Why South Africa is Perfect for Solo Travel

Why South Africa is Perfect for Solo Travel

Solo Travel South Africa: Why South Africa is Perfect for Solo Travel

There are those special places in the world where no matter how much research you’ve done and how many questions you’ve asked, your experiences far exceed your expectations. For me, that place is South Africa. One thing that surprised me was how perfect South Africa is for all kinds of travel, including solo travel as a woman. Let me tell you why…

Solo Travel South Africa: Why South Africa is Perfect for Solo Travel

It’s safe

South Africa’s reputation versus the reality is really unbalanced. When I first considered solo travel there about eight years ago, I was looking to travel alone. But South Africa just seemed too dangerous for solo travel as a woman. But I have since learned that I was so wrong. As with any country, there are places you shouldn’t go, but as long as you’re aware of those places, you’ll know to avoid them and stay safe.

Many solo, female travellers, groups of teenage girls, young families, retired couples, newlyweds and everything in between. To think that people don’t come here because they think it’s unsafe is so unfortunate, and means they miss out on a diverse, interesting and beautiful country.

My husband and I spent three months in South Africa and have met such a variety of travellers. Many solo, female travellers, groups of teenage girls, young families, retired couples, newlyweds and everything in between. To think that people don’t come here because they think it’s unsafe is so unfortunate, and means they miss out on a diverse, interesting and beautiful country.

It’s perfectly set up for backpackers

South Africa is so well set-up for travellers. The country is riddled with hostels and even has a growing Couchsurfing community. There’s a budget traveller’s bible called Coast To Coast, which can be picked up for free at various locations. It contains details of hostels all over the country, along with what to do in each area.

And if you’re wanting to settle in and get to know one spot, there are plenty of volunteering options on websites like workaway.info, where you can help out at a hostel in exchange for free accommodation. Win-win.

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It’s affordable

Unfortunately, the South African Rand isn’t doing so well at the moment. The upshot of this is that it is really affordable to travel there. A bed in a dorm is around US$10 per night, and some hostels include a basic breakfast. If you’re happy to camp, you can pitch a tent at many sites for a bargain price, and make your money go even further.

South Africa needs tourists and tourists want an affordable destination. A win-win situation.

Just because the rand is suffering, doesn’t mean the businesses should. South Africa needs tourists and tourists want an affordable destination. A win-win situation.

It’s easy to get around

The transport within the country is fantastic. The most popular mode is Baz Bus, which is extremely convenient and stops at a variety of different hostels throughout the country. There are also long-distance bus companies like Greyhound and Intercape that are affordable, especially when combined with local buses. As for inner-city travel, Uber is popular in Cape Town and can take you wherever you need for a reasonable price.

And there are plenty of self-drive safaris where you can try and spot the big five from the comforts of your own car.

If you really want to explore the country well, hire a car and take it slow. Petrol is under $1 per litre. And there are plenty of self-drive safaris where you can try and spot the big five from the comforts of your own car.

There’s a range of activities for all types of travellers

Whether you want to do a bush walk, a five-day hike, learn to kite-surf, lounge by the beach, go on a safari or spend days doing wine and cheese tastings, South Africa delivers. You can stay in the city, along the coast, in the mountains, in the desert, in a thatched Xhosa hut or camp lakeside.

And don’t forget to sit and chat with the locals. Most know a great deal about their own country and are passionate to share this information and tips.

It’s not often that a country is ideal for everyone, but here you can find such a variety that it’s impossible to get bored. And don’t forget to sit and chat with the locals. Most know a great deal about their own country and are passionate to share this information and tips.

The food is incredible

South Africans love to cook. The food in South Africa is some of the best I’ve had. A braai (traditional grill barbecue) is common almost everywhere, and if you’re by the sea you’ll likely enjoy locally-caught, grilled fish. If you’re really lucky, you’ll taste an oxtail potjie, a slow cooked stew made outdoors, cooked in a cast iron pot.

Solo Travel South Africa: Why South Africa is Perfect for Solo Travel

Game meats are available all around and you’ll be able to taste ostrich burgers, kudu meatballs or springbok steaks. If meat’s not your thing you can order a delicious curry in Durban, the Indian curry capital of South Africa, or taste the signature Cape Malay cuisine in Cape Town.

 

Solo Travel South Africa: Why South Africa is Perfect for Solo Travel

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Feeling the Fear and Doing it Anyway: Traveling Solo
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Why I Love Traveling Solo In Vietnam
Why Solo Women Should Travel to Norway

Have you traveled solo to South Africa? How was your trip? Email us at editor@pinkpangea.com for information about sharing your experience and advice with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear from you.

Solo Travel South Africa: Why South Africa is Perfect for Solo Travel top photography credit: unsplash.

About Mirna Segal

Mirna SegalMirna is the founder and head hostess of Breathe Travel – a community-run resource hub for travellers. She writes loads of travel tips for new and first-time travellers to help them become confident, ready and excited to embark on their own journey.

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