Solo Female Travel in South Africa

Located at the southernmost tip of the African continent, South Africa is a place where captivating culture and breathtaking nature harmoniously coincide. Renowned for its diverse ecosystem, it hosts an array of activities such as thrilling safaris at Kruger National Park, hiking to the awe-inspiring Table Mountain, and spotting the astonishing marine life along a vast coastline. Home to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, the nation speaks volumes about novel historical narratives and the struggle against apartheid. South Africa's vibrant cities, like Johannesburg and Cape Town, are celebrated for their cosmopolitan atmosphere, highlighting delectable cuisine, world-class wineries, and a thriving art scene. A journey to South Africa provides an unforgettably rich tapestry of experiences that serve as a feast for the senses.

Travel rating

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Travel index

Safety:Moderate

South Africa can be a challenging destination for solo female travelers due to concerns around crime. However, it's important to note that many visitors have safe trips. It is advisable to be vigilant, avoid isolated areas, particularly at night, and use secure transportation options. Moreover, staying in reputable accommodations and following the advice of local contacts and fellow travelers can seriously enhance your security. Take all the normal precautions you would in any other country.

Transport:Moderate

Traveling around South Africa can be moderately challenging. The major cities have decent public transportation systems, but they can be overwhelming for first-time visitors. The rural areas can be slightly inaccessible without private vehicles. Due to cultural differences and language barriers, navigating and communication might pose some difficulty.

Things to do:Fascinating

South Africa is incredibly stimulating with a wide range of activities. It has a breathtaking natural environment including wildlife safaris in parks like Kruger National Park, breathtaking hikes in Drakensberg, and surfing in Jeffrey's Bay. Also, it echoes with inspiring history and culture that can be explored in museums, galleries, and neighborhoods of cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town. Activities like wine tasting in the Cape winelands, immersing in the tribal culture of Zulu, and experiencing the vibrant city life provide a broad spectrum of experiences.

Food:Excellent

The food in South Africa is as diverse and vibrant as its culture. It's a melting pot of diverse food influences, from indigenous African cuisines to influences from Dutch, Malay, and Indian settlers, offering a rich tapestry of flavors to discover. You'll get a smorgasbord of locally sourced meats, fresh seafood, and an array of fruits and vegetables. Experiences range from township shisa nyama to high-end culinary delights and from traditional boerewors to vegan-friendly dishes. A gastronomic adventure awaits you with each meal being a unique experience, leading to a top-rated culinary journey.

Budget:Affordable

South Africa is rather budget-friendly for solo female travelers. The cost of living is relatively low, with inexpensive food, accommodation, and transport options. However, prices may surge in more touristic areas and activities. Exchange rates can also be favorable, hence making your trip more economical.

Is South Africa worth visiting?

Overall rating

4.2 /5

based on 7 experiences

Rating summary

Things to do

4.6/5

Safety

3.2/5

Food

4.6/5

Budget-friendly

3.6/5
Haley

Haley

United States

Family travel experience

4 nights in Cape Town and 4 nights in Sabi Sands at Umkumbe Lodge We had a wonderful time overall! I would recommend flying directly to the skukuza airport near Kruger National Park and having your lodge pick you up. We opted to rent a car in Johannesburg and self-drive - this was a mistake. We did not feel safe and ended up getting lost. We pulled into a gas station and actually spoke with a private investigator who told us to turn around immediately and not stop for anything until we got to our destination. This was incredibly unnerving. There were a few other parts of the trip where we felt unsafe (as there were protests going on at the time we were there). We were warned by locals many times to never stop the car, always keep the windows and doors locked, only take premium Ubers, get back to the hotel before dark, etc. All things considered, I would not recommend a trip to Africa as a solo female traveler. But, if you have a travel buddy, I would definitely recommend it provided you are vigilant.

Posted: February 1, 2024
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 3/5
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Solo travel experience

I had a personal tour guide that brought me to Kruger National Park to experience the safari and Cape Town for sightseeing. It was a fulfilling introduction of the country. I am definitely going back for more!

Posted: December 28, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 3/5Safety: 4/5
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Family travel experience

I traveled to South Africa with my sister. We visited Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban and had a great time there, we did not feel unsafe at all. We took part in a Hop On, Hop Off bus tour and we had a private guide in Cape Town, who was really charming.

Posted: July 30, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 5/5
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Solo travel experience

I went to South Africa in November of last year. I landed in Cape Town, and then I flew to Kruger National Park. The whole trip was absolutely amazing. I never felt in danger. It was so wonderful, and the people had the most beautiful souls.

Posted: July 26, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 5/5
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Solo travel experience

I travelled around the east coast for 5 weeks with a backpack. I really didn't stop in bigger cities, so I can speak for smaller places close to nature. It was beautiful there, I felt safe, nice people, good places to surf (really cheap lessons) and beautiful hostels that were quite inexpensive.

Posted: June 9, 2023
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 5/5Safety: 5/5
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Family travel experience

A few years ago, I went with my family to South Africa on the Rainbow Route! It was incredible and our guides took great care of us. I was with my family, but there were also women traveling alone. The bus was small, so we got to know everyone very well!

Posted: November 10, 2022
Things to do: 5/5Food: 5/5Budget-friendly: 4/5Safety: 4/5
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Local tips

Proud South African here. If you're planning a trip, just stay alert. It's a beautiful country, but I need to draw attention to the unfortunate reality. Here are a few tips: - share your current location (on WhatsApp) if you're going out for the night - use Uber instead of other ride-hailing apps, and share your route - try to tour in groups Here are a few places I recommend you visit: - Cape Town. Everything from Table Mountain, The Indian and Atlantic Oceans, and lovely penguins - Stellenbosch. Known for its wine route. You can have some wonderful tours. - Durban. A super warm city, friendly people, and "lekker" Curry! Oh, and the beach! - Johannesburg. The city is rich in history. You can visit the Apartheid Museum. Nelson Mandela's house, and even bungee jump from the Soweto towers. - The Kruger National Park. This is a must-see place if you want to go on safari. I hope this helps.

Posted: November 27, 2022
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Meet locals in South Africa

Meet local women in South Africa who are open to meet up for a coffee or a drink, show you around, give local advice or practice a language with.
Tahlita

Tahlita

About Me

I'm Tally. I love animals, spontaneous adventures, chaotic fun and some yoga afterwards to recover from the chaos. Currently studying at Chef School, if you host me I'll make you dinner :)

Speaking

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Nina

Nina

About Me

hi i’m nina! i love travelling, making memories and adventures. i would love to meet up with other travelers and form long lasting friendships. i’m outgoing, funny and i’m super excited to see the world. i’m looking to meet up with people who are willing to live life like they are the main character in everyone’s story

Speaking

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Stay with locals in South Africa

Stay with local women in South Africa who offer free accommodation as part of cultural exchange. Couch surfing is a great way to meet new people, learn more about new cultures and experience destinations like a local.
Ella

Ella

Gqeberha

Can host for:

3 days

About me

I am chilled and organised, enjoy meeting new people

Speaking

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Onika

Onika

Gqeberha

Can host for:

3 days

About me

Hello, I'm Onika and I'm interested in nightlife, sightseeing, solo travel, food & cuisine, hiking, events & social, books, architecture, culture and health

Speaking

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Upcoming visitors to South Africa

Connect with upcoming visitors to South Africa who are looking for travel buddies or meet ups.
Anja

Anja

About Me

I've recently started to travel more again after a longer break due to COVID restrictions. I love learning about new countries and cultures and enjoy exchanging travellers stories.

Speaking

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Explore South Africa