EXPECTATIONS VS. REALITY: Debunking the myths of South African travel

When it comes to destinations, South Africa is often dismissed because travellers think it’s too tough to reach. There seems to be an idea to get to Africa you need to catch 12 flights and canoe up a river.

When it comes to destinations, South Africa is often dismissed because travellers think it’s too tough to reach. There seems to be an idea to get to Africa you need to catch 12 flights and canoe up a river.

“In reality, you fly a major airline for 10 to 14 hours and that’s it, you’re in Africa. Most people visiting South Africa want to combine the history with its beautiful scenery and wildlife so a simple combination of Cape Town and Kruger makes the perfect holiday.

Bench Africa’s trade relations manager Cameron Neill

Here are a few more myths about visiting the magical land at the southern tip of the world’s second-largest continent…

 

1. AFRICA IS EXPENSIVE

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The Bench Africa trade relations manager says it’s common to ignore South Africa because it’s a budget-buster but crunching the numbers shows the opposite to be true.

“Looking at one of the world’s fanciest lodges then using that pricing as an indicator you can’t visit Africa is like using the Ritz in London as a reason you can’t afford to visit England,” he says.

“The Ritz is just a room, with everything else extra, and African lodges from budget to the fanciest are far more inclusive – particularly on safari – covering all meals, game drives, and transfers.”

 

2. ONE DAY IS ENOUGH IN CAPE TOWN

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Most folks think there are only two things to do in Cape Town – ascend Table Mountain, catch a ferry to Robben Island – but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

There’s urban foraging with a guide from The Table Bay Hotel, afternoon tea at Twelve Apostles Hotel, landscapes and vino in the Cape Winelands, dining at the V&A Waterfront, penguins at Boulders Beach, and the colourful Bo-Kaap neighbourhood.

 

3. AFRICA IS THE PLACE YOU ONLY GO TO ONCE

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South Africa serves as a gateway to the rest of Africa with those keen on seeing the different faces of this diverse continent able to return without experiencing the same thing twice.

“We find it strange Australians visit Europe in stages – a few new countries every time – but Africa apparently has to be done all at once, and when you factor in the average flight to Europe is somewhere near 20 hours it should be the opposite.”

Bench Africa’s trade relations manager Cameron Neill

After seeing South Africa’s gems – Johannesburg, Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Bushmans Kloof in the Cederberg Mountains, the Garden Route – tourists can venture further afield to Zambia’s Zambezi River, Botswana’s Chobe National Park, and Madagascar before Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda further north.

 

4. ORGANISING A TRIP TO AFRICA IS INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT

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Cameron Neill puts this into perspective by noting travel agents don’t need to understand the intricacies of every American state to send customers to the USA – “just the top five places to visit’’ – and it’s the same with Africa.

“If you know Cape Town, Victoria Falls, Zanzibar and a few of the famous parks – Kruger, Serengeti, the Okavango Delta – then you can start to plan about 95% of most African itineraries quite easily.  The intricate logistics are best left to an African specialist like Bench Africa.  We’ve been doing this for 50 years now and you can only gain that sort of expertise through experience.” he says.

 

BENCH AFRICA TOURS

Experience the unmissable sites of South Africa on the highly-rated (4 STARS) 11-day Secrets of South Africa tour. Scroll through their Cheat Sheet below for a sneak peak or for more information head to Bench Africa.

 

 

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This article is brought to you by Bench Africa

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