This page is dedicated to helping anyone looking to visit South Africa or its surrounding areas, and/or live here as an ex-pat. There is so much to do here and I can only hope to scrape the surface with my short time here but I hope that these links will be as helpful to you as they were to me. I’ll be updating this as time goes by with new things I find. Please leave a comment if there is something you think is useful!
Life in South Africa
Eating and Going Out
- Eat Out – Johannesburg and Sandton is home to a huge culinary scene that you wouldn’t expect. There are hundreds of restaurants and some very top notch spots. Eat Out is probably the closest thing South Africa has to Yelp in the US. They also have an app for the iphone but it is not at the level that Yelp is in the states. I’d however, associate Eat Out with more of a Zagat equivalent than Yelp.
- Dining Out – Another restaurant website with a more archaic design but provides in depth coverage of the restaurants in the area.
- Food 24 – Another great restaurant resource that is similar to NYC’s nymag.com
- Table Magic – This is without a doubt South Africa’s equivalent to Opentable in the US and TopTable in the UK.
- Neighbourgoods Market – Every Saturday, there is a food market in Joburg and Capetown
- Market on Main – Similar to Neighbourgoods Market, there is another food market on Sundays in Joburg.
Cellular Providers in South Africa
- Vodacom – Equivalent to Verizon in the US. Biggest network and most reliable. Most expensive as well.
- MTN – Probably closest comparison is AT&T, which is about as big as Verizon and almost as reliable network wise.
- Cell C – The discount cell phone service with questionable service. Similar to that of T-Mobile.
- 8ta – Guess this leaves 8ta with being Sprint’s equivalent. I’ve used 8ta for a bit and the service is reliable and cheap. Also SA’s newest cellular network.
- Autotrader.co.za – The equivalent of Autotrader in the US. Best website to buy a used car.
- Cars.co.za – Equivalent to cars.com in the states.
- Carfind – Another informative new and used car website.
- Automart – Another great resource for buying/selling cars
- Gumtree – There is a Craigslist South Africa but it doesn’t have any footing in this country. Gumtree is the Craigslist equivalent and on here you will find anything second hand.
- OLX – Gumtree’s main competitor. I’ve been able to find just as good of postings here as I have on Gumtree but I feel that Gumtree is the craigslist equivalent of choice here.
- Virgin Active – One of two large chains of gyms in South Africa.
- Planet Fitness – The other gym in town.
- Planet Fitness Platinum – A very high end gym in Sandton that costs more than 2x the regular gyms. Extremely nice however.
Buying/Renting a home
- Property 24 – Probably the largest and most commonly used website to find houses/apartments for sale/rent.
- Gumtree / OLX – Just like craigslist in the US, Gumtree and OLX are jack of all trades and many people post their properties for subletting, lease, or sale
- Private Property – Another solid option for finding housing.
- Woolworths – A large chain store that is like a smaller version of a walmart super store. Groceries and clothing both available. Online website caters to non-food goods
- Kalahari – A very small version of Amazon.com. Amazon is unfortunately not in South Africa but they do ship internationally here for a premium. Kalahari is about as close of an alternative as it gets to Amazon.
- Bid or Buy – Closet thing to eBay as it gets in SA.
Traveling Around SA and Africa
Safaris and Overland Tours
Tour Operators – These companies actually put on the tour so you’d be booking straight from the source
- Acacia Africa – One of the most reputable companies for safaris and overlanding. I have a few trips booked with these guys in the future. Specializing in Eastern and Southern Africa
- Nomad Tours – Another very reputable company for overland tours. Specializing in Eastern and Southern Africa
- Drifters – Tour company based out of South Africa that also specializes in Eastern and Southern African tours. Very reputable.
- Intrepid Tours – A big international tour company with tours all around the world. I find that because these guys are not based out of SA, their tours are generally a bit more expensive than Nomad and Acacia
- G Adventures – Another big tour company with trips all around the world. Prices are all quoted in USD and inclusive of local payment. I’ve seen their trucks all over my trips so they’re clearly reputable but they are considerably more expensive.
Tour Agents – Think of these as the Kayak search of Safaris and Overland Tours: One site consolidates tours from multiple operators
- African Budget Safaris – I’ve actually talked on the phone with these guys a bunch, sometimes the best way to get information is to call instead of email. These guys are very helpful and seriously have access and information on any tour out there. Their name is budget but they also have more expensive and non-budget options available. The tour agents can generally offer you a discount vs the operator’s website and I’ve already booked a tour through them already.
- Detour Africa – Similar premise as the above website. I’ve also been on the phone with these guys and they are also very helpful.
South Africa Airlines
- Flight Centre – This seems to be the go to website to search for flights around South Africa and Africa. They also have very cheap tour packages around the area.
- Kulula – This seems to be South Africa’s equivalent to Europe’s Easyjet. They generally have cheaper flights than say South African Airways to places like Durban and Cape Town.
- Mango – Another Budget Airline that flies within South Africa.
- FlySAFair – The newest budget airline of South Africa, this airline offers easily the lowest fairs between Joburg and Cape Town!
- Oyster Worldwide – Gap year planning specialists
- Golf Escapes South Africa – For planning golf related trips in South Africa
- Holiday Place – Travel experts with a wide array of experience and offerings to plan your next holiday in Africa
- Taxi2Airport – My preferred method of arranging taxi pickups at airports around the world
- True Luxury Travel – Experts in luxury travel planning adventure around Africa
- Wayfairer Travel – Specializes in offering luxury holidays and safaris which are authentic, meaningful and socially responsible, and which thereby also benefit local communities and conserve environments.
- Pettitts – Pioneers in planning and organizing self-drive tours around different parts of the world