Tips on planning your holiday to South Africa

Booking a holiday to far flung destinations is never easy at the best of times but I just thought I would share some advice on booking a trip to South Africa. A holiday trip to somewhere like South Africa is an exciting and truly memorable one but requires planning if you are to avoid disappointment and heartache along the way.

The first thing to consider is the timing of your holiday. Many of us choose a destination like South Africa to escape colder climates and to enjoy some sun and adventure to get us through the dark cold nights of winter at home. South Africa is a popular holiday destination during the winter months between December to March time each year. The better summer months in South Africa are probably January to February with December offering a mixture of hot days with cooler days. One thing to bear in mind is the length of the days in South Africa. There is no winter clock change in South Africa resulting in early sunrises and early sunsets so come 5 O'Clock in the morning the sun is up. The longest day is generally around the 21st December and even then the sunsets about 19h00. December can offer quite chilly evenings so you will be well advised to bring a warm sweatshirt to pop on so that you can continue to enjoy your braii late into the evening. If you do choose to holiday in South Africa in December it is imperative to book your accommodation and any excursions early. Typically the factories close early in December and many locals take their well earned holidays over the December and early January period. Many guest houses and bed and breakfasts will be booked well in advance for the last 2 weeks of December and the first week of January especially those around the coast, the major holiday destinations and game reserves.

These busy periods will also effect your ability to book internal flights within South Africa. Again its easy to book these flights well in advance and take advantage of some of the local flight operators such as Kulula and SAA. Internal flight prices differ quite a bit depending on when you are looking to fly but booking early should assure you of reasonably priced travel. If you are choosing a fly-drive holiday then please be aware of the distances that you intend to travel. South Africa is a big country and distances between major towns can be vast. Petrol stations are not as frequent once you get outside major suburban areas so you are well advised to fill up before you start your journeys. Another consideration is to try and drive during the day. Driving at night can be quite different to driving at home as the roads are not lit outside of town and you need to be aware of cattle that may be crossing the road at night. Speed limits should be adhered especially around holiday periods as the police set regular speed traps around the country. Another tip for you is the "4 way stops" that they have in South Africa. These are in effect crossroads that dont have traffic lights (called 'robots' over here) and rely on a system whereby cars take it in turns as they arrive at the crossroads. It takes a bit of getting used to!
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1 comment for "Tips on planning your holiday to South Africa"

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