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Backpacking South Africa: Mini Travel Guide

If you have your heart set on backpacking South Africa, this guide should help answer any questions you might have on where to go, when to go, how much it will cost and fun hostels to stay at.

NOTE: This post has been divided into a few smaller guides after complaints it was TOO LONG!

Part 1: Best time to visit South Africa

While there’s really no bad time to visit South Africa, certain times of the year are better depending on what type of holiday you’re looking for and what your interests are. While cities like Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and destinations along The Garden Route can all get very cold, wet and windy in the winter months, other parts of South Africa like Durban and further North along the coast remain quite warm all year round. Here’s my guide to the best time to visit South Africa for safaris, surfing and a little bit of sunshine!

Part 2: Budget for South Africa: How much will a holiday cost?

Your backpacking South Africa budget will depend on the balance of your bank account, but it really is possible to do a trip here for very cheap. This guide outlines how much a trip to South Africa costs, the price of accommodation in South Africa and which activities will cost more. 

Part 3: Unique things to do in South Africa

South Africa is the greatest country on earth. There, I said it. Seriously, if South Africa was a man I would probably stop all my endless travels and settle down and have a big family. So, what makes South Africa so great? Besides the breathtaking landscapes, vibrant cities, friendly people, and amazing food around every corner, what makes it amazing in my eyes is that there are literally endless unique things to do in South Africa. Here’s my pick of the top 50.

Part 4: Best backpacker hostels in South Africa

Having spent the past 5 weeks backpacking around Southern Africa and sleeping in some of the coolest hostels in the world, I feel it’s about time I shared my list of the 9 best backpacker hostels in South Africa. I have judged all the hostels I stayed in myself, and also chatted to all the other travellers I met along the way to see what their favourite hostels were to try to work out what makes a really great backpackers hostel. One I worked out what makes a good hostel (and what makes a bad one!) I wrote down all the places I stayed and that finally worked out my favourite 9.

Part 5: Beautiful places to visit in Cape Town

If you intend to holiday in South Africa for the first time, then Cape Town should be high on your bucket list. The endless attractions this beautiful city has to offer are simply amazing. Where else in the world can you come across a city with sensational beaches, stunning scenery from high up in the mountains, world class entertainment, wine estates and captivating safari parks, all within easy reach.

Part 6: Where to go in Johannesburg: Safe areas

Dangerous areas and horror stories in Joburg aside, I would highly recommend a few days in this city and in particular a visit to the Maboneng Precinct. It’s vibrant street scenes, live music and colourful characters are a photographers dream while the culture and history, and museums and art houses, will open your eyes to whole new perspective on the rainbow nation. 

Part 7: Adventure activities in Cape Town

A photo post about my paragliding adventure in Cape Town. Running off the side of Signal Hill in Cape Town while strapped to a handsome South African, with a spectacular view of Table Mountain behind us in the distance, was definitely one of my highlights of my stay in South Africa!!

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