South Africa backpacking trip { Tips + Tricks }

South Africa, Tips

My South Africa backpacking trip was the most satisfying trip that I have done so far. A South Africa backpacking vacation is a must do for every backpacker. Keep in mind the following tips while backpacking South Africa and you are guaranteed to have a swell time !

1. South Africa is not Africa. If you’re looking for an African experience, head to Lesotho, Zululand, Swaziland or the Transkei.

2. Health and Safety Tips:

  1. You can drink the tap water in South Africa if the need arises.South Africa Backpacking Tips for health and safety - Sex & HIV
  2. Take care in malaria areas.
  3. 1 in 4 people in South Africa are HIV positive. So if this beautiful country and delectably warm weather makes you hot and horny, make sure you wrap your rascal or get HIM to wrap HIS.
  4. Sun in South Africa burns, so use some sun protection cream.
  5. Tourists are easy targets. So when walking around, be sensible.
  6. Leave a copy of your documents in a safe place and one copy on the internet / email.
  7. Leave valuables in the hostel safe.
  8. Ask about safety before wandering around, especially after dark and early mornings (smaller towns are generally safer than cities).
  9. Take taxis at night.
  10. Don’t leave anything overnight in your car, windows are easy to break and a pain to replace.
  11. Be careful when you drive at night. Hazards include unexpected pedestrians, potholes and animals on the road.

3. The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa has a special grading system for backpacker lodges. Grading ranges from 1 star (acceptable) to 5 stars (superior). Star grading relates to the facilities provided, is voluntary and has to be paid for. You can give both positive and negative feedback on any graded establishment by visiting

4. To book a backpacker hostel ahead of time and compare your options – is a good resource for the complete South Africa backpacking circuit.

5. Many backpacker hostels provide free stay or discounted stays if you book an activity with them. Ask for such offers wherever you stay.

  1. Indians are a major part of the South African population. Locals might perceive you as per their experience of local people on Indian origin so make sure you tell them that you’re an Indian from India and not an Indian origin South African ! You’ll be surprised at what an amazing conversation starter that can be 🙂

Hope these South Africa backpacking tips will be useful. Happy travels !

Recommended Reads:

10 Important Tips to know before planning your South Africa Trip

Prison Island – Home to the endangered Aldabra Giant Tortoise

Zanzibar Travel Advice

South Africa Tipping Guide

Shark Cage Diving with the Great Whites

Skydiving in South Africa – An unforgettable experience !

Bungee at Boulkran’s Bridge, South Africa – Highest Bridge Bungee in the world


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