About South Africa
As one of the most various and captivating international locations in the world, South Africa competes with the exceptional of them when it comes to Mother Nature’s splendor pageant. She ratings pinnacle marks for her numerous providing of beautiful beaches, dramatic mountains and cliff-faces, famed Table Mountain with its cloudy tablecloth, the luscious Garden Route stretching from the Eastern to Western Cape, lush forest belts, intriguing semi-deserts capes, and unforgettable sunsets over the African veld. The country is prosperous in herbal splendor and wildlife, with unspoiled beaches, dramatic mountains, protected barren region areas, country wide parks and recreation reserves. Exotic mixtures of landscapes, people, records and lifestyle offers vacationers a special and inspiring experience.
Besides the common Big 5 in most African safari, South Africa has Big 7: add the Great White Shark and Southern Right Whale to the list of the Big 5. And don’t neglect all the other South African favorites – cheetah, giraffe, zebra, hippo, hyena, warthog and the famed dung beetle may additionally now not be the better 7, but they really like to claim their moment in the spotlight. South Africa boasts not much less than 20 country wide parks, with lots of different personal parks and sport accommodations to make sure you get a beneficent slice of the ‘African experience.’
Accommodations vary from deluxe safari camps and inns to self-service bungalows. On Safari, you may also view sport via closed car in countrywide parks and with the aid of open vehicle and walking excursions in private recreation reserves and wasteland areas to view the Big 5. Touring around the Cape and on the Garden, route is very popular.
South Africa is placed on the southern tip of the African continent, bordered by using northern neighbors Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. It encompasses the independent mountain kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland and is flanked with the aid of the Atlantic Ocean on the west and the warm Indian Ocean on the east.
The Republic of South Africa is the southern tip of the continent and is lapped by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Indian Ocean to the east, and a swirling combination of the two at the very tip. It completely encloses the impartial kingdom of Lesotho, and is bordered by using Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland to the north.
A vast, interior plateau has sharp escarpments that upward shove above the lowland plains. Mountainous areas encompass the Drakensberg and Magaliesberg.
The west coast is arid, while the south and southeast coasts are semi-arid, with vegetation fringed via sandy seashores and rocky coves. In contrast, the subtropical northeast has lush wetlands and coastal forests. The wildlife viewing areas are scattered in the course of the country, with the famous Kruger National Park so full-size that it encloses an extensive variety of eco-systems.
Of its nine provinces, Gauteng, which houses Johannesburg and Pretoria in the northeast, is the smallest and most densely populated. The Northern Cape is the greatest province overlaying between a 0.33 and quarter of the country, however containing solely a tiny proportion of the populace in this territory of desert and semi-desert wilderness.
Weather and Climate
Being in the southern hemisphere, South Africa’s seasons are the opposite of European seasons. The climate is seasonal; however, the country enjoys at least seven months of sunshine, with temperatures losing in the winter months of May to August. April and May are the most temperate months. Temperatures above 32°C (90°F) are fairly
common in summer, and often exceed 38°C (100°F) in the lower Orange River Valley and the Mpumalanga Lowveld. The barren Northern Cape has some of the most excessive temperatures, once in a while cracking 40°C (104°F) in summer and plummeting to below freezing in winter.
It's pleasantly warm and sunny in spring and autumn, and delightfully hot in summer (November-March) with prevalent heavy tropical rains and sudden spring and summer hailstorms to cool things down. The thunder and lightning storms over Africa's huge skies can be quite spectacular, but are nice loved through a window, not out in the open. These tropical storms can be vicious too, frequently causing flooding and turning urban streets into temporary streams, making riding hazardous. Wait an hour and it will all be over.
Even in winters South Africa’s kick back is nothing in contrast with European standards, with mild frost occasional, and snow a rarity. The rainiest months in Cape Town are May to August, although the weather in Cape Town is typically hard to predict and can supply all 4 seasons in one day.
For summer in Africa you’ll need to keep cool, so pack lightweight clothes. In wintry weather you’ll be amazed at how bloodless it can be in some areas, so deliver a jumper or sweatshirt. You will in no way need a heavy coat or jacket, however a mild raincoat can be useful, specifically in Cape Town. For a safari deliver lengthy sleeves and lengthy trousers, if solely to shield against mosquitoes and thorn bushes. The sport drives will both start out chilly with an 06:00 start and give up below the blazing sun, or vice versa, with a warm late afternoon start and a return after sunset, so take a wrap or pullover of some sort.
Visa and Passport Requirements
Passport required or Return ticket required
NO Visa required for US, Canada, Australia and UK citizens.
To enter South Africa, a passport valid for at least 30 days after the intended date of departure is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.
Passports must have at least two blank pages for entry stamps.
Note: Yellow fever certificates are required if the journey starts from or passes through a country with yellow fever.
Visas for South Africa are not required by nationals referred to in the chart above for stays of up to 90 days except:
• Nationals of Cyprus, Hungary and Poland, who may stay visa-free for up to 30 days.
•Nationals of (1) Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, who do require a visa.
Nationals not referred to in the chart above are advised to contact the embassy/high commission for visa requirements.
Types and Cost Visitor's visa: £35.
Validity Visitor's visa: up to 90 days.
Transit Nationals requiring a visa to visit South Africa must obtain a transit visa if travelling through South Africa to visit a neighboring country.
Our visa and passport information are updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing, we strongly recommend that you verify critical information unique to your trip with the relevant embassy before travel.
Embassies and tourist offices
Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in the USA
Phone: (202) 232 4400 / (202) 274 7991 (consular section).
Address:3051 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington, 20008,
SOUTH AFRICA VISA APPLICATION CENTER IS NOT PROVIDING A WALK-IN SERVICE;
IT IS BY ONLINE APPOINTMENT ONLY
Currency and Money Currency information
South Africa's currency is the South African rand. When traveling in South Africa, it's smart to carry both ZAR and US dollars. While many shops and restaurants will accept credit cards, merchants at small, local markets may only accept cash — typically in ZAR
Credit cards MasterCard and Visa are preferred.
American Express and Diners Club are also widely accepted.
Banking hours Mon-Fri 09:00 AM -3:30 PM, Sat 8:30 AM-1100 AM.
ATMs are available in all towns, cities and shopping malls and most petrol stations, and accept international cards. Almost all hotels, shops, restaurants, national parks and game reserves accept credit cards. Be alert when using ATMs, and do not accept help from anybody as conmen are adept at switching cards.
Currency restrictions: The import and export of local currency is limited to R5000 in cash.
The import and export of foreign currency is unlimited provided it is declared upon arrival.