South Africa's climate is generally sunny and pleasant, but
there is considerable regional variation: the northwest is very
arid, the south is temperate, and the northeast has a more
typically tropical climate. Winters (May to August) are generally
mild; most of the rest of the country receives only a brief cold
spell, when snow falls on the mountain ranges and occasionally in
lower-lying areas. The rainiest months in Cape Town are May to
August; Johannesburg receives most of its annual rainfall in the
summer, between November and March.
PASSPORTS & VISAS
Passports are required by all foreign visitors and must be valid
for 6 months after the intended length of stay. Please ensure
that there are two blank pages per country to be visited. It
is imperative to check visa requirements with the South African
embassy as it may vary according to your nationality.
Visitors who intend travelling to South Africa's neighbouring
countries and back are advised to apply for multiple entry
It is essential adequate travel insurance be taken out prior to
departure. This should cover any medical situation such as
hospitalisation, as well as cancellation, curtailment of
arrangements and baggage.
Medical services in South Africa are readily available. Although
most hotels and lodges are equipped with a First Aid kit, we
suggest that you bring a small airtight container with a few
well-chosen articles such as: plasters, travel sickness tablets,
antiseptic cream, antihistamine cream, pain relieving tablets for
headaches, indigestion tablets, sunscreen, eye drops, insect
repellent, medication for upset stomachs and after-sun
moisturiser. We remind travellers who have any allergies i.e.
insect stings, or an asthma condition, to pack the required
medication. Medicine may be purchased at pharmacies and emergency
Most hotels, lodges, airports, cities and towns have foreign
exchange facilities. Credit cards and traveller cheques are widely
accepted. Automated teller machines (ATM's) are found
The currency is the South African Rand (ZAR).
R1 = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations R200, R100, R50
Travellers taking goods out of South Africa are able to reclaim
VAT. VAT Reclaim Offices are found at Johannesburg, Durban
and Cape Town International Airports.
Please consult your physician before you travel to South Africa
for advice on precautions against malaria should you be visiting
affected regions. Anyone who has any special medication should take
enough supplies to last the visit. Yellow fever certificates
are required if the journey starts or passes through the yellow
fever belt of Africa or South America.
There are 11 official languages in South Africa although English
is widely spoken.
As a general guide, comfortable, casual wash and wear clothes
are recommended. Please note that muted colours are recommended for
game-viewing. Game-drives are conducted in the early morning and
late afternoon, which can be very cold, especially in winter.
The most practical items to pack for safari are:
- Khaki, green, beige and neutral colours
- Shirts with long sleeves (even in summer, as protection from
the sun and mosquitoes)
- T shirts
- Shorts or a light skirt
- Jeans or safari trousers for evenings and cooler days
- A jacket and sweater are recommended for early morning and
evening game drives
- Lightweight water-proof jacket
- Swim and beachwear
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Sun block, sunglasses, hat, insect repellent, moisturizer and
lip-salve are all essentials
- Binoculars and camera equipment
- Good quality safari clothing is available in safari shops
- Jackets and ties are required in some city hotel restaurants
and golf clubs
200/240 volts AC, 50Hz. You will need an adaptor, which can be
purchased in South Africa. Some of the game lodges do not have
Check-in is one hour prior for domestic departures and two hours
prior for international departures. Some scheduled regional
flights may involve multiple stops before reaching final
Federal Air baggage allowance on all flights is restricted to
20kg per person in a soft bag. This weight allowance includes hand
luggage. Any excess luggage may incur huge additional cost which
must be settled direct.
In accordance with global practice most hotel and lodge
check-in/out times are as follows:
An adult relative or guardian must accompany guests under 18
years. Car rental companies generally only rent vehicles to guests
between the age of 21 years and 76 years. This may differ from
company to company.
Most dietary requirements can be catered for. Please advise of
any specific dietary requirements and these will be communicated to
all the properties you will be visiting. Should you require kosher
meals these will incur additional costs as these meals are
specially flown in. Two weeks prior notice is required for kosher
Please be sure to bring sufficient memory cards, film and
batteries as although these are readily available in all South
African cities and towns there might be no stock available in the
safari lodges. Please remember to ask permission before
taking a photograph of any South African resident.
It is customary to tip 10% of the bill at all restaurants and
10% of the fare to taxi drivers. It is also the custom to tip local
guides and drivers. We also recommend an approximate R15-R 20 for
porters at hotels/airports.
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