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Cheap flights to South Africa

Flights to South Africa: What to Expect

South Africa occupies the southern region of Africa and is well known for its diverse population, natural beauty, and thriving cities. Considered to be the gateway to Africa, South Africa has a storied history and a rich local culture that offers some of the best art and music on the continent. This, along with exceptional national parks and natural wildlife, make it a joy for those taking cheap flights to South Africa to explore.

What to do in South Africa

Those with cheap flights to South Africa will find a country brimming with a wide array of attractions. Bustling cities, wildlife, and some of earth's most spectacular natural scenery are just three of things that await you on your trip.

The Cities

Cape Town and Johannesburg are the two most important cities in South Africa, and should be visited by everyone with a flight to South Africa. In Cape Town, make sure you see the city's most famous landmark, the imposing Table Mountain. You can climb to the top in around 3-4 hours, or take a shortcut by paying to ride the cableway to the top. However you get there, you won't regret it once you reach the summit, which offers breathtaking views of the city and ocean. In Johannesburg, visit the Apartheid Museum for an insight into the legislation that defined South Africa until its abolition in 1994. Another must-visit is Soweto, an area of Johannesburg that was crucial in the fight against apartheid which is also the location of Nelson Mandela's home, now a museum.

The National Park

South Africa is one of the world's best destinations for outdoor enthusiasts. There are many national parks in South Africa, covering a total area of some 37,000 sq. km (roughly the size of Switzerland). If you only have time to see one, make it Kruger National Park. South Africa's first national park, Kruger is located in the northeast of the country and is called home by lions, elephants, and rhinos, among other wildlife. It is also a terrific spot for hiking.

South Africa's Food and Drink Scene

South Africa's diverse population has created an equally diverse menu. African, Indian, and European dishes are all represented here. The quintessential South African dining experience is the braai, in which meat is cooked over a fire much like a barbeque. These are great social gatherings and a real treat if you're invited to one. South Africa is also one of the world's great wine producers. There are many vineyards across the country, but one of the best is found in the land around Cape Town. Many wineries also function as accommodation spaces, so park up for the night and experience wine straight from the vineyard of your choice.

South Africa's Weather

South Africa is a large country and has many different climates throughout the year, and the weather you'll experience depends on when in the year your flight to South Africa is. Generally speaking, you can expect the weather to be warm and sunny, though just how warm can vary. In the summer, which runs from October to February, the country is hot and sunny with the occasional brief but intense thunderstorm. In winter you can expect sunny but cool days, and also heavy snow if you're inland. The weather never gets too cold, with winter days rivalling the best summer days of some northern European countries. The best time to take a cheap flight to South Africa is in spring (August-October) or autumn (February - April), during which time the weather is at its driest, the temperature is most agreeable, and, as an added bonus, there are fewer crowds.

Public Transportation in South Africa

While using public transport in large cities such as Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban is an option, buses and trains can be difficult to navigate for tourists new to the country and they're generally only used by locals. Taxis are available, but you should ensure the car you're trying hire is from a reputable company before starting your journey. Expect to pay around 80p to £1.10 per kilometre travelled.

Useful Information for travellers with a cheap flight to South Africa

Religion:

Christian, 75%; other, 4%; non-religious, 21%

Language:

South Africa has a slightly intimidating eleven official languages, the biggest of which are Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, and English. In major cities and tourist destinations, English is a widely spoken second language.

Currency:

South African Rand.

Population:

53 million.

Cost of living in South Africa

Food and drinksPrices average
Beer (0.5 litre)£1.00
Coffee£1.00
Meal at McDonald's£3.00
Water (0.33 litre)£1.00
TransportationPrices average
Monthly pass£26.00
One way tube ticket£1.00
Taxi starting price (normal tariff)£1.00
ClothingPrices average
1 summer dress in a chain store (Zara, H&M,...)£30.00
1 pair of jeans (Levi's 501 or similar)£44.00
SalariesPrices average
Average monthly disposable salary (net)£1,058.00