snatching handbags.
Be streetwise. If you’re walking around at night, don’t be alone. Try and walk in busy areas and with some friends. Often I have been walking home, after 17000 tequilas, and had to constantly cross the road. If you see someone, anyone, walking on the same side of the road as you, don’t hesitate to cross over to the opposite side of the road. This shows that person that you are one step ahead of them. If ANYONE asks you about your shoes in Cape Town, don’t engage, they’re sucking you into their plot to steal.
Not that is out of the way, here is your itinerary:
Johannesburg > Durban > Sani Pass > Midlands Meander > Transkei > Coffee Bay > Knysna > Plettenberg Bay > Cape Town
Some Important things to know:
Visit in Summer or between October and April. With that said, Durban has the best winter(May, June, July) in the WORLD!
Almost everywhere accepts cards and there are ATM’s everywhere. Uber/Taxify is the way to get around. If you want to you can catch the local taxis(hi-ace), they’re dirt cheap but don’t ask me about the routes because I have NO CLUE! Sim cards, MTN, Vodacom, Cell C. All have great coverage Vodacom being the most expensive but arguably the best coverage.
Fly directly into Joburg(Johannesburg).
Go to Soweto and book a Mandela tour through the townships. You really need to get to Vilikazi Street. Not far from here is, Chaf Pozi, where you can bungee off the two massive Silos and enjoy a Tshisa Nyama(burn the meat/bbq) Soweto is BOOMING on a Sunday so that’s the day to go!
Maboneng for some markets and some awesome street art. You could spend an entire Saturday in Maboneng!
From here you will want to get on an aeroplane and fly through to Durban, KZN. Your best airline options are Mango, SafAir or Kulula. Just jump onto Skyscanner and you will find something pretty cheap.
Staying in Durban for 3 nights?
This is my hometown and I love it so i’ll try give you the best options. If you want to meet the most stoked Durbanite in the world, his name is Matt Suth! Follow him on Instagram to see some golden shots of our home city!
Your best bet for accommodation would be the eThekwini backpackers on Florida road. Florida road is the main street in Durban with clubs restaurants bars and more. Morningside is the area you’re in. Give booking.com a go too 😉
If you want to go on safari head up to Phinda Game Reserve. There are loads of places to go around the whole of South Africa so it’s really up to you!
Beachfront! Head down to uShaka, it’s the tourist hub of Durban. From here you should take a taxi or a tour bus through Durban town, the colonial architecture is quite something. Durban has the second most number of Art Deco buildings per capita, second to Miami. The city centre sort of looks like its stuck in the 70/80s which brings a very chilled vibe! Be self aware when walking through town, the pickpocketing is there, so just be on alert.
Head out on Florida Road that evening after roasting in the sun including in some cocktails on the pier. Drop Kick Murphys is a GREAT restaurant with some incredible pizza and pasta.
Head out to Umhlanga, maybe visit YogaRocks out there and plenty to do. Go to the beach, walk the promenade. If you want a shopping mall, Gateway is the place to go. When built, it was the second biggest in the Southern Hemisphere. The Umhlanga Village is the place to go. Basically a bunch of restaurants and pubs. Not my scene but it’s great to get a sense of the night vibe.
Today you will be exploring the Drakensberg area. This can get a bit cooler than the coast, especially in winter. Hire a car and drive through to get the best out of your trip.
I would definitely recommend going up Sani Pass. This is in Lesotho which is the tiny country inside South Africa so take your passport. At the top of this pass is the highest pub in Africa. Stay one night up there and then come back down. You can hike this too, it’s about a 10km hike to the top, it’s not one for the faint-hearted though. The air is thin! Maybe because the air is SO thick in Durban.
If you take anything out of this blog post, let it be this!
Get yourself to Port St.Johns
Book your hike with Wild Coast Hikes 60km over 4 nights. You can have someone carry your bags for a cost or you can carry them yourselves but I am warning you, the first hill is called heartbreak hill… nuff said. Our bags were about 7kgs each so we managed with them. This is probably the best thing I have done in South Africa by a long way. You will sleep in Xhosa huts with the locals!
This hike ends in coffee Bay and let’s just say that Coffee Bay is the most hippie town you will visit in South Africa. Enjoy the shrooms if you may. Just around the corner is “Hole in the Wall”
The Garden Route. Stop along as you wish! Take it all in!
Natures Valley – wild spirit backpackers there is lekker!
Knysna – I haven’t done too much in these places but when I have it has been beautiful and relaxing.
Head to Plettenberg Bay, this is your first taste of icy waters and white sands. This is a very similar place to Cape Town, only without the city.
There is FAR too much to do in CT so here is a list of a few things to do:
- Wine Farms
- UpYours – hip-hop on the roof on Sundays
- Table Mountain
- First Thursdays on Bree Street
- Camps Bay
- Clifton Beach
- Llandudno Beach
- Bakhoven Beach (shhhhhhhh keep this one quite)
- Mzolis (Township party, so go with at least a group of 10)
- Lions Head hike – about an hour to the top
- Chapmans peak drive
There we have it for your South Africa travel itinerary. Comments are WELCOME. Questions are WELCOME. There is way more than what I’ve mentioned but this is just a start.
LASTLY, if you want great vegan food – OUT TO LUNCH does incredible stuff!
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