South Africa

South Africa is one of the most diverse countries in the world. Holiday makers flock to South Africa for its natural beauty, wildlife and sunshine. South Africa’s diverse terrain supports a rich diversity of animals, birds, and plant-life and offers an incomparable range of experiences.

South Africa is located at the southernmost region of Africa, on the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
Reasons for Visiting South Africa:
South Africa has an exotic combination of landscapes, people, history and culture, making South Africa a dream destination.

South Africa has:
– Excellent climate, with sunshine almost year round
– A wide variety of breathtaking scenery, coastal villages and cosmopolitan cities, all of which can be combined with a truly exhilarating Big Five African Safari
– Excellent infrastructure, making the country great for self drive holiday’s
– Friendly hospitable people, a vibrant mix of African culture and Western sophistication
– Extraordinary nation experiences through township tours, cultural village and historical site visits
– The cradle of humankind: Sterkfontein is one of the world’s most productive and important paleoanthropological sites.
– Wide variety of hotels, small, personalized privately owned properties, guest houses and boutique hotels
– Easily combinable with Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, and the Indian Ocean Islands

South Africa Entry and Visa Requirements:
– A valid acceptable passport or travel document good for a sufficient period to cover your intended stay.
– A valid visa, if required.
– Sufficient funds.
– A return or onward ticket.
– At least two blank pages in your passport.
– Yellow fever certificates are required if the journey starts or entails passing through the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America.

Population in South Africa:
48, 687, 000
Summer: Mid-October to mid-February
Autumn: Mid-February to April
Winter: May to July
Spring: August to mid-October

MAX: 26.1°C  26.5°C 25.4°C 23°C 20.3°C 18.1°C 17.5°C 17.8°C 19.2°C 21.3°C 23.5°C 24.9°C
MIN: 15.7°C 15.6°C 14.2°C 11.9°C 9.4°C 7.8°C 7.°C 7.°C 8.7°C 10.6°C 13.2°C 14.9°C
RAINFALL: 15mm 17mm 20mm 41mm 69mm 93mm 82mm 77mm 40mm 30mm 14mm 17mm
MAX: 25.6°C 25.1°C 24.0°C 21.1°C 18.9°C 16.0°C 16.7°C 19.4°C 22.8°C 23.8°C 23.8°C 25.2°C
MIN: 14.7°C 14.1°C 13.1°C 10.3°C 7.2°C 4.1°C 4.1°C 6.2.°C 9.3°C 9.3°C 11.2°C 13.9°C
RAINFALL: 125mm 90mm 91mm 54mm 13mm 9mm 4mm 6mm 27mm 27mm 72mm 105mm
MAX: 31.9°C 31.2°C 30.1°C 27.2°C 25.1°C 21.6°C 22.2°C 25.5°C 28.0°C 29.8°C 30.6°C 31.1°C
MIN: 18.7°C 17.8°C 16.2°C 12.2°C 6.7°C 2.8°C 2.2°C 5.9°C 10.9°C 14.6°C 16.3°C 17.8°C
RAINFALL: 78mm 17mm 20mm 41mm 6mm 12mm 3mm 5mm 25mm 57mm 61mm 105mm
MAX: 32.6°C 32.0°C 31.2°C 29.4°C 27.9°C 25.9°C 25.8C 23.7°C 29.3°C 29.9°C 30.6°C 31.9°C
MIN: 20.6°C 20.4°C 19.1°C 15.4°C 10.0°C 5.6°C 5.7°C 8.7°C 12.8°C 16.0°C 18.1°C 19.7°C
RAINFALL: 94mm 96mm 66mm 38mm 14mm 11mm 11mm 8mm 28mm 40mm 63mm 92mm

Best Time to Visit:
Picking a best time to visit South Africa is not a task easily accomplished.  This is a country famous for its sunshine and relatively warm winters. Perhaps it’s wise to consider what it is you wish to do and see, along with the South African tourism seasons.  For example, if you are an avid twitcher, the country is on the flight path of birds from the north in mid-October – November.  If it’s the floral carpet spread of the Cape flower season that you wish to catch, visit the area when the winter rains are over at the first sign of spring, namely August and September. If you are going on a game safari, the best time is July through September, when the visibility is best and it’s birthing season. If action and adventure is your thing, a number of activities are at their best after the summer’s peak, such as diving, hiking and surfing.  And don’t discount winter holidays either – the South African winter compares favorably with the European summer, and the tropical province of KwaZulu-Natal with its fine coastline will still offer a good beach holiday.
There are 11 official languages including English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda and Zulu.
Official Language – English is spoken everywhere you go. English is the language of the cities, of commerce and banking, of government and official documents.

79.7 % Christians
1.5 % Muslims
1.3% Hindus
0.2% Judaism
15.1% no religious affiliation
2.3% other
1.4% unspecified

Rand (ZAR)

Tipping indicates appreciation for good service
Tipping is widely practiced in South Africa.  Here is some information on South African tipping.
– In restaurants and bars, 10% is the accepted tipping standard.
– Parking attendants and security guards are common in parking lots and at roadside bays.  They generally ask if they can watch your car while you are going about your business – if you agree, a tip of R2 and up should be offered, depending on the length of your stay.
– In South Africa we still have the luxury of petrol attendants at gas stations to fill up our vehicle tanks, check oil, water and tyre pressure, and clean the windscreens, a tip of R2 and up should be offered.
– The going rate for porters at airports is around R7 per piece of luggage.
– Some of the other service providers you may want to tip are taxi drivers, tour guides and assistants in hairdressers and beauty salons.  Should you need assistance in taking your purchases from supermarket to your vehicle, you may want to show your gratitude to your helper with a small monetary reward.

Social Customs:
South Africa is a very multicultural society and therefore has many different customs. Some examples:
– Our English customs are the same as Britain because South Africa was once a British colony and was influenced greatly by them.
– The Afrikaans customs, these were influenced by the Dutch immigrants during the late 1820’s.
– The Zulu culture has many unusual customs that are different from today’s western cultures. These are some traditional Zulu customs which are still practiced in parts of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

A diverse and multicultural country South Africa really is. It is an exciting country to be part of as it is forever growing and developing and is quite fascinating to study.