Tips for photographers travelling to South Africa

Africa is a wonderful land to photograph so we have put together a few tips for photographers travelling to South Africa that you will need to know.

Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first.

Is South Africa safe for photographers?

Well it depends. If you travel like a lot of tourists do in the US or Europe with expensive equipment on show then it is definitely not safe.  If you travel where you like with no thought of good or bad areas then again it is not safe.

However, with some care about being discreet about your equipment, travelling to areas that are recommended by locals and staying away from deserted and no go areas there is no reason why you should not have an amazing time without any incidents to mar your trip.

What side of the road do they drive on?

The right, so if you’re coming from the UK you’re sorted! Otherwise drive with care.

What plug sockets do you need?

SA uses a 3 round-pin for many but also have the usual European 2 round-pin ones and most places you visit have the adaptors for the European plugs.

Can you drink the water safely?

Yes – But the wine is better 🙂

Car Guards and other South African weird phenomena

Most parking places, will have a number of official, or self-appointed ‘car guards’.

The Newbie Guide to the “Car Guard”

  • If you pay the guard after you get back then they are a car guard
  • If they ask you for money upfront they are an extortion artist.
  • Most people pay them between R2 and R10 if the car is in one piece when you get back to it.
  • If they ask you for money but hold out a small transparent packet with something in it then they are a drug dealer.
  • If the car guard doesn’t have a fluorescent bib then they are probably just a local trying their luck.


I have been invited to a braai?

Braai is to the South African, what a ‘barbie’ is to the Aussies and barbecue is to the Brit and American! This comes from the word ‘braaivleis’ which literally translated from the Afrikaans means ‘cooked meat’. Braais are normally dominated by men, known as the ‘tong-masters’ and women are rarely allowed! (Watch this hilarious video for your braai education!)

Someone said there’s a robot at the end of the street!!!

Don’t worry! This is just a traffic light!

What on earth is a traffic circle?



There are two types of taxi. One is the regular sort of pre-booked or Uber style (and Uber is available). The other is a minibus – normally white – and they can be flagged down, even from the motorway.

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