What is the Best Month to Travel to South Africa?

Over the years, I've answered many questions about expat life in South Africa. "I want to come visit; what is the best time of year?" is the most frequently asked question by many prospective travelers. I'm always tempted to say, it doesn't matter. There really isn't a bad time to visit South Africa. But there are some factors to consider before you plan your trip.

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Travel in South Africa in the Age of Apartheid

My brother recently unearthed the ancient travel guide he had used when traveling as a student to South Africa in the 1980s. It is called South Africa: On R10 and R20 a day and is dated 1981-82. Of course, I immediately peeked into the Johannesburg section. Some parts sound just like today, but then there are those that do not, like the chapter titled "Accommodation for Non-Whites."

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Top 10 Reasons You Should Move to Johannesburg Despite the Crime Rate

Crime is almost always the first thing that comes to anybody's mind when the word Johannesburg is mentioned. At least to any outsider's mind. I wanted to ridicule that single-minded focus on what we insiders know is only a small sideshow of life in South Africa, and instead highlight some of the good stuff. All this without sounding preachy, so I threw in some fun facts as well.

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Traveling Premier Classe

The cabins are a throw back to old time train travel, in a good way. There were two "couches" facing each other that obviously would later get reconfigured as beds. Our children LOVED having their own compartment. There was a shared toilet for your car and a shower. There were also bathrobes, slippers, and towels in the room. We were on a Premier Classe train.

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Drakensberg

Drakensberg scenery

The Drakensberg: What a spectacular mountain range. When you see its spiky ridges you can easily understand how it got its name. What I wasn't expecting was how green everything was. You could imagine being in Ireland or Scotland or even Hawaii, not somewhere in Africa. During winter of course everything turns brown, but when we were there they were a vivid green.

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Umhlanga Rocks and the Oyster Box Hotel

If it seems like we’ve been constantly traveling these past few months, it is because we’ve been constantly traveling these past few months.

Before you turn green with envy, you should know that I typically approach the prospect of another trip with rather a big sigh: Places to research, ... 

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Stalking the Elusive Leopard

Klaserie is a private game reserve adjacent to Kruger Park, neither of them fenced in, meaning every living thing wandering around the fabled Kruger Park is perfectly at leisure to saunter on over to Klaserie Game Reserve. Somehow this makes viewing the animals extra special. With Kruger Park being one of the best spots in South Africa to see leopards, we had high hopes for Klaserie.

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Living Like a Diamond Magnate

I recently mentioned a vacation to you on which we had accidentally started a wildfire. I never wrote about it back then, as that fire had marred our otherwise wonderful memories of an amazing weekend. Only now did I go back through my pictures and realized they had a story to tell. Many thanks ... 

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