Travelling in South Africa - Languages

South Africa is a safe place to travel, even as a woman alone. Common sense is all you need really to get by without problems. Below is a collection of useful information to help you get off on the right foot. We are always happy to discuss these matters in more detail with you by telephone or email. We have many years of experience and have lived in the country for over a decade and will be able to help you with any questions you may have.


South Africa is a multilingual country with 11 official languages, plus heaps more tribal tongues, pidgins and variations.

English is understood across the country, being the language of business, politics and the media, and has long since become South Africa’s lingua franca.  It’s the most widely-understood tongue and a second language to many, although Zulu, iXhosa and Afrikaans (in that order) all have more speakers in total.

Like anywhere, South African locals will be delighted if you attempt to learn a few rudimentary words of their local language – and may chortle at your dodgy pronunciation!



A wonderful 7 night break to South Africa

We have just come back from a wonderful 7 night break to South Africa. We were incredibly well looking after from the second we stepped off the plane, by a lovely representative of Best of South Africa Travel - who met us and escorted us through customs and immigration literally behind the pilots. It was very efficient, and we felt very ...

M Hemsley

Recent Blog entries