The Rough Guide to South Africa

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Practical travel guide to South Africa featuring points-of-interest structured lists of all sights and off-the-beaten-track treasures, with detailed colour-coded maps, practical details about what to see and to do in South Africa. The Rough Guide to South Africa also includes details on how to get there and around, pre-departure information, as well as top time-saving tips, like a visual list of things not to miss in South Africa, expert author picks and itineraries to help you plan your trip.

The Rough Guide to South Africa covers: Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula; The Western Cape; The Northern Cape; The Eastern Cape; the Garden Route; KwaZulu-Natal; Durban; Free State; Gauteng; Johannesburg; North West Province; Mpumalanga; Limpopo; Lesotho; Swaziland.

Inside this travel guide you'll find:


Experiences for every kind of trip to South Africa, from off-the-beaten-track adventures in The Drakensberg to family activities in child-friendly places, like Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park or chilled-out breaks in popular tourist areas, like Table Mountain.


Essential pre-departure information including South Africa entry requirements, getting around, health information, travelling with children, sports and outdoor activities, food and drink, festivals, culture and etiquette, shopping, tips for travellers with disabilities and more.


Carefully planned routes covering the best of South Africa give a taste of the richness and diversity of the destination, and have been created for different time frames or types of trip.


Clear structure within each sightseeing chapter includes regional highlights, brief history, detailed sights and places ordered geographically, recommended restaurants, hotels, bars, clubs and major shops or entertainment options.


Tips on how to beat the crowds, save time and money and find the best local spots for game trails, hiking, pony trekking, whale-watching or whitewater rafting.


Rough Guides' rundown of Cape Town, Little Karoo, Johannesburg, Limpopo and Swaziland's best sights and top experiences helps to make the most of each trip to South Africa, even in a short time.


Written by Rough Guides' expert authors with a trademark blend of humour, honesty and expertise, to help to find the best places in South Africa, matching different needs.


Comprehensive 'Contexts' chapter features fascinating insights into South Africa, with coverage of history, religion, ethnic groups, environment, wildlife and books, plus a handy language section and glossary.


Features inspirational colour photography, including the stunning The Sani Pass and the spectacular Bo-Kaap.


Practical full-colour maps, with clearly numbered, colour-coded keys for quick orientation in Durban, the Whale Coast and many more locations in South Africa, reduce need to go online.


With helpful icons, and organised by neighbourhood to help you pick the best spots to spend your time.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780241306307
Series: Rough Guides Main Series
Publication Date: 1/31/2018
Pages: 688
Dimensions: 129 x 198mm


This title is a part of Rough Guides Main Series

Practical travel guides series covering countries, cities and regions, with detailed factual travel tips, perfect for independent, long-stay, backpacking and budget-conscious travellers seeking comprehensive travel information and off-the-beaten track experiences

  • Extensive practical travel information including getting there, getting around, climate information, safety tips, accommodation explanations, food & drink advice and shopping essentials 

  • Curated author picks with destination highlights at the beginning of each guide

  • Ready-made itineraries covering every corner of the destination

  • Colour-coded places chapters with detailed coverage of places and sights, presented in a points-of-interest structure 

  • Extensive recommendations for accommodation, restaurants, shops and leisure activities for all budgets

  • Colour-coded detailed maps with marked-up key sights 

  • Insights on history and nature highlights  

  • Easy to use, newspaper-style layout

  • All guides published from January 2021 are printed on paper from responsible sources verified to meet FSC’s strict environmental and social standards

  • Free eBook with each printed guide published from May 2019 

Format: 129 x 198mm

Price: £14.99-£26.99 | $13.99-$34.99

Extent: 616–1208 page


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4.2 out of 5, 18 global ratings

Amazon Customer

Good reference and intro to the country

Reviewed on February 14, 2020
Paperback | Verified

I like Rough Guides, it seems that their view of most places and things tend to coincide with mine.
This guide (South Africa) was bought as a starting point, to help us decide what and where in this country we would like to visit. As yet it has not been used in more detail as there other countries that we are also considering (more Rough Guides to read!!).
We have been using Rough Guides for years but still found this one relevant for our needs, even though our style of travelling has been changing as we get older.

Amazon Customer

A complete waste of money

Reviewed on May 12, 2019
Paperback | Verified

We have been travelling the world for the last ten years and have read just about every guidebook out there. I have been a fan of Rough Guide but am hugely disappointed with this one.

The guide is neither well written nor well set out. Basic stuff like correct logical headings seems to be very hit and miss. One could blame the aithor but how this got through the editors, I really don’t know.

Rough Guides seem to be moving their business from Guides to a travel agency and, having made an enquiry for a trip, they are not doing well on that aspect of their business either.

This purchase has been a waste of money. If I could send it back, I would. Off now to check out the Lonely Planet Guide.

Amazon Customer

Nice book

Reviewed on September 04, 2018
Paperback | Verified

I bought two of these as presents, one for a couple who live in South Africa. Both presents were well received.

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$ 27.99