Maya Travel 101: Ultimate Guide to Exploring South Africa

You’ve probably seen some of the world’s best cities and tasted some of the most sought-after cuisines. Now you’re on to something different, like the great safari of South Africa!

South Africa has a lot more to offer than a great safari experience. We’ll show you several unique ways to enjoy this country depending on your personality and mood!

 #1 When you want to eat your heart out

What to do: Fill your tummy with South Africa’s signature dishes and drinks
Where to go: Cape Town and Stellenbosch

 As a melting-pot of different cultures, South Africa might just have the right dish for just any kind of palate.

If you fly in the city of Cape Town, you can immediately start off your trip by grabbing the popular gatsby sandwich. Inspired by Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, this submarine sandwich is filled with french fries, chips, steak, and a bit of lettuce-based salad. You can customize your sandwich if you choose to opt out on the steak. But consider yourself warned, don’t be fooled by the photos and take it easy on ordering because a full order of gatsby can fill at least four people’s stomach. Yes, it’s huge!

Aside from the gatsby, bunny chow is also a well-known dish in South Africa. If you’re thinking about rabbits after reading that name, no need to worry! This dish is just made of hollowed-out half bread loaf filled with curry and totally bunny-free!

You can also get an authentic taste of Cape Malay culture by taking a 10-minute walk to Bo-Kaap from the center of Cape Town. You’ll easily see Biesmellah Restaurant where you can order from a vast menu of Malaysian, Indonesian, and African flavored dishes.

Are you already feeling full by these yummy suggestions? Take a deep breath because there’s more!

 Beyond the South African dishes, wine lovers are definitely in for a treat! Just a 40-minute drive away from Cape Town is the cozy little town of Stellenbosch, which people mostly visit for the wine tasting experience it offers. Everywhere you look, there is surely a wine estate waiting for you to explore. A day in this place won’t be enough but if you’re on a tight schedule, you can opt to book a special tour, which will you take you to and from Cape Town just like you wanted.

 #2 When you want an art-filled trip down memory lane

What to do: Visit art streets, historic sites, and museums
Where to go: Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Soweto

 Are you the type to include historical sites to your travel itinerary? If yes, then you’ll find a great deal of places to visit in South Africa.

Your best stop would be the largest city in South Africa, Johannesburg, and the nearby town of Soweto. For a hassle-free trip, you can just book a ticket for the hop-on hop-off tour bus, which will take you to several museums in these two towns.

One of the most popular ones is the Apartheid Museum, which houses a vast exhibit of the apartheid regime, an era of the rise and fall of South Africa’s history on racial segregation. Make sure to allot at least two hours for exploration if you want to make the most out of your visit in this site.

The tour bus also stops at Vilakazi Street in Soweto where award-winning political leader and philanthropist Nelson Mandela’s family brick-home still stand and has since been converted into a museum. Soweto is also where Mahatma Gandhi’s legal career started.

 While this particular tour bus doesn’t stop at other must-visit sites in the area such as the Cradle of Humankind and Collectors Treasury, you can easily take a taxi or book private tours online.

Can no longer squeeze a Johannesburg trip on your itinerary? We still got you covered! You can visit the colorful neighborhood of Bo-Kaap, which is also a vital part of South Africa’s history. With its vibrant state, it’s hard to grasp that it was once a slave community in the 16th to 17th centuries.

 #3 When you want a laid-back trip

What to do: Roam around the city and visit the vast ocean side
Where to go: Cape Town

 If you’re after a chill and relaxing South African trip, the cities of Cape Town and Durban are the perfect destination for travellers like you!

From almost any vantage point in Cape Town, there is always a relaxing view of an ocean or mountain. If you dine in any rooftop restaurant in the city, you’ll surely get a nice view of the popular Table Mountain as well as the nearby Robben Island.

It’s also easy to get around the city with different sightseeing tours you can just book online. You can either take the hop-on-hop-off tour bus, a private tour, or make it extra exciting by getting a sidecar tour instead.

 These tours will cover most of the iconic sites in Cape Town like V&A Waterfront, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, and Greenpoint Lighthouse. But if you want to meet the popular penguins in Boulders Beach and go straight to Kalk Bay, booking the sidecar tour might just be your best bet.

After your tour, you can go souvenir shopping at the Greenmarket Square where you can get items like beaded jewelries, wire art, and carved wooden sculptures.

 #4 When you want to go on an all-out adventure

What to do: Go hiking or try extreme activities
Where to go: Cape Town and Gansbaai

 From deep in the ocean to the peak of the mountain, you’ll never run out of fun and rigorous activities in South Africa.

To start off your trip, you can hike the 600-year-old Table Mountain. There are two main routes hikers can take depending on level of expertise. For beginners and those just like a leisure hike, you can take the Plattekip Gorge, which will take you at least two and a half hours to reach the peak. For a rougher and longer climb, expert hikers can take the India Venster.

If you’re traveling with friends who don’t want to go hiking with you, they can easily take the cable car and enjoy the 360-degree view of the city and Atlantic Ocean. In just five minutes, they will reach the peak of the flat-topped mountain.

 If hiking doesn’t make your trip exciting enough, you can also do paragliding and enjoy a magnificent view of Cape Town from above, or go under water and dive with great white sharks or seals.

 #5 When you want a ‘wild’ experience

What to do: Spend a day or two at a safari reserve
Where to go: Kruger National Park

 For a wild life encounter like no other, South Africa is definitely the real deal. While there is a game reserve in almost every town in this country, one of the most popular all over Africa is the Kruger National Park.

Kruger National Park is a vast land of different ecosystems where numerous species can be found. Despite the wide area, you never have to worry about missing an encounter with the famous ‘big five’ or the buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard, and rhino as they are scattered all over the place. Here’s a pro-tip, you can make the most of your trip by spending the night within the safari park! They have different types of accommodation you can choose from.

 Now, you have a list of things to include in your itinerary based on what you want to see and experience on your South African trip! Booking these activities online just made your planning even easier. No credit card? No worries! Good thing you got your most reliable travel buddy, your Maya card!

Did you know that you can do your itinerary and go to South Africa for FREE? You can even bring three of your friends to the ultimate travel adventure when you win in Maya Tara! Take note, you won’t need to worry about taking Instagram-worthy photos because you’ll have your own photo and video team to document your whole trip!

All you have to do is use your Maya account and earn raffle entries! Here’s some of the things you can do:

– Upgrade your virtual card (10 raffle entries)
– Link your physical card to your Maya app (10 raffle entries)
– Add money, at least P100 worth, to your Maya account (10 raffle entries)
– Upgrading your Maya account (10 raffle entries)
– Pay your bills, minimum of P100 per biller, via the Maya app (5 raffle entries per biller per day)
– Send money, minimum of P100 (1 raffle entry per day)
– Shop online and in stores (1 raffle entry for every P300 you spend)

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