What Indian travellers most enjoy about South Africa

  • 29 May 2015 | Daphney Mngomeni
South Africa's diverse range of wildlife is one of its draw cards when it comes to attracting Indian travellers. Image courtesy of Brian Snelson

South Africa is a spectacular country with lots to boast about, including its abundant wildlife, amazing scenery, natural splendour and diverse cultures.

Millions of people from around the world visit South Africa to experience these and everything else that the country has to offer.

India is one of the country’s top 10 tourist markets and research conducted by South African Tourism has revealed some of the reasons Indian travellers have a lot of love for South Africa.

This group of travellers is known to be interested in South Africa’s vibrant lifestyle. The country’s biggest cities ­– Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban – each has its own unique set of nightlife offerings. Although your Indian guests may not consume alcohol, the younger generation may want to taste some of South Africa’s wines and liqueurs. Consider suggesting a visit to some of the vineyards and distilleries along the Route 62 wine route and brandy route.

Indian tourists can be quite particular when it comes to the food they eat, and the majority are known to be vegetarian. It's a good idea to recommend local Indian restaurants in order to make them feel at home. Most South African cities have many Indian restaurants, all with vegetarian options on the menu. Be sure to know the best Indian restaurants closest to you. Your guests may also want a taste of South Africa’s tradiational dishes. Keep a list of authentic South African eateries handy.

Other exciting activities that Indian travellers are interested in include game drives; adventure activities such as bungee jumping, base jumping and sky-diving; and sports – especially cricket – as well as shark or even crocodile cage diving.

Jumping from the top of Soweto's cooling towers is an adventure activity that your Indian traveller would be interested in. Image courtesy of Annette Lyn O'Neil

Many Indians know about South Africa because of the time that civil rights activist Mahatma Gandhi spent in the country, through the numerous cricket matches in which India and South Africa play against each other, and through word of mouth from colleagues, friends and family that have visited the country before.

There are many reasons that inspire Indians to visit South Africa, the main ones being:

  • The country has a certain mystique and novelty to it and there’s always something new to discover/experience
  • The weather conditions are great, especially in KwaZulu-Natal where it’s warm for most of the year
  • South Africa has a great offering of adventure sports and activities
  • It’s closer in proximity in comparison to other countries on Indian travellers’ lists of countries to visit (America, New Zealand and Canada)
  • There’s a wide range of fauna and flora in the country and many game viewing as well as wildlife interaction opportinities