SA's slow internet speed is a drawcard for tourists. Seriously

15 August 2019 - 12:38 By TimesLIVE
SA is a great place to drop that device and be in the moment because of its low 4G speeds combined with natural beauty and an abundance of national parks.
SA is a great place to drop that device and be in the moment because of its low 4G speeds combined with natural beauty and an abundance of national parks.
Image: Tswalu Kalahari Reserve

Holidaymakers wanting a "digital detox" are looking at South Africa, among other places, as a destination to unwind and relax.

"From the moment you wake up in the morning to the moment you go to sleep - technology is constantly in your life. Your holiday abroad should be a time for you to rejuvenate and reset but you can’t do that if you’re worried about what’s happening on your digital device," says UK-based travel agency Hayes and Jarvis.

The company conducted a study titled top 20 destinations for a digital detox, highlighting the number of wi-fi hotspots and 4G availability in a country, as well as the percentage of national parks that travellers can explore.

South Africa ranks 12th in the list of places that people needn't bother checking their e-mails and social media feeds.

"Between the low 4G speeds (15.42 Mbps) and the many natural parks - it’s no surprise that South Africa has made list for best digital detox destinations," the company says. "More than 40% of residents are disconnected from the internet, so you won't feel out of place not having a phone at hand."

Ranking of the top 5 destinations for a digital detox, according to Hayes and Jarvis:

1. Costa Rica. Two-thirds of the population (66%) here has access to the internet but with 4G speeds of 5.82 Mbps, you won’t be surfing the web quickly. Instead of being distracted by the internet, you could surf actual waves or venture into the jungle. Costa Rica also has the highest percentage of parkland at 25% - higher than any other destination on the list, thus making it the perfect location to get in touch with nature.

2. Chile. Based on the number of free hotspots and the population density, there isn’t much wi-fi network to go around per tourist. If you manage to find a connection, it won’t be fast at 18.59Mbps. Luckily, there are many outdoor activities, like hiking, mountain biking and sand surfing, to keep you occupied and away from your e-mails. Chile is also one of the least built-up countries at 0.25% and has 36 national parks.

3. Iceland. Iceland is mostly known for the Aurora Borealis and the Blue Lagoon. Only 0.03% of the land is built on, with mountains, rivers and waterfalls suitable for hiking.

4. Colombia. Cave exploration and horseback riding are top attractions. Parks make up 13% of Colombia, with 56 throughout the country.

5. Peru. Home to the famous Machu Picchu and many other historical sites, only 45% of the population has access to the internet, according to the research.


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