South Africa travel guide
Read our South Africa Travel Guide – This post provides all the information you need when you are planning a visit to majestic South Africa.South Africa is one of Africa’s most popular destinations for foreign travellers and has good reason to be. Its stunning natural wonders include beautiful beaches, vast expanses of semi-desert snow, mountains, and game reserves full of wonderland wildlife. Explore world-class restaurants, theatres and art galleries in Cape Town and Johannesburg, or get an insight into the tribal cultures of the rural villages in South Africa.
Also we recommend you check out the 10 things you simply must do when visiting South Africa.
Nationals of most countries including the US, Canada, UK, most European countries, Australia and New Zealand do not need a visa to enter South Africa for tourism purposes as long as the USDA is not out of the 90-day requirement. Entry for Exempt Visa Citizens include a valid passport with proof of at least a blank page for return or continued travel and proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are a yellow fever traveller. Your passport must be valid for at least 30 days after the intent to leave. Make sure to check the South Africa Home Affairs website for an updated list of visa-exempt countries and for how to apply for a tourist visa if your country is not in the list.
South Africa Safety Information
The crime rate in South Africa is relatively high, the rate of petty theft and more serious crimes are among them. Car theft, house break-in, rape and murder, violent crimes are most common in informal settlements and poorer areas of major cities. Don't advertise the fact that you are carrying cash or expensive jewellery. The countryside in South Africa is among the best in Africa and renting a car is a great way to get around, but always try to travel during daylight hours. Keep windows and doors closed when driving in major cities and don't leave valuables in plain sight. -
Best time to visit south africa
Most South Africans plan their holidays during the long school vacation from mid-December to the end of January so quickly book hotels and hostels during this time. South Africa is true “all year round” destination. Some seasons are better than others with regards to specific activities However if you plan to go in the Dry Season for a safari, June to September is traditionally considered the best time to see wildlife. June to November is well seasoned along the east coast while August and September are the best months to watch the annual wildflower bloom on the West Coast (Namaqualand is something to behold!). Summer is also the best time for sunny beach days in and around Cape Town. If your time is limited the quickest and easiest way to traverse the great distances between South Africa's major cities and tourist destinations is by plane.
South Africa Transport information
South Africa has a wide choice of domestic airlines with the largest being South African Airways, Sa Link, South Africa Express, Kulula & Fly Safair. Renting a car is extremely easy, and provides a great and reasonable way to get around. South Africa has a well-maintained road network, allowing you to travel around the country with ease. There are a ton of large car-rental companies to choose from – some of the biggest ones being Europcar, Hertz, Budget Car Rental & Thrifty Car Rental and are all found in all the major cities. There are trains that mainly connect the big metropolitan centres, and are a good option when travelling between the major cities. Taxis are available in the big South African cities, but if you are considering using taxis, make sure they are from the larger Taxi companies. Uber is now available in several southern African cities including Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, and Durban. Finally, many long-distance bus companies operate between South Africa's largest towns and cities - Intercape and Greyhound are two of the biggest companies in this space.
Medical & Health information
South Africa has some of the very best doctors and private hospitals in the world, although the standard of care in some government facilities is often poor. For this reason, it is strongly advised to take out a comprehensive travel insurance plan prior to travel, which will cover you in the private hospitals in the case of an emergency. The tap water is generally safe to drink throughout the state although it can taste and appear discolored in some areas Remember that drinking untreated water from rivers and lakes puts you at risk of contracting schistosomiasis. Additionally, South Africa has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world so be sure to take the necessary precautions to avoid contact with contaminated body fluids. CDC advice is that all travellers make sure their routine vaccinations are up-to-date before visiting South Africa. Hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines are recommended for all visitors while Hepatitis B and Rabies vaccinations may be required for some travellers depending on Intended destination and activities. Malaria is a risk in the Limpopo-Mpumalanga regions and the province of KwaZulu-Natal.
Money & Foreign Currency
South Africa’s local currency is called the South African Rand (ZAR). All local merchants will accept payments in Rands. South Africa has a strong banking system which is comparable with any first-world banking systems. There are ATM machines situated in abundance across the country, so you will have no problem getting access to withdrawals. There are also a number of Currency & Forex companies that have retail outlets in all the major cities that you can swap your currency at, so make sure you shop around to get the best deal. Visa and Mastercards will also be accepted by all local merchants.