South Africa Safaris, Tours & holidays
South Africa is a country on the southernmost tip of the African continent, marked by several distinct ecosystems. Inland safari destination Kruger National Park is populated by big game. The Western Cape offers beaches, lush Winelands around Stellenbosch and Paarl, craggy cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope, forest and lagoons along the Garden Route, and the city of Cape Town, beneath flat-topped Table Mountain.
South Africa is perhaps one of the least widely thought of as a safari destination, thanks to a host of other premier attractions ranging from cosmopolitan Cape Town and the nearby Winelands to the fine beaches of the Garden Route and lofty peaks of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg. Yet South Africa boasts some quite superb wildlife viewing destinations, offering a far greater ecological diversity than some of its neighbours. Its public reserves are particularly well suited to budget DIY safaris, while an ever-growing collection of luxurious private reserves offers concentrated Big Five viewing at the top end of the price range. A good network of surfaced roads and domestic flights allows for flexible itinerary planning, but the flagship Kruger Park and associated private reserves remain the obvious choice for first-time safarigoers, while Addo and environs are conveniently located near Port Elizabeth for those driving along the Garden Route.
How to get to South Africa
O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg is the air transport hub of southern Africa. Onward, travel is mostly by car. Because of excellent roads and facilities in South Africa, some people choose the self-drive option. In most other cases, your local tour operator will arrange pick-up from the airport and further transportation as part of your tour package.
Other international airports are located in Cape Town and Durban, but few flights from Europe or America fly directly to either destination.
From the US there are three nonstop flights a week from New York (JFK) to Johannesburg operated by South African Airways (SAA) in partnership with United Airlines.
There are nonstop flights from Sydney (which take 12hr) and Perth (just under 10hr) to Johannesburg, with onward connections to Cape Town.
Flights from New Zealand tend to be via Sydney. South African Airways and Qantas.
Both fly nonstop to South Africa from Australia.
From London, there are nonstop flights with British Airways and South African Airways and Virgin Atlantic to Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Passport, Visa and Entry requirements for South Africa
Visitors who require a visa must apply in person and provide biometric data. All visitors must hold a passport valid for 1 month after departure and with one blank page (two if a visa is required). South African Government announced that an e-Visa system would be introduced
The health sector of South Africa
The Department of Health has overall responsibility for healthcare in the country, with specific responsibility for public-sector healthcare. The country has around 400 public hospitals and 211 private hospitals. South Africa aims to introduce a system of National Health Insurance (NHI) over a period of 10 years.
Depending on where you are emergency evacuations can be done in South Africa using Air or road transport however it might be expensive so we recommend you purchase travel and medical insurance before travelling to South Africa.
Malaria and Yellow fever vaccination for South Africa
Yellow fever vaccination certificate required for travellers aged 1 year or over arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.
Travellers are advised to travel with Anti-malarial drugs or check with their doctor before travelling to South Africa.
The currency of South Africa
The rand is the official currency of South Africa. It is subdivided into 100 cents (sign: “c”).
The rand is legal tender in the common monetary area between South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia although the last three countries do have their own currencies pegged at par with the rand.
However being developed most internationally recognised currencies like pounds, Dollars, Euro and credit cards are accepted.
Official Language of South Africa
At least thirty-five languages indigenous to South Africa are spoken in the Republic, ten of which are official languages of South Africa: Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venḓa, Xhosa, Zulu and Afrikaans. The eleventh official language is English, which is the primary language used.
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Best time to travel to South Africa
The best time to travel to South Africa depends on which parts of the country you want to visit and your interests. The Cape has warm, dry weather in its summer months (November to February), for instance, but the prime whale-watching season is September and October. If you’re trying to decide when to go on safari in South Africa, the game-viewing conditions are excellent in the cooler winter months (May to September).
What to wear in South Africa
South Africans are generally casual so opt for dresses, shorts, T-shirts and light trousers. The evenings can be cooler so do bring a light sweater or jacket along, and an umbrella for summer thundershowers if you’re staying in Johannesburg.
Currently, South Africa has no dressing restrictions however if you’re going on local activities involving visiting places and people we recommend dressing appropriate and in tourist places, you can dress the way you want.
What to bring while travelling to South Africa
Here’s a brief summary of the essentials for any South Africa packing list:
- ID documents (passport, driver’s license, and visa)
- Money, credit cards
- Appropriate seasonal clothing and undergarments
- Bathing suit, sunscreen
- Sunglasses, hat
- Basic toiletries
- Cameras, batteries
- Laptop, cell phone, chargers
- Power outlet adapter
- Insect repellent
- Anti-malaria medication, if desired
Car hire and driving in South Africa
To rent a car in South Africa, you must be at least 18 years old (age may vary by car category and location) and have held your license for one year. Drivers under the age of 25 may incur a young driver surcharge. Seatbelts are mandatory.
South Africans drive on the left-hand side of the road, and all signposts are written in English. It is the law to wear a seat belt at all times, and using a mobile phone when driving is prohibited. All drivers must have a valid driving licence from their country of residence.
Accommodation in South Africa
South Africa Accommodation Guide/ Book Direct and SAVE! SA-Venues.com brings you a fine selection of accommodation in South Africa to choose from, for both your holiday and business travel reservations. Whether you are planning a luxury vacation to South Africa or backpacking from region to region, the country offers a range of accommodation options to suit every budget and travelling style.
Luxury 5 star hotels and game lodges or, to suit the more budget-conscious traveller, small hotels, lodges and inns, private game reserves and lodges, luxury tented safari camps, guest houses, bed and breakfast establishments, luxury and budget self-catering accommodation in South Africa, backpackers and caravan parks and camping sites can all be found in southern Africa in the national parks and tourist attractions.
Local food of South Africa
Chakalaka is a spicy South African vegetable relish consisting of tomatoes, beans, and onions as its key ingredients, although some cooks might add various other ingredients such as carrots, bell peppers, chilis, and ginger. Originally, Chakalaka was invented in Johannesburg, where it became a staple dish.
Today, it is a key component of most South African barbecues, where it is served as a side dish accompanying meat. Some people like to serve it as a cold salad when combined with other greens. This relish is traditionally served with bread such as mealie pap, or with amasi, a type of thick sour milk.
Tipping while Travelling in South Africa
Travel introduces you to a whole new world of culture and history, and without a little background on the place, you’re visiting it can be tough to know what’s expected of you as a guest. Tipping is one of those things that is different all over the world, and it can be awkward trying to figure out etiquette and local customs.
South Africa has a tipping culture, and the general rule is we start at 10%. Many people who work in the service industry rely on these tips to make a living wage, so often tips are higher than 10%.
A game-viewing experience in South Africa is made all the more special by the guidance and service of staff members. The guides and rangers keep you safe on safari, point out the (often near-hidden) animals, and lead the experience out in the wild. The porters, housekeeping staff, and kitchen staff do everything else to make your stay exceptional. Assuming you’ve enjoyed your stay, a daily tip is not necessary. A pooled tip for the staff is a convenient way for you to reach the housekeeping, front of the house, and general staff all at once.
Further information for South Africa
We highly recommend travelling with a safari company as South Africa is big and some areas may be unsafe as they are still targeting white south Africans by some group of black South Africans as revenge against Apartheid policy so travelling alone may put you at high risk for more information contact our South African experts today for more information.
Safety of South Africa
South Africa has a high level of crime, including rape and murder. The risk of violent crime to visitors travelling to the main tourist destinations is generally low. The South African authorities priorities protecting tourists and tourism police are deployed in several towns and cities.
SAFARI TOURS AND HOLIDAYS
|Addo Elephant National Park|
|Agulhas National Park|
|Ai-Ais/ Richtersveld Transfrontier Park|
|Augrabies Falls National Park|
|Bontebok National Park|
|Camdeboo National Park|
|Golden Gate Highlands National Park|
|Karoo National Park|
|Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park|
|Knysna National Lake Area|
|Kruger National Park|
|Mapungubwe National Park|
|Mokala National Park|
|Mountain Zebra National Park|
|Namaqua National Park|
|Table Mountain National Park|
|Mapungubwe National Park|
|Tsitsikamma National Park|
|West Coast National Park|
|Wilderness National Park|
|Tankwa Karoo National Park|
|West Coast National Park|
FAUNA & FLORA
|5 Day South Africa Adventure safari|
|5 Days great south African safari|
|5 Days Luxury South Africa safaris|
|5 Days South Africa game safari|
|5 Days wildlife and adventure safari|
|6 Days private South Africa safari|
|10 Days Best of South Africa safari|
|11 Days Experience South Africa|
|11 Days Fly in South Africa safari|
OTHER TOURISTS ATTRACTIONS
|Kirstenbosch national Botanical Garden|
|Cape of Good Hope|
|Blyde River Canyon Nature reserve|
|Sabi sand Game reserve|
|Three Rondavels view point|
|Madikwe Game reserve|
|Big hole and open mine Museum South Africa|
|Isimangaliso wetland park|
|Adam’s calendar South Africa|
|African bird of prey Sanctuary South Africa|
|Afrikaans’s Language Monument South Africa|
|Birds island Nature reserve south Africa|
|Bokaap South Africa|
|Bos 400 ship wreck South Africa|
|Boulders beach penguin Sanctuary|
|Calexico vinyl lounge and restaurant|
|Cango caves South Africa|
|Cape Agulhas Manor South Africa|
|Chapman’s peak drive South Africa|
|Collectors Treasury South Africa|
|Cradle of mankind South Africa|
|District six Museum South Africa|
|Donkergat whaling station South Africa|
|Fermier south Africa|
|Foreshore freeway bridge South Africa|
|Grand central water tower South Africa|
|Howick falls South Africa|
|Huberta the Hippo south Africa|
|Inkwenkwezi private game reserve South Africa|
|Just Nuisance statue South Africa|
|Kaaimans crotto South Africa|
|Klerksdorp sheres South Africa|
|Lilles leaf farm Museum South Africa|
|Mandela house Soweto South Africa|
|Map of Africa south Africa|
|Marakele nature reserve|
|Monte casino Bird gardens South Africa|
|Motouleng caves South Africa|
|Mucassar beach pavilion South Africa|
|Museum of man and science South Africa|
|Mzinyathi falls South Africa|
|Neighbors good Market South Africa|
|Nelson Mandela capture site South Africa|
|Orlando Towers South Africa|
|Owl house South Africa|
|Ponte tower South Africa|
|Ronnie’s sex shop South Africa|
|Sani pass south Africa|
|Satyagraha house south Africa|
|Sea island South Africa|
|Shark cage diving in Gansbaai South Africa|
|South African astronomical observatory|
|Sterkfontein caves South Africa|
|Sudwala caves South Africa|
|Sun city resort south Africa|
|Sunland Baobab South Africa|
|Table mountains south Africa|
|The big pineapple south Africa|
|The goat tower of Fairview cheese and wine farm|
|The post office tree South Africa|
|The Sacramento cannon Monument South Africa|
|The shadow boxer at chancellor house South Africa|
|Top of Africa South Africa|
|Tswaing meteorite South Africa|
|Vredefort impact centre South Africa|
|Wildebeest Kuil rock art centre South Africa|
|Wit waters rand basin South Africa|
|Wood’s cycad south Africa|
|Wreck of Meisho maru 38 South Africa|