Exploring South Africa
A true rainbow nation, South Africa is not only one of the top tourist destinations in the world – but it has also been home to some of the greatest humans of our time, such as Nelson Mandela.
With 11 official languages and landscapes that range from the deserts of the Kgalagadi to the lush green forests of the Tsitsikamma – there truly is something for everyone in this land of abundance. With a sensational climate and the warm African spirit of its inhabitants, this country is a must for explorers wishing to experience a vast array of activities and attractions. Be sure not to miss a wine tour on the longest wine route in the world, or a city tour of the bustling metropolis. And don’t miss a visit to one of the spectacular new 7 natural wonders of the world – Table Mountain.
You can travel to South Africa all year round. Spring and summer in South Africa offer warm temperatures and dry weather in the Cape and on the Garden Route with the occasional rain shower in the northern regions. Winter is a special secret! From May to August, you can experience nature at its best, starting from much better game sightings in the nature reserves, numerous whale-watching opportunities near Cape Town, to the breath-taking wildflower carpets in Namaqualand and on the West Coast. In general, prices are also lower in the winter months.
Important Travel Information
South Africa has different climate and vegetation zones. The average temperatures in January are approximately 24 °C in Durban, 19 °C in Johannesburg and 22 °C in Cape Town. In Cape Town, rainfall occurs in winter, whereas in Johannesburg it's predominantly in summer.
To enter South Africa, you will need a passport that is valid for no less than 30 days after the expiry of the intended visit, and at least two unused pages for entry or departure endorsements (sometimes referred to as visa pages). Please contact the South Africa Embassy for any further visa requirements and if you intend to travel with children.
The South African currency is the Rand (ZAR). Most international credit cards are accepted throughout the country even in National Parks.
South Africa has 11 official languages; however, English is spoken throughout the country.
With a few exceptions in deep rural areas, electricity is available almost everywhere in South Africa. The South African electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 HZ. Most plugs are 15 amp 3-prong or 5 amp 2-prong, with round pins. Adaptors can be purchased in any supermarket. US-made appliances may need a transformer. Most hotel rooms have 110-volt outlets for electric shavers and appliances.
South African telecommunication infrastructure is cutting edge, and connections to countries beyond our borders are easy and efficient. Telecommunications in South Africa also includes a well-established mobile (cellular) phone network. Four mobile service providers – Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and 8ta – ensure countrywide coverage and reception is generally good in urban areas. Mobile phones can be hired at all international airports, and prepaid airtime can be purchased at most retail outlets.
If you’re an adult, you won’t need any inoculations unless you’re travelling from a yellow-fever endemic area (the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America). If so, you will need certification to prove your inoculation status when you arrive in South Africa. The Western Cape Province and Garden Route areas are malaria-free. Please note that some areas in the northern part of the country, including the Kruger National Park, are malaria-risk areas. Please consult your doctor.