South Africa dating guide advises how to pick up South African girls and how to hookup with local women in South Africa. Travel, enjoy and have fun with hot single girls and you might even meet the love of your life. Read more on how to date South African women, where to find sex and how to get laid in South Africa, Africa.
South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 58 million people, it is the world's 24th-most populous nation and covers an area of 1,221,037 square kilometres (471,445 sq mi). South Africa has three capital cities: executive Pretoria, judicial Bloemfontein and legislative Cape Town. The largest city is Johannesburg. About 80% of South Africans are of Black African ancestry,divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages.The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European, Asian, Indian, and multiracial ancestry.
- 1 South African Girls
- 2 Where to Get Sex Now
- 3 How to Pick Up Girls
- 4 Regions
- 5 Cities
- 6 Dating
- 7 Top Dating Tips
- 8 Relationships and Love
- 9 Online Dating
- 10 Live Cam Dating
- 11 What Kind of Guys Have the Best Chances
- 12 Risks while Gaming
- 13 How to Get Laid as Soon as Possible
- 14 Gold Diggers and Sugar Babies
- 15 BDSM
- 16 Swinging and Naturism
- 17 Costs of Living
- 18 Accommodation
- 19 How to Get There and Move Around
- 20 Digital Nomads and Remote Work
- 21 Internet and Mobile Operators
- 22 Gambling and Casinos
- 23 Weed and Drugs
- 24 Health, Fitness, Gyms and Massage
- 25 STDs and HIV
- 26 Stay Safe
- 27 See Also
South African Girls
The women of South Africa are gorgeous. The many mixes of culture and the way that the permutations have worked out has forged some exciting exotic beauties. Not all of the women are equal in beauty, and of course like any other nation there are a few average girls in the mix.
The best looking girls are usually contained in two different cultures. The Afrikaans girls form the first category. They are fair in complexion and descended from a mixture of Dutch and German ancestors. However, the African climate has agreed with them as these women have gorgeous figures and extremely pretty features. The mixed race girls are also really gorgeous, but only a select segment. They tend to be the lighter girls with the blue/green eyes. They are known for their curvy figures and passionate dispositions. Fun fact: they are known as the Latinas of South Africa which tells you all you need to know.
The girls in South Africa come in diverse packages. It is not the typical African country, as it resembles many facets of Europe - particularly England and Holland - in its mode of operation. The rich history has created a melting pot of ethnicities and cultures, meaning that you can hook-up with two different South African girls and have a completely different experience.
There are four main racial groups: Black, White, Coloured (a mix between races) and Indian. Each of these types has different features and personalities; moreover, they often live in the same areas. So, one would have white-predominant neighbourhoods or black-predominant areas. Depending on where you go in South Africa, you could have a completely different experience. However, it is best to stick to one of three cities Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. You will find a diverse range of looks, but also extremely gorgeous varieties of each race. The girls of British descent are considered fairly plain; however, the local "Afrikaans" girls are absolutely stunning - fair complexion with light eyes and curvaceous bodies (picture Dutch with more of a tan and a bit of curve). Some of the lighter mixed race girls are also quite special. They have green eyes and somewhat of a Latina physique. The black girls in Johannesburg are pretty, too. They are classy, pretty and they can dance! However, in other provinces, they are a bit too ghetto. Durban is the home of many Indian girls. If you are looking for a unique flavour, Indian-European mixes are something to behold.
To sum it up, there are a lot of different types of girls. South Africa has really good-looking girls, but also lots of average ones. If you can get into a university environment or any sort of friendship circle, you will have access to 8s, 9s, and some 10s. Furthermore, you have your pick of type and race, great if you are looking to diversify your portfolio!
The attitude of most girls is friendly; however, the crime rates of certain areas does mean that you may be ignored if you don't approach the situation correctly. There is a difference in the attitudes of girls, depending on where you go. This is mainly due to the previously disclosed rate of crime. Thus, places in Cape Town are more likely to have friendly girls when compared to inner-city Johannesburg. This is because Johannesburg has an extremely high crime rate, and certain parts of Cape Town are completely safe.
If you visit the beach, most upmarket cafes in Sandton, a decent mall or upmarket nightclubs, you have a higher chance of starting a conversation with a girl. Starting a conversation on the street is not always easy.
Where to Get Sex Now
It is easy to get sex online in South Africa. You just need to find the best available girls. See Girls Online Here!
How to Pick Up Girls
South Africa is ripe with opportunity, as you can get a taste of many different types without moving too far geographically. While this opportunity is apparent, it also creates a certain barrier, as some girls require different tactics to others. There are a number of different cultures crammed into single cities, so it does take some work at times.
The security and safety of girls is a major factor. Thus, the online dating sector has become increasingly popular in South Africa. Older generations have a stigma to the technology, as the Christian heritage of the country means that anything that could lead to hook-ups is immediately shunned. However, those 35 and below have more than likely been on a dating app at some point. As soon as you land in the country, you should look to Tinder to meet as many girls as possible.
Once you are on Tinder, you should attempt to go on coffee dates. Get to know the girl and decide if you want to hook-up with her or remain friends with the goal of expanding your network. If you don't have sex with a girl, you will more than likely gain access to her friendship circle. In this manner, you can expand your options quite a lot if you are willing to put in the work.
Top Tip: If you are on Tinder, Find girls who are at UCT, University of Johannesburg, TUKS and Stellenbosch University. These are the best universities, which also happen to be the best networking areas in the cities.
The 'on-the-street' pickup is a bit difficult. In fact, it is best avoided. The best place to approach a girl is on the beach, as most of them are in holiday mode, which makes them friendly and open to conversation. The best beaches are in Durban and Cape Town. Malls are also a good place to meet girls; all you need is a bit of confidence and the ability to keep the conversation flowing. Sometimes, it is worthwhile just getting the cell number and moving on. Message her a few hours later and your chances of completing the pickup should be good.
Night clubs are also a good location; however, the crime rate does make it difficult for you to take a girl home, as they immediately becomes suspicious of strangers. It does happen occasionally, but most girls go out in groups of more than three. Usually, you can make out at the club, but her friends will stop you from taking her home. The best way to actually hook-up is to get her number in the club and message her the next day.
You can get a lot of keen girls if you play your cards correctly. Mixed race girls are known to be easier to pick up, as they have a passionate and highly expressive culture. Also, if you are on dating platforms in one of the three populous cities (Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban) you have quite a good chance of meeting many girls in one day, especially if you are foreign. Most of the girls enjoy accents - no matter the ethnicity.
Tips for Daytime
If you play your cards right, there is a lot of opportunity during the day. However, it is better to meet girls at certain areas, as some districts are just not conducive to any sort of romantic intention. The most important thing is to have enough courage to get rejected. If you approach a girl and she doesn't respond well, you must have enough in the tank to move on to the next one. Generally, if you show a bit of confidencee, you have a high chance of meeting plenty of girls.
Best Places to Meet Girls
South Africa is well known for its white, sandy beaches which wrap right around the country. You even have two different oceans to choose from. The best beaches are undoubtedly in Durban. The water is tropical and the weather is always warm, thus many people go on holiday to Durban and the beaches are packed. If you are looking for girls, you should head to Durban beach During the December holidays. There is a week-long music festival and girls from all over the country (and the world) flock to the ocean. While the beaches in Durban are spectacular, the girls in Cape Town are far better. This is the southern corner of the country where the entire nation goes on holiday during the vacation times. You are far more likely to run into 9s and 10s in Cape Town than anywhere else in the country. The best beaches in Cape Town are Clifton, Camps Bay and Fish Hoek.
- National Parks - which are called gardens - are extremely well kept. South Africa has a wealth of wildlife that starts with the Big 5 of Africa and extends to unique shrubs, bushes and flowers. Thus, places such as Cape Town's Kirstenbosch and Walter Sisulu in Johannesburg are great places to visit or have a romantic date. The only downside is that anything in South Africa that is well maintained is expensive, so you should expect to pay around $10 for entry. Once you're in, there are loads of girls to talk to.
- Malls - They are also great places to meet a potential hook-up. However, there are only one or two good malls per city. Selecting the right mall is the difference between being surrounded by 4s and 8s. In Cape Town, you will want to go to the V&A Waterfront and Cavendish Square. In Johannesburg Sandton City or the Mall of Africa are two great choices. Gateway Mall is the best in Durban. Centurion Mall is the best mall in Gauteng. Out of all of these, the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town is hands down the best place to game. It has lots of fashion brands, a coastal charm, clubs nearby when things get dark and even lots of tourist from all over the world. It is Africa's busiest mall.
- University campuses are fairly liberal with entry. You could even attend lectures had you the mind to do so. Naturally, this is an avenue which must be fully exploited. The University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University and the University of Johannesburg are all havens filled with cute girls. The university of Pretoria (AKA TUKS) is also a good pace to look. As stated before, universities are open to the public. Each university has a central area which everyone tends to gather in. For example, Stellenbosch has a central mall and UCT has a plaza. Here you can chat up girls, ask for their numbers or play the tourist card and ask them to show you the best spots around town.
Tips for Nighttime
South Africa has a lot of wealth, but also a lot of poverty. The difference between the wealthy and the poor is huge, which makes the middle class extremely small. As a result, anyone who heads out should dress up. It doesn't have to be a suit and tie, but just enough to display that you aren't struggling financially. Whether good or bad, the poorer classes are associated with increased sickness and diseases, such as HIV. Moreover, they have a way of speaking that is only considered attractive within that socio-economic grouping. First impressions mean a lot.
You can approach girls by simply talking to them. Introduce yourself, offer to buy them a drink and then continue the conversation. If she appears interested, get her number. Regardless of whether you want to have something longer term, the move puts her at ease. From there, the goal is to keep the conversation flowing. If you are at a club, you should just make sure you have a good time. As the night goes on, you can slowly initiate an increasing amount of physical touches.
Certain spots require formal clothing, but this is not the norm. Usually, you can get by with just a jeans and a tee. Johannesburg and parts of Sandton may be a bit more formal, as it is the business capital, but both Durban and Cape Town are chilled in terms of attire.
Again, the many different categories and ethnicities play into your favour. You can go out two nights in a row and get a completely different experience. If you put yourself out there, the chances are that you will not return empty handed. Sometimes, it may take a few days to harvest what you sew in the club, as the girl(s) may not be willing to go home with you until a date or two, but some of them are keen enough to spend the night.
Best Nightclubs to Meet Girls
Besides the major music festivals, all of the clubs are concentrated within Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Bloemfontein has a few, but not much when compared with these three. The best time to visit South Africa is in the summer (December to February), as this is when the clubs are full. Winter sees a substantial decline in attendance.
Cape Town has the best girls, so it will be listed first:
- Madison Avenue - Located in the city centre, this club has become the favourite commercial dance venue of the city. The drinks are slightly more expensive, but you have access to some of the best girls in the country. Madison has lounge areas and a busy dance floor. The bar in the centre of the club is conducive to counter conversations and introductions.
- Tin Roof - A staple of the student lifestyle. Tin Roof is the quintessential club for university students and high school goers who have just turned 18. Expect an age range of 18 - 23. The drinks are cheap, and there is always a 2 for 1 special running. Expect house music and a packed party vibe.
- Boogies - Situated in the Claremont District, Boogies has two different genres going during its two main nights: Fridays and Saturdays. On Friday, the club plays retro music from the 90s, mostly pop. Saturday holds a selection of EDM and house music and is the busier of the two.
- Shimmy Beach Club - Cape Town's premium club. The location itself attracts Cape Town's most affluent. There are plenty of Hot girls around... and they are HOT! However, you will have to put on your best collared shirt and be willing to bet your house just to get a couple of drinks - it is that expensive. Sundays are the best days to go.
Note: The first Thursday of every month is affectionately known as "First Thursday". All of the clubs have specials on their drinks and the whole city of Cape Town heads out on this night. If you are looking to pull a few fine honeys, it doesn't get better than First Thursdays.
Johannesburg has the best clubs, which are somewhat more formal than the rest of the country. Also, the clubs are a lot bigger, as owners outlay lots of cash in order to compete with a growing market. As Johannesburg does not have a lot of outdoor activities, the clubs are packed come the weekend. The best clubs are listed below:
- Harem is said to be the most exclusive club in South Africa. Break out the trousers and collared shirt and be sure to bring your wallet, too. It is in Sandton, which also happens to have lots of good-looking girls.
- Truth is the best dance club in the city. Located in Midrand, they have the best resident DJs and a number of events throughout the year. The sound system is one of the best in the country, so head here if a good dance event is your thing.
Durbanites enjoy the benefits of a tropical environment; however, when it comes to clubbing, it doesn't compare with Cape Town and Johannesburg. There are but two clubs worth attending:
- Paris Night Club - Durban is better known for its beaches than its partying, but the Paris Night Club takes you to another world. Expect lots of foot-stomping EDM, a great vibe and a roaring crowd. Definitely worth a visit on Saturday night.
- Tilt Night Club - Another Special addition to the Durban nightlife. Tilt is always well attended and their selection of house and hip-hop will keep you moving until early hours of the morning. There has been a spike in crime recently, so keep all of your valuables close at hand.
The nightclub scene is good, but it is concentrated in certain areas. If you are outside Johannesburg or Cape Town, the clubbing experience leaves a lot to be desired. However, the amount of girls in the clubs makes up for everything if you choose the right venue. Johannesburg is a great place to party, especially because there isn't much else to do.
Mature Ladies and Cougars
There are a few cougars and mature women in South Africa, particularly if you are in Johannesburg and Cape Town. These are the economic centres of the country, and many women favour their careers over having a family and look for a bit of fun come the weekend. Alternatively, the divorce rate is around 40%, which means that there are a few milfs and cougars who will gladly experience something novel with a foreigner.
If you are looking for an older woman, head to Tinder and set your age range within your desired bounds. Start swiping and see where it goes. Older women have less fuss about them than student girls. They know what they want and are often keen on just having sex with no strings attached. If you want to try your luck picking up older women, head to bars and not clubs; however, the online space is still the best way to meet older women.
South Africa is divided into 9 provinces, they are:
Pretoria the administrative capital of the country. Johannesburg is the seat the provincial government, also the economic heart of Africa and the most common entry point into Southern Africa.
|Western Cape |
Cape Town, the mother city, the legislative capital and seat of Parliament, with famous landmarks as Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope.
|Eastern Cape |
The remainder of the Garden Route, known as the Tsitsikamma. The former homelands, the Wild Coast, spectacular coastlines without the tourist crowd. Superb beaches in Port Elizabeth, East London and Jeffreys Bay, the surfing mecca of South Africa.
|Northern Cape |
Capital Kimberley, famous for its diamonds and the "Big Hole". Biggest province with fewest people, Upington is the second big city, a good base when exploring the Kalahari desert.
|Free State |
Capital Bloemfontein which also hosts the Supreme Court of Appeal, the highest court in non-constitutional matters (the Constitutional Court is in Johannesburg since 1994).
Durban, the largest city in the province and third largest in South Africa and popular coastal holiday destination for South Africans.
|North West |
Rustenburg, famous for Sun City.
Capital Nelspruit, gateway to Mozambique and southern section of the Kruger National Park.
Capital Polokwane (formally known as Pietersburg) a good jump off point for visits to the northern parts of the Kruger National Park and Zimbabwe.
- Cape Town - The legislative capital and seat of Parliament. A world-class city named for its proximity to the Cape of Good Hope. Also within a stone's throw of South Africa's winelands. One of the most beautiful cities in the world, nestled between the sea and Table Mountain, it is a popular summer destination by both domestic tourists and those from abroad.
- Pretoria - The administrative capital of the country.
- Bloemfontein - Location of the Supreme Court of Appeal, the highest court in non-constitutional matters. The Constitutional Court in Johannesburg became the highest court in constitutional matters in 1994.
- Durban - Largest city in KwaZulu-Natal, third largest in South Africa and popular coastal holiday destination for South Africans.
- Hartbeespoort - also known as "Harties", is a small resort town in the North West Province of South Africa, situated on slopes of the Magaliesberg mountain and the banks of the Hartbeespoort Dam.
- Newcastle - 3rd largest city in KwaZulu-Natal, 10th largest in South Africa and Capital of Northern KZN. Famous for Steel Production, Coal Mining, Heavy Industry and is South Africa's Textile Industry Capital.
- Polokwane - Capital of Limpopo (formally known as Pietersburg) and a good jump off point for visits to the northern parts of the Kruger National Park and Zimbabwe.
- Port Elizabeth - Coastal city in the Eastern Cape with Addo Elephant National Park located close by.
- Kimberley - Capital of the Northern Cape Province. Famous for its diamonds and "Big Hole".
- Upington - Located in the arid Northern Cape province, this city is a good base when exploring the Kalahari desert and the many national parks located in the Northern Cape.
- East London - Coastal city in the Eastern Cape situated close to the Wild Coast.
When visiting South Africa, dating can be a fun and interesting experience. AdultFriendFinder.com, lets you meet local members in South Africa and get to know them on a personal basis before you arrive. It just takes a few minutes, you simply create an account, upload a few images and tell a little about yourself. Since time in your destination may be limited, get to know each other’s desires beforehand so when you do meet, you can skip the awkward introductions and start having some real fun.
Top Dating Tips
The best date places are undoubtedly near the coast. Cape Town and Durban have some of the most spectacular scenery and dating ideas, all in thanks of the natural beauty in which these cities find themselves. Johannesburg also has a few venues, but you will have to settle for a nice restaurant and ice skating or something similar. However, nothing sets the mood like a sunset over the ocean while sipping on a few drinks.
For the best date venues try the following places:
- V&A Waterfront
- Kirstenbosch Gardens
- Truth Coffee Roastery
- Kalk Bay
- The Test Kitchen
- La Lucia
- The Golden Mile beaches
- Ballito Bay
- Oyster Box Dance Events
- Roma Revolving Restaurant
- Durban Beach
- City Rock
- Milk Bar
- Ice Rinks (scattered throughout the city)
- Fourways Farmers Market
Relationships and Love
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Tinder is undoubtedly the best App when it comes to meeting a potential date in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Although you may come across the occasional girl who is looking for a quick hook-up, chances are that most girls will expect at least 1 - 2 dates before going back with you to a hotel.
Bumble - an App which allows females to select their desired partners - is also a common platform in South Africa. Although not as popular as Tinder, a match on this site is more likely to end in getting laid. However, one does have to relinquish some of the choice in the matter, but due to the crime rate in South Africa as a whole, girls often feel more secure with such an interface. Getting on Bumble is a worthwhile venture.
Badoo is another app which allows people to connect. Although not as popular as the former apps, it does have arrange of potential hook-ups in the pipeline. It is a good backup mechanism, so use one of the main apps and have Badoo running in the background.
Instagram is a great tool if you know how to use it correctly. Many of the South African girls use it as a platform to check out guys, and many dates spring from the app. It allows people to see which areas you come from, what kind of person you are and (more or less) how much money you have. Once you pass these security checks, you can freely message girls. If they like you, your DM slides will be successful.
Live Cam Dating
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What Kind of Guys Have the Best Chances
While there are a variety of girls around, the types of girls tend to be fairly similar. Lighter skin complexions tend to fair well. Even when girls speak about having a thing for mixed race guys, they usually mean the lighter-skinned ones with light eyes. Money definitely talks, as with any capitalistic cultures. So, if you have a bit of cash and carry yourself with confidence, you will get tonnes of girls.
Risks while Gaming
The most obvious risk in South Africa is crime. When out as a tourist, it is not uncommon to get mugged or assaulted if you venture into an area you don't know well. If you decide to go clubbing, your phone can go missing if you go to certain clubs - especially the ones with a low entry fee.
If you accidentally hit on a girl with a boyfriend, you could get into a fight. South African men are territorial and would take that as extremely disrespectful. Depending on the type of guy, you could get into a back-alley fight in no time.
Being Africa, STDs are rampant. Always be careful when hooking up with a girl. Use a condom at all times, as there is a high risk of catching HIV and other STDs. Generally, HIV is concentrated amongst the poorer socio-economic demographics. This is because there is very little education and very poor hygiene habits amongst these demographics. Generally speaking, you can tell a girl's level of education by how well she speaks English. The wealthier girls have a more British sounding accent and the poorer girls have a mix between the local languages and English. Avoid the latter unless you are certain she doesn't have any kind of disease.
How to Get Laid as Soon as Possible
South Africa is a haven for crime. Certain areas are have some of the highest murder rates in the world, as the country has struggled with gang-related violence, a epidemic of drug addiction and poverty which leads to an outcry of petty theft and robberies. As a result girls are often scared to venture out and have a conversation with strangers on the street, especially in isolated areas. Some places are good for meeting girls, but others are too much for girls to stop and chat. Thus, you need bridges...
- Online dating, without a doubt, is the best way to meet girls and get laid quickly. Asa foreigner, you need to form connections, and these only really come with friendship groups. Having another person vouch for you is a great way to meet new people and it automatically puts girls at ease. However, this is not easy (or quick) to achieve. Thus, online dating allows you to schedule a date with a girl if she finds you attractive. The best way to start is with Tinder and move from there.
- Clubs are also fun and enticing. It's mainly a student thing, so they are always filled with older teens and girls in their early twenties. They are wild and care-free - the perfect combination for spontaneous meetings. When heading out, be on the lookout for girls who are into you. They'll often start with eye contact and the night gets easier the more drunk people get.
Gold Diggers and Sugar Babies
South Africa is full of hot girls looking for a mutually beneficial hookup with travellers. There are lots of girls who don’t charge by the hour but who will do anything for a guy who is willing to help them pay their bills. If you are looking for a more personal and less transactional alternative to escorts, a good place to find these sexy open-minded girls in South Africa is SecretBenefits.
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Swinging and Naturism
There is one nudist beach in Cape Town: Sandy Bay. It is the country's most infamous venue for public nudity. When it comes to strip clubs, the law is fairly liberal. Prostitution is illegal, so you do have to be careful not to cross any lines, but there are heaps of strip clubs to try out.
Teasers is a famous chain of strip clubs, and they are in operation throughout the country. You can find one in almost all of the cities, and Cape Town and Johannesburg has one in almost every suburb - or near every suburb.
Mavericks is known as the country's premium strip club. They have girls from all over the country, and some from different corners of the globe. If you have some cash to spend, this is the strip club for you.
Club Rome is the final entry in the list of the best strip clubs in South Africa. There are lots of girls; however, it is only in Randburg, Gauteng.
Swinger clubs are illegal, but that doesn't mean the scene is dead. Most of the swinger parties happens behind closed doors, so the best place to start is online. There are sites where you can sign up for parties, but they can be dodge. The best way to infiltrate one of these parties is to network, perhaps through Tinder.
Costs of Living
South Africa is diverse and there are quite a few ways to cut the budget if need be. You can head on to Airbnb and find a room in a reasonable area for no less than $30 per night. The hostels will probably be around the same price. Saving on food looks like taking a trip to the local grocery store and purchasing a day's worth of groceries for under $5. You can try either Shoprite or Pick 'n Pay (two of the best and cheapest grocery stores in the nation). Once you head out for a few drinks, your budget goes up to around $30 for the day.
On the other end of the scale, you could choose a hotel in Cape Town, Durban or Johannesburg that costs quite a bit more. Generally, you can find a place for around $100. This gets you a nice apartment on Airbnb or a basic hotel room. However, you can also go up to $300 and more on accommodation and the food prices at restaurants are comparable to European rates. Expect to send no less than $500 if you want to live in 5-star luxury.
Hostels and cheap rooms on Airbnb are available from around $20 per night. Avoid booking places for cheaper, as they are likely on a really dodgy neighbourhood. If the area has a name that doesn't sound English or Dutch, avoid it completely. These are informal settlements and you won't survive the night. Pay even more if you can; $30 - $40 is a good price range. Alternatively, a nice house or hotel will start at around $150 and reach around $300. Once you spend more than $300, it becomes a bit of a waste. You can get the same quality for less, but the brand of hotels is responsible for the surcharge.
A six-pack of beer sells for around $4. Castle is the local favourite, and the 'Lite' version is their best-selling product. You can go cheaper and buy Lion or Black Label, but these beers are disgusting and way too sweet. You can also find imported names such as Heineken or Peroni. They are more expensive, so you'll pay around $6 for a six pack.
Depending on where you go, you can pay a fortune for drinks. Some of the more trendy bars and restaurants charge a fortune for drinks, especially in Cape Town or the bars of Sandton. Clubs are expensive, but the always have specials. If you are going out, a beer or cider is around $1.50 at the cheapest location and more expensive clubs and bars charge over $5 for a single beer.
Fast food is not expensive at all. You can get a Big Mac for under $3. KFC is also a local favourite, so choosing between these two is the easiest way to get a cheap meal anywhere in a major city. If you plan on going to a restaurant or café, expect to pay no less than $7 for a meal. Better restaurants charge up to $30 for a meal, especially if you venture into Cape Town - the culinary capital of the nation.
There are loads of accommodation options in South Africa, but there are also a few rules which you need to follow as well. South Africa is infamous for its high crime rates, and tourists are often the victims of nasty surprises. Avoid certain areas for your own safety.
If you are staying in Johannesburg, you should try and stick to the main hotel districts. These are usually well lit and city centres such as Sandton are the best places to venture into because of a lower crime rate. If you decide to go the Airbnb route, choose a neighbourhood such as Sandhurst, Hyde Park, West Cliff and Dunkeld. These neighbourhoods are the most secure and have patrols of private security roaming around them. Avoid any area close to a ghetto, called a "Township" or "Squatter Camp". Soweto is Johannesburg's largest ghetto.
- Cape Town is the safest city in South Africa. This is mainly due to more effective policing. There is a price to pay, however, as most of the accommodation is substantially more expensive. The lifestyle is superb, and you can easily rent an Airbnb within walking distance to the beach for around $100 per night. The city centre has a few hostels, which cost around $18 per night - sometimes less. Neighbourhoods such as Rondebosch, Claremont and Pinelands are all good central places from which to enjoy the city. If you have a bit of cash to blow, try a hotel in the city centre. A good hotel 4 star and above starts at around $200 and can cost as much as $500.
- Durban is a great place to visit, as the beach is enticing year round. The weather is always warm and conducive to swimming and catching a tan on the beach. First prize is a hotel close to the shore, as you can easily talk to girls on the beach by day and move to a comfortable hotel room after you've spent a few hours together in the sun. You could also find hostels in the city centre and in the university area. These are around $15 - $20 per night. Durban is best explored from clos to the ocean. Expect to pay at least $100 per night for an apartment or hotel room nearby.
How to Get There and Move Around
By air: OR Tambo is the largest airport in the country, and most expats enter the country in this way. Second is Cape Town's International Airport, which also centres as one of the major arrival and departure methods in and out of the country.
By bus: The main Citi Bus system is really good, as it takes users around the major points of the city. If you are in the student and university areas, the main universities usually have free bus systems which you can take advantage of. Avoid the other busses. They are not well run and often go through areas which are unsafe. As a means of transport meant to cater to the poorer class of South Africans, they get rowdy and you're better off using a ride-sharing app.
By car: Uber is the main form of car transport, but it is expensive. You can save a few dollars every trip by using the Bolt app instead (or Taxify). Other than that, you could rent a car, but be prepared to lay down a deposit of $100 or so and pay a fee for the service.
By train: The Gautrain in Johannesburg is comparable to trains in Western countries. It is fast, efficient and safe. It has a subway system which is easy to navigate and many taxis and Ubers await at every station. As a safety precaution, you should avoid the Metrorail trains as a foreigner. They have a terrible crime rate that includes a history of armed robbery and muggings You can chance it during the day; it is mostly safe if you have your wits about you, but night time is when the criminals come alive. It is especially dangerous if your skin is white, as most people on the train are of colour.
Visas: In order to get a Visa for South Africa, you should visit the embassy in your country. The process is not difficult, as South Africa enjoys a good relationship with most countries around the world. However, if you come from Northern Africa, you will have to get a visa; other than that, you may have visa-free access for a certain number of days. Check for your country's specific guidelines on the matter.
Digital Nomads and Remote Work
South Africa is a tough economy, as the earning power of individuals does not cover the cost of living at minimum wage. Thus, standard jobs like waitering or odd-tasks are not nearly enough to pay for food and accommodation. Some niches exist, such as sports coaching or sales-related tasks, where you can survive, but you will need a working visa for this.
The best way to survive as an expat is to save some money, especially since the exchange rate between the Rand and Dollar is so favourable to tourists. Thus, if you come to South Africa with Australian Dollars, American Dollars or Pounds and Euros, chances are you can afford to splash out.
Internet and Mobile Operators
Vodacom is the number one mobile carrier in the country. They offer the best network services, lightning fast internet and you can use the network in the rest of the British commonwealth and further. The only downside is that they are also expensive.
MTN is the second largest network provider. If you are in need of cheap data, then MTN is the network for you. They have grown large enough that there is no longer a problem with a loss of connectivity. The only surcharges you may occur is with traditional calls, as they can get really expensive with this network provider.
Cell C is the third largest carrier in South Africa. They have grown in popularity with the younger demographics as they offer free social media usage with just over $3 per month. However, there have been problems with connectivity in some areas of the cities. It is not the best overall network, despite cheaper rates.
You can purchase sim cards at any supermarket or cellular-related store. Once you have the sim, you can then load data onto your number by purchasing vouchers virtually anywhere. Data is quite expensive as per international rates and public Wi-Fi is extremely rare.
Gambling and Casinos
Gambling is legal in South Africa, but is not as glamorous as other gambling regions. It severely lacks that Las Vegas feel that other countries seem to get right. Most of the gambling is targeted at the poorer communities, so there is no real class to many of the establishments. Johannesburg is probably the better place to gamble, as the casinos are better run and a bit more entertaining.
Montecasino is the number one casino in the country. Apart from gambling, it hosts concerts, has an ice skating rink and an arcade. There are plenty of restaurants and lots of girls around. The grounds themselves covers over 11 hectares, and the location is sublime: right within Africa's richest square mile. Once night time hits, there are also a few clubs and bars open. It is a great place to blow some cash and even hook-up with a few pretty girls.
Grand West is Cape Town's Version of Montecasino; however, it is only done up to 1/4 of the scale. The grounds host international music stars and there is an ice rink, but the general feel is slightly plastic. You can blow a few pennies, but don't expect many hot girls.
Sun City is located two hours away from the city of Johannesburg, and it is the nations' premium holiday and doubles as a casino. The gambling side of things is generally pretty good, as many international visitors and the local upper class look to enjoy a few nights now and then. As an added bonus, there are usually lots of girls in December, January and June, July.
Weed and Drugs
South Africa is home to some of the most vicious gangsterism on the planet. In fact, Cape Town has one of the highest murder rates in the world, but they are concentrated in one or two suburbs alone. If you walk around anywhere else, it is generally safe as can be. Johannesburg is also known for its gang-related activity, but the crime is less concentrated and more spread out. These gangs are the main suppliers of drugs, as most of it is imported into the country from Asia.
Weed can be purchased pretty much anywhere. You can get decent quality weed from parties and club areas. Furthermore, weed is legal to use and grow in South Africa; however, you need a special permit in order to sell the substance. This means that you have a wide selection of good quality weed. Suppliers are best found online or just ask around and see who people recommend.
MDMA and Ecstasy are most common in the partying scene. You will mainly find these drugs at parties, clubs and festivals. Most of the bouncers sell these drugs. Also, there is usually one person in the club who sells or gives out for free. Again, just ask around and you'll find it.
Cocaine is the most common drug in South Africa. You will find guys in the centre of towns looking to sell the stuff to party goers and their regulars. Some of these guys are scams, selling baby powder to tourists or people who are a bit drunk. You can identify them as they gently rub their noses while making eye contact with you. This is a sign that they are selling cocaine.
Crack, Heroine and Meth (Known as Tik) are all controlled by the main gangs. Not only will the potency of these drugs ruin your life, but getting into contact with these types of people is a risky ordeal. If these people feel that they can rob you for more money, they will most probably kill you. Do not approach as a tourist.
Health, Fitness, Gyms and Massage
There are two main gyms in South Africa. Before they are expanded in any detail, it must be stated that South Africans take great pride in their bodies. Most of the guys have an idea of getting built, much like the American culture. Females are generally attracted to the alpha male type: strong and tall. The sport of Rugby is also a point of great national pride, so most boys try and bulk up for that during high school. The result is a male-predominant fitness culture that centres around size and strength.
Zone Fitness is one of the two main gyms that South Africa has to offer. It is a basic gym with little more than weights, cardio equipment and a studio, but it is also priced accordingly. There is often one close to the universities, and these are usually the best gyms. Not only that, but the student gyms always have the best girls, too. Zone Fitness can be a bit lower class in some areas, but the fees are around $15 a month.
Virgin Active is probably your best bet for meeting hotties no matter where you go. Because they offer such a comprehensive package and workout service, they are somewhat of a central hub in the neighbourhoods in which they exist. The gyms have saunas, steam rooms, tennis courts, a heated pool, squash courts, weight sections, cardio equipment and lavish changing areas. The results is lots of hot girls and plenty of sweaty workouts.
Although less mainstream, Planet Fitness is also another player in the fitness market. They target students, but are much larger in Johannesburg than in the rest of the country. It is a great place to game and grab a workout at the same time; however, the two previous gyms are still better by far.
STDs and HIV
There is no getting around it: South Africa has a problem with HIV. Now, this may sound scary to an expat - or anyone that reads that statement without context. Yes, HIV is rampant, but not amongst certain groups of people. THE rates of all STDs are significantly higher amongst the poorer demographics and by race, it is concentrated amongst the Native African community. If you mingle within the middle and upper classes of the major cities, you should be okay. This does not give you free reign, however, there are still a number of other STDs to watch out for.
Always use a condom. The government provides free condoms. These can be found at all hostels, major train stations and in university bathrooms. If you can, don't use the free ones. They are cheaply made and often break. Moreover, if you are packing a bit of size, they probably won't be too comfortable. Condoms are available from garages or supermarkets. You can get a pack of three durex condoms for around $4.
If you have unprotected sex and you suspect that you may have contracted a disease, you can visit an HIV clinic. They are free of charge and they exist to eradicate HIV in the community. Unfortunately, the South African government is known for terrible service and lengthy waiting periods, so you have to book off the entire day. Private healthcare is not too expensive, so you can get treatment at a private hospital for around $80 - $100.
South Africa has very few earthquakes, cyclones, tornadoes, floods, terrorist incidents or contagious diseases (with the notable exception of HIV).
However, South Africa has some of the highest violent crime rates in the world, though by being vigilant and using common sense, you should have a safe and pleasant trip as millions of other people have each year. The key is to know and stick to general safety precautions: never walk around in deserted areas at night or advertise possession of money or expensive accessories.
Crime levels are relatively high in South Africa, however, perceptions can be misleading because statistically, most of the criminal activity is concentrated around certain specific areas and perpetrated by specialized criminal organizations connected to copper theft, car theft, transportation of goods and cash in transit theft, home or business and warehouse break-ins, smuggling, drug dealing, prostitution and so on. Opportunistic attacks like robberies or muggings of individuals outside those areas are very uncommon unless one mixes with low life characters or ventures into seedy joints or gangster neighborhoods.