South Africa is now within the group of the very few destinations shouldn’t be impacted by the up and down from trends … indeed, in the world of travel as in others, the trends are both a blessing and a plague. A blessing because the country « fashionable » enjoys a breath of fresh air; the press is scrambling and keeps talking about it, the hotels are full. A plague because everyone is hurrying, hotels are full and become greedy and the level of general service suffers.
The fact of being less fashionable makes it possible for a country / destination to come back down to the mainland … the price increase is calmed down, the hoteliers become humble and the price and the quality of the trip benefit from it. No doubt 2020 will be a year like this, a year full of humility after a year 2019 in half shade thanks to the genius of the anti communication which in January 2018 announced the arrival of the « day zero », the day where Cape Town would be without water. But 2020 is the year to go to South Africa or leave for South Africa for the following reasons:
1) The rand is low, the purchasing power of the traveler increases
Normally, the European traveler earns 30% of purchasing power when he travels to South Africa; the rand, the local currency, has undergone considerable variations and will no doubt still suffer, to the delight of travelers; this can be felt on almost every post of a trip (hotels, car, petrol, meals and excursions); at a price identical to 2019, you will be able to make an even more beautiful trip … This fluctuation of the currency obviously has repercussions for the South Africans but as much as this negative point is compensated by a positive point (the tourists important of foreign currencies and thus of the wealth).
2) More solutions to fly directly to South Africa
Air France has decided to change its flight plans from April 2020 (day flight back to France), to relaunch the A380 on most flights, offering more seats available. But all other companies keeps on developing the route to South Africa and not only Johannesburg (Cape Town and Durban too)… There are many cheap ways to get to SA. Turkish Airline as well as Ethiopian Airlines offer great deal, route and comfort with brand new aircraft to their hub and then to SA. And still the direct and day flights to Cape Town… and still many solutions via other European companies, gulf or African companies also … in short, flying to South Africa will never have been so easy ; the fall in the price of oil will also (may be) lower the amount of air taxes … so the actual price of the ticket.
3) Insecurity down
Even if crime remains one of the focus and weak point of the destination, there are some improvements and South Africa remains one of safest destinations in Africa ; it allows the traveler to drive by himself and hit the road without being worried… the authorities seem to have attacked the various networks that generated dense and arduous crime in the country’s economic capital, Johannesburg; if vigilance remains in place, one more reason not to miss this city; Not going and staying in Johannesburg remains an absolute fault for anyone going to South Africa, as soon as you organize it carefully and don’t drive by yourself in this megapolis, first to avoid to lose your way in this city with no visual cue.
4) Ever more beautiful roads
The road network in South Africa has always been of high quality; but in recent years, many works, especially on the N4 (linking Gauteng to the Kruger region) have made this road long and difficult. This is solved today with a beautiful N4 that joins the other beautiful roads that crisscross the country and allow to travel freely … If we add to that an even greater fight against the corruption of police forces (who took advantage of the speed controls to round off their ends of the month), we are not far from paradise.
5) More and more new places
South Africa is constantly reinventing itself; like major tourist destinations, the country is starting to take an innovative pace of innovation; new neighborhoods are emerging in Cape Town, Johannesburg or Durban, new addresses as well. We have the Victoria Yard in Johannesburg that complements the now-must-be Maboneng or the delicious 44 Stanley. In addition, smart places (bobo and bio) keep pushing here and there; From neighboring hood markets to health tables, South Africa is becoming more and more organic … for carnivores, the meat is wonderful and far from the intensive breeding of our countries and without paying the price of an ingot …
6) There is no one …
Against all received ideas, South Africa is a country where it is easy to be alone; indeed, the destination is known, easy to access, so we imagine that there is jostling; it is true ! but with an area almost 3 times higher than France and almost 10 times less tourists … there is room; for that a few simple recipes: prefer small structures (a large network of small hotels or guest houses of quality exists), travel against the current (choose your schedules, your places of stay, your period of travel); Given the size of the country, with some simple recipes one can avoid the tourist traps and thus avoid feeling … not very well. For that, privilege professional contacts that will make you avoid crowds … or trust you to the tourist guides but be careful, the advice of the travel guides are the same for all … so we can meet between French or Brits in an address saying » hidden « . in 2020, return to Zululand, do not sniff the Drakensberg, stay in Joburg and leave Cape Town for Langebaan or Franschoek, try the Cedeberg or the Limpopo …
7) Unique places in the world
From the fabulous museum of contemporary art Zeitz Mocaa to the Satyagraha House via the apartheid museum, South Africa is full of unique places that echo all the richness of this country but also its history. Beyond the landscapes and their variety, we often remember the fabulous history of this country and the way today rather original and sweet to discover it or to confront it. South Africans are welcoming and have managed to develop unique places. It must be borne in mind that the first travelers to this country are the South Africans themselves. It is therefore necessary to travel in their footsteps … and sometimes also to deviate. If it does not happen to you to visit France (as a foreigner) and to stay in a Park Center or a leisure park of any kind, then avoid the pseudo reserve Loskop or the complex of Sun City …
8) We eat better and better
Eating better and eating well (gastronomy) are progressing fast … more and more organic and good food is available; the restaurants always provide local specialties whose gastronomic quality is debatable (Boerwoers or Bobotie) but more and more places offer them revisited. La Colombe, in the wine route, was recently ranked among the top 10 gourmet restaurants in Cape Town. In Cape Town or Joburg, the gastro tables, the tasting menus are developed to the delight of the gourmands … and the pleasure of their wallet too (because the gastronomy is much more affordable in South Africa). And take not that the best restaurant of the world is in Paternoster (Wolfgat).
9) The richest safaris in the world
We can quibble in every way, listen to great specialists, bush lovers, crazy travelers from Africa, South Africa is THE country that invented life in a lodge; besides, they are found everywhere on the continent. In addition to being the first to create national parks to save wild animals (Hluhluwe Umfolozi in Kwazulu Natal to save rhinos in 1895). South Africa is the country to discover for its first safari; no region in Africa guarantees such a variety of animals (and large ones in particular) as Sabi Sand on the edge of Kruger National Park. In terms of safari, as for the rest, it’s about choosing good nature reserves, good schedules and good lodges; all this is not so obvious but South Africa
10) The world in one country
This argument long used by the tourist office is still true, South Africa, apart from all points, offers many experiences; lovers, family, friends, solo, rich or less rich, gastro or not, cultural or not, South Africa can satisfy everyone, no time difference and offers a first experience of Africa, gateway to other trips to the beautiful continent; but South Africa will be the only country to offer you the opportunity to travel freely and safely (car rental) and to live a unique experience, yours. There is as much South Africa as there are Travelers … so what will be yours?