South Africa

This has been a very well visited place by students too, people loving the culture of Africa and has apparently become a mainstay of students looking more into the history of the country famous for it’s incarnation of Nelson Mandela.

South Africa is known for its amazing wildlife and national parks; tours are very popular with backpackers, these attractions are best to be booked via gap year agencies. The months of June to August, the winter,  are the best months for wildlife tours, so keep that in mind when looking to adventure into the wild! The diversity of wildlife is insane, from hippos to penguins, there is such a broad range of animals to see. Table Mountain is an attraction that should be on your list to do; it is actually one of the ‘new seven wonders of nature’. However, these tours do come at a price; these experiences can be very hard on your bank account, so make sure you do your research and really pick something you will enjoy.

 

Coming away from the wildlife and sceneries, South Africa is home to some incredible cities. The capital, Cape Town, has some amazing spots for food and drink, dishes like Bunny Chow are popular at food markets. Long Street is the place in Cape Town to visit if you like to have a drink and a dance, it is home to all the nightclubs, and you have plenty of choices. Cape Town hostels can be booked up pretty quick, especially the more desireable ones, so be sure to book up in advanced.

UK citizens are issued with a 90-day permit, that’s a free visa for 3 months! There are loads of Bus services to get around the country but one to look out for is Baz Bus, a shuttle bus for backpackers, so great way to get around the cities and to meet people too.

 

PROS:

  • One of the world’s leaders in terms of stunning natural beauty.
  • Huge diversity of wildlife
  • Surprisingly one of the favourite places to visit for people looking to surf uninterrupted.
  • World’s highest bungee jump can be made at Bloukrans Bridge which stands at a staggering 216 meters (709 feet) – for thrill seekers!
  • Free 90 day Visa

CONS:

  • Awareness of HIV & AIDS is recommended.
  • Public transport is very expensive.
  • Johannesburg is highly regarded as one of the crime capitals of the world.
  • Tours and experiences can be expensive