South Africa is a country that promises to be as wonderful as it is mysterious… An all-round adventure. But if you want to enjoy your trip without any unexpected mishaps, here’s 10 things not to do on your visit!
1) Don’t pronounce Zebra wrong!
This is something every tourist does wrong when they go to Africa. It’s not pronounced “Zee-bra”, it’s “Zeh-bra” and locals can get annoyed when people pronounce it wrong!
2) Don’t expect to see it all in one trip
South Africa is a huge country, so don’t expect to say you’ve seen everything in just one trip. Plan in advance, especially if you’re planning a road trip and assume you’ll have to come back again to see it all…
3) Don’t expect to be surrounded by wildlife
Don’t get us wrong, South Africa has some of the most amazing wildlife on the planet, but don’t expect to see lions roaming city streets. If you want to see the big 5 (that’s Lions, Leopards, Rhinos, Elephants and Buffalos), your best option is to go to a National Park.
4) Don’t forget to tip
In South Africa it’s normal to tip at least 10% of your bill in restaurants, cafes, and even bars. It’s also polite to tip for services such as having your hair washed at a salon. So remember to take that into account.
5) Don’t flash expensive belongings
We all know you have the latest iPhone and handfulls of bling but don’t flash them around or you’ll attract the wrong kind of attention. Also, If you rent a car, double-check that it’s locked and don’t leave valuables on the seats for everyone to see. You have been warned!
6) Don’t feed or touch the animals
The animals you’ll see are wild so it’s not a good idea trying to feed them or touch them, they’re not pets. Even if you think they’re very cute, keep your distance.
7) Don’t forget to refuel
South Africa is a big country and the gas stations are few and far between. It’s a good idea to fuel up at every opportunity as you don’t know far the next station will be. Also petrol attendants will do everything from washing your windshield, checking your tyre pressure and helping with directions, especially if they see your a tourist. So remember to reciprocate with a nice tip.
8) Don’t be impatient
Here the abstract concept of time, is… well… an abstract concept. They are relaxed about everything, especially punctuality, so try to hold on your nerves and relax with them to enjoy the trip.
9) Don’t forget the sun
Even for South Africans, the sun and intense heat is very hard to get used to. So don’t forget to bring your sunscreen and hats. Seriously. Without them you won’t enjoy your holiday at all.
10) Don’t stay only in tourist areas
The big cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg are definitely a must see. But there are lots of beautiful places quite far away, that will amaze you too. So try to plan some extra routes and see more cities. Or to really make sure you don’t miss anything, start planning your second visit now!
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