What would it be like for you if you could travel the world while still being able to work from anywhere? A digital nomad has the ability to travel around the world exploring various countries and cultures while at the same time being able to work from wherever they are visiting.
For those that have mastered the challenge of leaving a traditional job and are now self-employed and working independently on their own, it is now time for the next challenge and adventure. It all begins with exploring the travel lifestyle while working remotely and choosing which continent and country you would like to visit.
When traveling overseas and especially for various adventuresome outdoor activities, it is highly recommended that tourists use Travel Insurance. Good Neighbor Insurance is the perfect company to meet your insurance needs with helpful and responsive customer service.
We here at Good Neighbor understand it’s important to take time to travel, and we’re here to help protect you. Make sure you have great travel insurance wherever you journey to in the world.
WHAT IS A DIGITAL NOMAD?
Throughout history, a nomad has typically been a person that does not have a permanent residence and travels from location to location. Historically, it often involved hunter-gatherer tribes carrying tents and following the animals they hunt.
Modern day nomads work remotely in the digital age and rely on devices with wireless internet capabilities that include smart phones and mobile hotspots to earn a living. In today’s society, working remotely is turning out to be the new normal for many people.
They may be bloggers, online language teachers, virtual assistants, programmers and a variety of other occupations. A digital nomad may have a “home country”, but no settled home and may travel from location to location consistently while typically making money on the go or being self-employed. Work is done remotely in recreational vehicles, coffee shops, co-working spaces and anywhere else you have space set up for your laptop.
THE CHANCE TO EXPLORE THE WORLD
This lifestyle of the digital nomad opens up doors to the whole world and allows you to travel while successfully working remotely and making a living. Many of you have wanted to travel around the world, but were always constrained by your 9 to 5 job. Now is your chance to explore the world and create your own adventures.
Where would you like to go? For this adventure, we will take a look at the nomadic lifestyle in the digital world and what it would be like for you to experience the southern-most part of Africa. So let’s take a trip to South Africa together.
Many people are curious about visiting Africa and then assume it may be a bit too intimidating or not safe enough to consider. The continent is home to 54 countries, an estimated 2,000 languages and many different cultures. A safari is one of the first things most people think about doing in Africa, but there are so many other things to experience on the continent.
SOUTH AFRICA ROAD TRIP
The country of South Africa is a magical place with an extensive coastline, safaris, mountains, wineries and many other attractions including adventurous activities to keep you occupied. It is an easy country to travel around and makes a great choice for the nomadic traveler. It is a good and safe choice to give you the chance to experience some of the things the continent has to offer.
Make sure you don’t forget your passport and be properly prepared with the best travel insurance from Good Neighbor Insurance, where you will be serviced by our experienced travel experts.
WHERE TO START THE TRIP?
On a trip to South Africa, we chose to take a road trip along the southern coast in South Africa where you will experience mountains and the coastline. It is a top destination for travelers and the perfect drive to discover what the country has to offer.
Although the Garden Route covers a relatively short stretch of the South African Coast, it will give you the opportunity to experience several cities and attractions along the southern coast of the country. You will encounter some breathtaking landscapes, forests, beaches, game reserves, lagoons and a huge variety of greenery. You will also get a chance to enjoy the different cultures as well with many activities and adventures.
PLANNING FOR THE TRIP
Once you have decided on a destination, it is important to be properly prepared for your traveling and get everything done on your to-do list, from having your passport, visa, business license, international internet connection, emergency fund, booking your flight as well as other details. You can book your hotel using www.booking.com or directly with AirBnB .
When traveling overseas and especially for various outdoor activities and crowds, it is highly recommended that tourists use Travel Insurance. Good Neighbor Insurance is the perfect company to meet your insurance needs with helpful and responsive customer service.
With the intent to stay several weeks and at various locations, we chose to rent a car for this trip.
FIRST STOP IN CAPE TOWN
We will start a trip to South Africa by spending a few weeks in Cape Town, which is a favorite destination in Africa for digital nomads and offers everything you could need or want for a remote worker’s perfect location.
It is a large and vigorous city placed between various mountain ranges and coastlines. Stunning natural landscapes, delicious and diverse cuisines and so many activities for all ages- truly a cosmopolitan city with many historical sites, café culture and lively nightlife.
There is great food, mountain views, some incredible beaches along with deep history, beautiful cafes and some of the best coffee you will ever taste. For a listing of many options for your time in Cape Town, it is worth it to look at The Complete Digital Nomad Cape Town Guide.
START YOUR ADVENTURE WITH A DIGITAL NOMAD RETREAT
For those that are new to the digital lifestyle, a great way to learn the ropes from some more experienced people is to attend a Work Wanderer Coworking/Coliving Retreat in Capetown. This three-week retreat is designed specifically for digital nomads and will give you a great foundation of information and experiences to make you confident in your travels.
This is a great opportunity to meet other remote workers, freelancers and entrepreneurs from around the world to form a community and get a chance to work and live together in Cape Town for 3 weeks.
What a great experience to learn from each other along while exploring this fascinating city. You can make some real connections, stay productive and learn from each other, as well as share your skills.
EXTENDED STAY Airbnb
After your stay at the retreat, you will look for an extended stay situation that will give you some solitude to get your work done. You can find some amazing gems at Airbnb. Starting prices are around $350/month. If you prefer to be centrally located, you will pay around $500 – $1,000/month for a one-bedroom apartment.
You may also want to explore the option of a shared flat where you can meet some new people. A flat-mate can be found on websites such as Gumtree.
FUN ACTIVITIES TO TAKE A BREAK FROM YOUR WORK
There are many things to see and do in Cape Town during your free time away from work. After some of these activities, you will be recharged and get a lot of work done.
At Free Walking Tours in Capetown , you can learn all about the city and history of the area. The tours are educational and fun and the guides are extremely knowledgeable.
You may want to visit the V & A Waterfront where there are many attractions and activities to enjoy. You can take in the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa or relax on a sunset cruise on a chartered boat. A visit to the Two Oceans Aquarium is always high on the list of activities to complete.
A must-see activity on a trip to South Africa is to take the famous cable car to the top of Table Mountain for some of the best panoramic views of the city and surrounding area. You can choose between hiking up the mountain or the option of an easy cable car ride. For detailed information on hiking Table Mountain, see our hiking post.
At the base of Table Mountain is Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. It is world renowned as one of the best botanical gardens in the world with over 7,000 species of plants. You will also tour the landscaped garden area along the natural forest.
BEGINNING THE ROAD TRIP ALONG THE COAST
After experiencing Cape Town for several weeks, you are ready to start your coastline drive. Be ready to snap some photos at the lookout points.
There are plenty of adventure activities along the Garden Route to attract outdoor lovers. To fully enjoy a trip to South Africa, you will spend a few days at most locations to take advantage of the numerous activities and events while still being able to get your work done.
After a drive of less than two hours covering mountain ranges and semi-desert, we approach Hermanus. It is regarded as the whale watching capital of South Africa. It is an enchanting seaside town with some wonderful seafood restaurants. Visitors delight in watching the whales swim close to the shore. There are some optional close-up boat trips to get a closer look at the sights.
It’s a great location to stop and get your laptop out to catch up on any work while sitting on a restaurant terrace as you stare out at the sea waiting to see a whale tail as it heads downwards to the depths. The Cliff Path has some of the best views.
For some of the best seafood you will ever taste, the place to go is Lemon Butta Hermanus. Be sure to check out the oysters.
After an afternoon of watching whales, hiking or cycling, a good choice of hotel to stay the night is The Whale on Main B & B. You can relax in the garden of the shared lounge area and it is a great way to meet some new friends and fellow travelers.
For the next section of the drive on a trip to South Africa, we are on our way to Wilderness for some adventures. For a little break from driving, we will stop along the way in Mossel Bay near the beach for a great cup of coffee.
The Blue Shed Coffee Roastery will not disappoint you.
As we drive a little further on a trip to South Africa, you will encounter Wilderness, which is a seaside town on the Garden Route. The area is best known for its lengthy white sand beach and many lagoons.
If you would like to spend some time immersed in natural beauty, Wilderness is a great choice to make a stop. It is perched at the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains. For the outdoors enthusiast, there are many activities centered on the Touw River and surrounding area, as well as a beautiful beach area.
You can start your adventure with exploring one of the five hikes within Wilderness National Park. You will encounter wooden bridges that take you deep into the forest. There are some astonishing look-out points overlooking the Touw River.
For the adventuresome at heart, you must try kloofing or “canyoning” . It is a South African adventure sport that will get the heart beating fast and blood flowing where you descend into a gorge, deep ravine or watercourse. It consists of climbing, hiking and typically swimming through a ravine with many jumps involved. Ziplines can also be part of the fun. We found Eden Adventures to be a good place to book this activity.
Another activity option for the truly adventuresome is a chance to go Paragliding. Wilderness is the perfect place for this activity. You must be feeling brave for this one, though.
With a big appetite after all of your activities, a wonderful place to treat yourself to a great meal is the Girls on the Square. It is quite a cozy and welcoming restaurant with a full menu of traditional African cuisine. Some of the more popular menu items include fresh linefish, succulent prawns, tender steaks and flavorsome curries that are all cooked to perfection in an open kitchen area where you can watch the professional chefs prepare your meal.
For a place to stay a few nights to be able to work and take in all of the activities, Fairy Knowe Backpackers and Adventures is alongside the Wilderness National Park. It gives you easy access to the Touw River Estuary and some of the best hiking and walking trails are right outside the entrance. It is a real treat to have one of their homecooked meals after a long day of covering the area.
It is important to have the right type of travel insurance when you are visiting other countries, especially during the busy holiday times. Good Neighbor Insurance is here for you to provide the best policies and service for your trips. If you live in the U.S., one of our good short term plan to meet your coverage needs is our Pivot Plan. If you reside outside the U.S., our Atlas Plan will give you the best coverage to meet your needs.
After staying a few days in Wilderness, our next stop along the route is Knysna. It is a favorite place to visit and is set around a charming tidal lagoon. The town is also famous for its delectable oysters which are a real treat.
If you arrive in season, you have the chance to take an ocean safari to see southern right and humpback whales. A perfect way to wind up the day is with a lagoon cruise on the MV John Benn with Featherbed. It is a double-decker floating restaurant where we had dinner and a fantastic view of the estuary area.
There are several wonderful viewpoints to see the beauty of the area. A top spot is The Knysna Heads shows its allure and delivers some special moments. Enjoy incredible views of the channel, Knysna Lagoon and estuary, Indian Ocean as well as the Outeniqua Mountains
It is the meeting point of the Indian Ocean and the Knysna river and the local inhabitants have long enjoyed swimming fishing, sailing, paddling and other water adventures.
For spending a few nights, a very special place to stay is Paradise Private Zen Studios.
Set high on the top of a hill where you get an incredible view of the town and lagoon, the owners are special people that will make it an enjoyable experience for you.
After spending some time in Knysna, the next half hour stretch of our trip takes us to Plettenberg Bay.
“Plett” is a great point to stop and take in a beautiful beach, some great hotels, restaurants and many local attractions. It has a beautiful white-sand coastline and a relaxing stroll on the beach is a great way to take a break from your work and recharge yourself.
If you happen to be passing through the area on a Saturday, you could pay a visit to Harkerville Market. This is a traditional farmers market with food and various craft stalls to stroll through. Their Bundu Breakfast is a great way to start the day.
A must stop place to get a wonderful meal on a trip to South Africa is Emily’s Restaurant located at the Emily Moon River Lodge – a true treat for you and a great place to stay the night. The restaurant boasts of the true spirit of Africa with antique tables and collector’s items that fill the restaurant. A true experience to remember. You can choose favorites, like Lamb Rack, Butter Chicken Samosas and the unique Bali Bowl.
ROBBERG NATURE RESERVE
While in the area, a great place to stop off and hike is the Robberg Nature Reserve. A drive out to the Reserve is one of the best hiking destinations and definitely worth your time.
The hike around the peninsula is a circular trail with two shorter versions available. It is a special one-of-a-kind hike and the geology enthusiast will find it especially satisfying.
It will take you 4 to 5 hours to complete. You may get a chance to hear and then spot some Cape fur seals that are barking. There is almost too much animal life to fully mention, including grey buck, duiker and bushbuck along with claw-less otters and mongooses that you may get a glimpse of. Robberg is the perfect vantage point for dolphins and whales. There are also numerous bird species that flock to the area.
On the hike, there are some huge sandstone boulders that form a stark contrast to the blue-green sea. The scenery changes constantly as you climb up and down the rocky coastline where you may pass a colony of seals. You also come across a second and smaller peninsula of sand and can take in some whale watching while you relax on a secluded beach.
Tsitsikamma National Park is an especially beautiful section of the Garden Route and a short 45-minute drive from Plettenberg. On the way there, you will cross several steep canyons with rivers below that flow to the ocean.
You will need your camera ready to take some incredible photos as you head for the heights. Once you get to the forest, there are several tree lined walking trails to enjoy. There is a great lookout point over a suspension bridge as the Storms River touches the ocean.
Once you get to the park you will find Bloukran’s Bridge, which is one of the world’s highest bridges. Are you adventurous enough to find out what it is like to take a bungee jump? You will jump from the top of the bridge with a large elastic cord.
Another thrilling adventure is Blackwater Tubing down the river. You will be in for an unforgettable experience as you negotiate with this challenging river on specialized one-man inflatable river tubes. You will encounter some unique habitat on your exciting journey. It is an activity that gives you the experience of pristine forests, rivers and a distinctive coastline.
After these adrenaline-pumping activities, relax and spend some nights at The Fernery Lodge & Chalets in Stormsrivier.
YOUR CHANCE FOR AN AFRICAN SAFARI – ADDO ELEPHANT PARK
You cannot leave a trip to South Africa without exploring a wildlife park and experiencing a safari. We suggest adding Addo Elephant Park to your plans. It is just an hour away from Port Elizabeth and the park is a great place to catch a glimpse of the famous ‘Big 5’- lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhinoceros. It is the home base for around 700 elephants. In addition to the BIG-5, you can also see Southern right whales and the great white sharks when you are in the marine area of the park off the coast of Port Elizabeth.
BOAT TRIP – You can begin in the morning with a boat trip in Algoa Bay. A good choice to take you on the tour is Raggy Charters. The captains have a huge amount of knowledge and you will learn a great deal about the wildlife.
While there, you will have various sightings which include Southern right whales, humpback whales, Brydes whales, great white sharks, seals, some dolphin pods and a penguin colony. It’s always very special to have curious dolphins swimming around the boat while they play in the waters.
SAFARI – Later in the day, you can take the short drive to the elephant park for your long-awaited safari.
A good choice to book a guided safari on a trip to South Africa is through SANParks, the national parks association, in one of their vehicles. It is worth it to take advantage of the expertise of a guide. There can be anywhere from a handful of people to well over a dozen, depending on the size of the truck.
A ranger will give you a guided tour and help point out the various wildlife including the BIG 5 along with antelopes, zebras and warthogs. You get a chance to be on the lookout for elephants having fun together in the waterholes or a lion laying in a shady area. The guides know exactly where to drive off-road to catch some of the best sights.
A great place for a digital nomad to stay is The Elephant House for a few days or even longer. At this family-run lodge, you will be welcomed with open arms for some good old-fashioned home-cooked meals and hospitality. You can get some of your work done sitting near the pool or at the deep verandah.
You can also explore some of the more remote areas of the park during your stay there. There is the rocky Zuurberg range and the Darlington Dam.
Hopefully, you have gotten a taste of what it is like to be a digital nomad going on a traveling adventure. Things are always changing when you live life as a nomad. You have to be flexible and prepare to be challenged with surprises that come up along the way.
Balancing work while traveling can be a challenge and constantly moving every few days, weeks or months requires a great deal of planning and researching. A couple of good resources for the beginner include How to Become a Digital Nomad, Step by Step and How to Be a Digital Nomad.
Good Neighbor Insurance is always here to answer any questions you may have and make sure you get the best insurance for your situation. Call our Gilbert, Arizona office at 480-813-9100, or click “chat with us” to get started right away!