Holidaying in South Africa: Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban

South Africa is a land finally moving ahead after a long period of troubles. It offers a magical tourist experience with its natural splendour, wildlife and pulsating cities.

Johannesburg

Johannesburg, a vast brassy, metropolis bursting with contrasts, is the place to visit if you want to understand the real South Africa.

Transport: getting there and getting away

Johannesburg International Airport (JIA), is conveniently reachable from both Pretoria and Jo’burg. It has flights all around the country. The major destinations are served by a number of budget airlines. International bus services connect Jo’burg with the nearby countries of Mozambique, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

Climate

Both Johannesburg and Pretoria can be oppressively hot in summer. Winters can get cold.

Accommodation: from cheap stays to luxury resorts

Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of Johannesburg hotels

Events: what’s on and what’s hot

*The grand event of the year is the Arts Alive Festival which runs throughout September and October. The event showcases the talents of the country’s rich cultures which were long suppressed.
*The Rand Easter Show at the National Exhibition Centre in April
*Jo’burg Jazz Festival in late September
*The annual Gay Pride March held on the last Saturday of September.

Cape Town

The Table Mountain crowns this city but it also boasts magnificent beaches and starky beautiful landscapes and a host of flora and fauna.

Transport: getting there and getting away

Many international flights connect with Cape Town. Trains and buses are available both departing from the Cape Town train station.

Taxis and ‘Rikki’ transporters will get you around the city. Minibus taxis and an efficient bus system are other choices.

Climate
Winter (June to August) can be miserably cold and wet with temperatures ranging from 7 C to 18 C. Summer, (December to March) tends to be very hot, maxing out at 26 C, and tempered by winds known as the Cape doctor.

Accommodation: from cheap stays to luxury resorts

Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of Cape Town hotels

Events: what’s on and what’s hot

Cape Town is a happening place with something going on every week

*January sees outdoor arts performances
*October features a Food and Winde Festival
*December features Carols by Candlelight in the Company’s Gardens.
*December is also the month for the Cape Town Queer Project. Outrageous fancy dress is the order of the day.

Durban

Beaches on the Indian Ocean, sub-tropical jungles and a proud Zulu culture define Durban. The modern city is sophisticated and at night pulsates with taverns, lounges, theatres, discos, pubs and clubs.

Transport: getting there and getting around

Durban International Airport handles both domestic and international flights, with regularly-scheduled service to Swaziland, Mozambique, and Mauritius.
Durban is South Africa’s largest port and the busiest container port in the Southern Hemisphere. Trains from Durban Railway Station connect with Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Taxis, minibus taxis and Zulu rickshaws offer transport around the city

Climate

Mild in both summer and winter. Rain is more common between October and May, and winters can get quite chilly in the evenings.

Accommodation: from cheap stays to luxury resorts
Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of Durban hotels

Events: what’s on and what’s hot

*March features Time of the Writer, Durban’s literature festival, at the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
*Comrades Marathon in June is run through the valley of a thousand hills in Natal, South Africa.
*Durban International Film Festival is held in June at the Centre for Creative Arts.