If solo travel sounds quite daunting, we’ve found the easiest, safest and best places to travel alone – especially for solo female travellers.
Best for: A beach getaway
Don’t be intimidated by its reputation as a honeymoon destination.
The pristine white beaches don’t discriminate against those travelling alone – if anything, it’ll be easier to score a paddle-board or a spot on a glass-bottom boat tour if you’re by yourself!
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to beaches, so pitch an umbrella on your favourite and revel in the balmy paradise.
But you’ll definitely want to go into the water at some stage – between snorkeling and swimming in crystal-clear waves, you’ll see more than you could’ve dreamed of.
For glimpses of even more creatures great and small, book yourself a day trip to Bird Island, Aride Island Nature Reserve or Cousin Island.
Safety concerns? Some parts of the water can get dangerous. Obey the warning signs at the cost, and don’t swim at night or out of view of others.
Visa? Visa granted on arrival with a valid SA passport
Best for: Iconic sights
The Emerald Isle is a fairy tale destination with its rolling hills and ancient architecture. It’s also ideal for the solo traveller – exploring is easier when you only have to worry about yourself.
Book a tour with a bigger group, or get a map and trust your own directional skills. Either way, don’t miss out on the sensational sights of Blarney Castle (where a kiss on the famous Blarney Stone might afford you the gift of the gab), or the soaring Cliffs of Moher.
Round off your trip with a visit to the 1000-year-old Seán’s Bar for a cheeky pint.
Safety concerns? It’s generally very safe to travel alone, and the friendly locals are happy to help if you get lost.
Visa? Visa-free entry with a valid South African passport.
Best for: Wildlife wonder
Be warned – one trip to Botswana generally isn’t enough. Seasoned travellers know that this oasis of African sunsets and majestic wildlife is addictive.
The Okavango Delta is generally everyone’s first choice of tourist destinations – and with good reason! Watch elephants take a bath, hold your breath for an emerging hippo, and keep a keen eye out for big cats.
Fancy a more specific animal excursion? Try the stunning Khama Rhino Sanctuary or Nata Bird Sanctuary.
Most lodges in Botswana are dedicated to low impact tourism, so there are very few rooms available. You’ll definitely get to know the other travellers, especially since meals and teas are communal.
Additions to your newfound circle of friends will also include local guides, who you’ll see every day and get to know on a personal level.
Safety concerns? It’s recommended that you get vaccinated against typhoid, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, cholera, yellow fever and rabies before your trip.
Visa? Visa-free entry with a valid SA passport.
New York City
Best for: A bucket list city break
The Big Apple is surprisingly solo-friendly. Attractions and restaurants are geared up for single guests – and with no plus one it’s much easier to bag a seat at that sell-out Broadway show.
NYC is easy to navigate on foot, and the Subway system is generally very safe. As with any city, locals can seem a little standoffish, but with such a huge range of tourists from all over the world it’s easy to strike up conversations with other holidaymakers.
Safety concerns? NYC is a big city, with a few no-go areas after dark. Keep your wits about you, and exercise the usual precautions.
Visa? You’ll definitely need a visa for entering the States, and it’s a good idea to book your appointment several weeks in advance.
Best for: An easy, exotic city break
Singapore is one of Asia’s best places to travel alone. You can explore its sights and streets without fear of catcalls or bag snatching, thanks to its tough stance on crime.
Hit the shops on Orchard Road (Asia’s most famous shopping drag), sip a Singapore Sling in the Raffles Hotel (where the cocktail was first conceived), and take a lofty walk among the ‘supertrees’ of the Gardens By The Bay – the city’s futuristic green space.
Thanks to Singapore’s thriving expat population, you can experience multiple cultures in just one day. Explore Chinatown’s markets, discover street food and spice shops in Little India, and tour Asia on a plate in one of the city’s famous international food halls – where you can feast on authentic dishes for just a few dollars.
Safety concerns? Singapore has one of the world’s lowest crime rates. It is very safe for solo women, even at night.
Visa? Visa-free entry with a valid SA passport.
Peru, South America
Best for: Adventure!
If the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu tops your bucket list, you’re not the only one. Travelling through Peru’s Sacred Valley to this hilltop Inca stronghold is a truly spine-tingling travel experience.
It’s a good idea to book a spot on a group tour, most of which run programmes across the country. Explore the Sacred Valley, learn how to make the perfect Pisco Sour, visit the beautiful islands of Lake Titicaca, and more!
Who knows, you might even meet a new group of best friends on your journey.
Safety concerns? Peru is certainly off the beaten track, but if you’re accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide at all times and travelling with a group of like-minded adventurers, you shouldn’t run into any problems.
Visa? Visa-free entry with a valid SA passport