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Language: English | Currency: Rand (R) | Local time: SAST | Avg. Flight time: 12 hrs
Cape Town is one of South Africa’s three capital cities and has a huge range of accommodation options, from the super-swanky to the wallet-friendly. If you’re keen to be by the beach then the best places to look are Seapoint, Camps Bay or Bantry Bay.
If shopping is on your mind, consider one of the hotels near Cape Town’s enormous shopping mall, the V&A Waterfront: you can opt for exclusive five-star luxury or reasonably-priced three and four-star hotels.
For the cheapest options, turn to busy, nightlife-heavy Long Street where you’ll find plenty of backpacker-friendly hostels just moments from the bars and clubs of Cape Town’s coolest street.
Prices in South Africa skyrocket during busy holiday seasons – and hotel rooms really will sell out – so if you’re visiting during a peak time, book your accommodation well in advance.
Most major hotel groups have premises in Johannesburg, around the Rosebank and Melrose areas. Several upmarket shopping malls can be found here, and the many clubs around the Design District are popular with celebrities. Nearby, the popular Rooftop Market, a flea market on the roof of the Rosebank Mall, is another great place to shop.
For something cheaper, head to bohemian Melville. With over 30 guesthouses in the area, you can easily find a clean and spacious room for less than £40 a night.
Built around one of Africa’s busiest ports, the city of Durban is famous for its picturesque coastline and diverse culture. Popular areas include the small resort town of Unhloti Beach, where dolphins can be spotted playing in the sea, and the upmarket holiday village of Umhlanga, which boasts warm waters, gorgeous beaches and great shopping options.
Durban is also a fantastic base for exploring the nearby attractions, including the UNESCO-listed iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the magnificent uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park.
South Africa’s oldest and largest park, Kruger National Park is most famous for its ‘Big Five’-spotting opportunities. Depending on your budget, you could choose to go on a self-drive safari, guided drive, or even a thrilling bush walk with armed rangers. The park also offers an excellent range of accommodation, from cheap camping sites to luxury lodges.
Apart from Kruger, there are also many other private game reserves which come with excellent lodging options.
Many B&B and big name chain hotels are readily available in other South African towns and cities such as Kimberley, Oudtshoorn, Port Elizabeth and East London, though booking in advance is always a good idea, especially during popular periods.
Looking to visit South Africa? Make sure to check out our Tips and Advice first