Visiting South Africa

When planning to visit South Africa, make sure you know what you want to see and do during your visit. It is not just the people and nature that are diverse, but also the weather and temperatures. For example, some areas are better left alone in summer, whereas others are best to visit during summer. We are planning a series on South Africa where we will discuss the different areas.


Most people arrive in South Africa by air. The OR Tambo international airport is the biggest and busiest airport in Africa. It is situated East, North East of Johannesburg, in the Ekurhuleni Metro. Getting from the airport to your hotel is easy. If you are not renting a car at the airport, you can use the Gautrain to Pretoria, Sandton, Midrand, and Johannesburg. There are always taxis available, but be careful when taking a taxi – most taxis are not metered; please make sure you negotiate a price before you leave the airport. An alternate is always a Uber. There is free Wi-Fi available at the airport; you will therefore be able to get an Uber if required. The advantage is that Uber taxis have predefined fixed prices.

Where to Stay.

Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Ekurhuleni all have many well-situated hotels. Depending on your budget, there will be a hotel to suit you. The best way to book your hotel will be through

The Gauteng province is the business and financial hub of South Africa. Many people visit South Africa on business trips and only see Gauteng. South Africa is a big country with long distances between towns and cities. If you are visiting on a business trip, you can still see some wonderful things this country offers.

Inner City.

There are various options available to tourists in the cities. In Johannesburg, the most popular attraction is Gold Reef City. It is a theme park that was built on an old gold mine. There are various rides for old and young. You can also visit the mine museum. Other attractions in Johannesburg are the Apartheid Museum, Constitution Hill, Origins Centre Museum, a Day trip to Soweto, and the Johannesburg Zoo.

Pretoria, the Capital city, offers as much as Johannesburg. The Union Building, Voortrekker Monument (Monument to Afrikaans Settlers),

National Zoo, Pretoria Botanical Gardens, as well as many museums (Transvaal Museum, President Kruger House, Sammy Marx house, Melrose House, and Many others)


Gauteng does not have a Kruger National Park, but that does not mean no wildlife is on display. The Rhino and Lion Nature reserve is in the cradle of humankind, 40 km west of Johannesburg. This is an ideal day trip where you will likely see Lion, Rhino, and Cheetah.

Rietvlei Nature reserve borders Pretoria on the South Eastern side. There are no predators at Rietvlei, but you will most likely see Buffalo, Rhino, Hippo, and Zebra.

The Lion Park Lanseria is situated between Johannesburg and Pretoria. It is home to nearly 100 lions. You will also be able to interact with lion cubs. There are also many other small game reserves in and around Gauteng.

Many tour operators offer day trips to the above and other reserves. Day and weekend trips can also be arranged to the Pilansberg Nature reserve, where all 5 of the big 5 are present (Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Rhino, and Leopard).


The Gauteng province forms part of the South African Highveld. The Highveld is an inland plateau with altitudes ranging between 1500 m and 2100 m above sea level. The high altitude results in cold winter nights. Minimum temperatures vary between -5 ºC and 10 ºC during the winter months (June to August), and maximum temperatures in this period vary between 15 ºC and 23 ºC.

The higher altitude ensures a more tolerable summer with temperatures from 10 – 18 ºC during the night and 25 – 33 ºC during the day. However, summer is also the rainy season, with an annual average rainfall of around 600 mm. Most of the rain is in the form of thunderstorms.

Best time to visit.

If you are visiting Gauteng and you have a choice of when we recommend visiting during the summer months. December is peak season; try to avoid it. Most businesses also close from mid-December to early January every year. If you are also visiting the northern parts of the country, September and October will be the best time to visit as the temperatures will not be too high. A combination of Gauteng and the coastal areas will be best during March and April as the rainy season ends and temperatures start to drop.


Unfortunately, South Africa has developed an image of not being safe. This is not 100% correct. Most parts of the country are safe, and most citizens welcome foreigners. Sadly, there are a few rotten apples. The best way to stay safe is to stay between people. Don’t enter a dark alley at night, travel in groups where possible, and keep your eyes open for suspect persons. If you do not feel at ease, do not continue on that route.

Happy Travels