South Africa Country Info Travel, Attractions, Tourism

South Africa Country Info Travel, Attractions, Tourism
Home Hotels & Accommodation Tours & Safaris Vacation Packages Travel Guides My Trip  (0 Items)
My Account | Reservations Help | Advertise | Contact Us | Site Map      
   
By Destination
Map of Africa
South Africa
South Africa Travel
Accommodation
Tours & Safaris
South Africa Packages
South Africa Car Hire
Travel Guides
South Africa Map
more destinations
South Africa Car Rental
Author menu
View Authors
Become an Author
Author Login
NEWSLETTER
Your E-Mail Address
 
    Home : Travel Guides : South Africa

South Africa Country Info

By Admin | Published 2006-07-02 | South Africa Travel Guide | Rating: 0.00
 
A paradise for holidaymakers, South Africa is truly a world in one country, offering every type of holiday imaginable, from superb sun, sea and sand to setting out on safari, international-style cities with a variety of great shopping, dining and entertainment and wide, open spaces!

Sponsored Links





Introduction
A paradise for holidaymakers, South Africa is truly a world in one country, offering every type of holiday imaginable, from superb sun, sea and sand to setting out on safari, international-style cities with a variety of great shopping, dining and entertainment and wide, open spaces!

Location and size
South Africa is located on the southern tip of Africa and is boarded by the Atlantic Ocean on the West and the Indian Ocean on the South and East. In the North it is boarded by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and it encompasses the independent kingdoms of Swaziland and Lesotho. South Africa covers an area of 1 221 040 square kilometers which makes it bigger than France, Germany and Italy combined, with a population of 40.6 million. The country is divided into 9 provinces: Gauteng; Limpopo; Mpumalanga; Free State; KwaZulu-Natal; North-West; Northern Cape; Eastern Cape and Western Cape.

Climate
South Africa has a wonderful climate with warm sunny days most of the year. Due to altitude and proximity to the oceans however, climatic conditions can vary considerably. Climate in some of the main tourist areas:

Johannesburg and surrounding areas
In summer the days are pleasantly warm and the nights cool. In winter the nights are cold but during the day the sun shines. This area has summer rainfall from October to February.

Durban and coastal KwaZulu Natal
The coastal areas of KwaZulu Natal have a subtropical climate with high humidity. Rainfall can be expected from October to April. Winters are mild to warm. Throughout the year it is warm enough to swim in the Indian Ocean.

Drakensberg and Natal Midlands
Moderate temperatures occur because of the height of the Drakensberg. Highest rainfall can be expected mostly from December to February. Winters are warm during the day but at night can be extremely cold and at the highest points it snows on the mountains.

Kruger National Park and surrounding areas
Summer temperatures can be high, sometimes reaching 40 degrees. Rainfall can be expected from October to April. In winter days are warm and nights cool. For game drives at night a jacket is recommended. Winter is the ideal time for game viewing as the grasses are lower and because it is the dry season, game frequent the waterholes.

Cape Peninsula
Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate with lovely warm summers. Winters are cool and rainfall can be expected.

The Garden Route
The Garden Route has a Mediterranean Climate with warm summers and mild to cool winters. The western part of the Garden Route has winter rainfall and in the eastern part it rains in the summer. The best time to visit the Garden Route is in spring and summer between September and April.

FLORA AND FAUNA
South Africa is the only country with one of the world’s six floral kingdoms within its borders. This is the Cape kingdom, mostly in Western Cape, with its characteristic fynbos (‘fine bush’). The Protea is the national floral emblem of South Africa. Rich in wildlife, there is an excellent chance of seeing the ‘Big Five’ (Buffalo, Lion, Leopard, Elephant and Rhino).

Language
South Africa has 11 official languages including English which is very widely spoken. All road signs and official documentation is in English.

Time
South Africa operates 2 hours ahead of GMT throughout the year.

Money and Banks
The South African currency is the Rand. Most major credit cards are accepted and foreign currency can be exchanged at local banks and exchange bureaus.

Infrastructure
South Africa has a very good infrastructure. The road network is very good making it easy to travel long distances. Accommodation establishments are world class. Tap water in South Africa is safe to drink and standards of hygiene in food preparation is high. Medical facilities are equal to the best in the world.

Passports and visas
All visitors to South Africa must be in possession of a valid passport. Travelers from certain countries do not need visas. To check whether you require a visa visit the South African Home Affairs Department website at http://www.home-affairs.gov.za/visas.asp


Health
There are a large number of public and private health care facilities and hospitals available. However, visitors should always ensure that they have adequate medical insurance.

Malaria
Malaria is found in the Lowveld area of Mpumalanga and Limpopo and on the Northern coast of KwaZulu Natal. There is a lower risk of Malaria during the winter months. The use of insect repellent creams and lotions is highly recommended. If you intend on visiting a malaria area, consult your medical doctor before departure from your country.

Sun
The African sun can be very harsh. Sunblocks, hats and sunglasses are essential during the summer months.

Vaccinations
Visitors entering South Africa from Yellow Fever areas must have a Yellow Fever inoculation certificate. No other vaccinations are required.

WATER
It is safe to drink tap water throughout, unless otherwise advised.

CLOTHING
South Africa enjoys long hot summers and clothing is generally informal. In the more up-market hotels, evening entertainment venues and gala dinners, smart-casual attire is often required. For the summer months (October-March) pack lightweight clothing but include a jacket for the occasional chilly night. Neutral colours and sensible walking shoes are best for safaris. As most of the country is in the summer-rainfall region, it is best to carry an umbrella or raincoat. Warm clothing is suggested for the winter months.

SHOPPING
A full range of shopping facilities for both necessities and luxuries is available. Gold and diamond jewellery is well priced. Traditional South African crafts include items such as beadwork, carvings, tapestries, candlework, paintings and clothing.

Safety
For tourists South Africa is as safe as any other destination. Take advise from locals and from your hosts. Also use common sense, for example, do not flaunt cash or wear a lot of expensive jewellery. Only certain areas such as downtown Johannesburg should be avoided.

Driving
All visitors intending to drive require an international drivers permit. The use of seatbelts is required by law.

TOURISM GRADING COUNCIL
Properties that do not show stars have not applied to be graded by the Tourism Grading Council.
★ Fair to good (acceptable/modest) quality in the overall standard of furnishings, service and guest care. Clean, comfortable and functional accommodation.
★★ Good quality in the overall standard of furnishings, service and guest care.
★★★ Very good quality in the overall standard of furnishings, service and guest care.
★★★★ Superior (excellent) comfort and quality with a high standard of furnishings, service and guest care.
★★★★★ Exceptional quality and luxurious accommodation (matching best international standards). Highest standard of furnishings, flawless service and meticulous guest care.


AIRPORT CODES

BFN - BLOEMFONTEIN
JNB - JOHANNESBURG
CPT - CAPE TOWN
DUR - DURBAN
ELS - EAST LONDON
GRJ - GEORGE
HDS - HOEDSPRUIT
KIM - KIMBERLEY
MQP - NELSPRUIT KRUGER
AAM - MALA MALA
MGH - MARGATE
PHW - PHALABORWA
PZB - PIETERMARITZBURG
PTG - POLOKWANE
PBZ - PLETTENBERG BAY
PLZ - PORT ELIZABETH
RCB - RICHARDS BAY
NTY - SUN CITY
MTS - MANZINI (SWAZI)
UTN - UPINGTON


More South Africa Travel Guides

  • South Africa National Parks
  • South Africa Private Game Reserves
  • South Africa Travel Guide
  • British Columbia Travel
  • South Africa Main Cities


  • Sponsored Links

    South Africa Accommodation by type
    All South Africa Accommodation | South Africa Africa Tour Specials (27) | South Africa All Inclusive Accommodation (8) | South Africa Apartments and Villas (295) | South Africa Backpackers (14) | South Africa Bed and Breakfast (714) | South Africa Boutique Hotels (40) | South Africa Budget Accommodation (5) | South Africa Camping (3) | South Africa Cape Regions Safari Lodge (15) | South Africa Cape Town AndGo (6) | South Africa Cottage (6) | South Africa Country Retreat (13) | South Africa Cultural Village (10) | South Africa Day Tour Specials (25) | South Africa Day Tours (3) | South Africa Durban AndGo (5) | South Africa Family Game Lodge (25) | South Africa Fishing Lodge (2) | South Africa Game Reserves (112) | South Africa Golf Courses (21) | South Africa Guest farms (8) | South Africa Guest Houses (355) | South Africa Health and Wellness (34) | South Africa Hoedspruit Game Lodge (8) | South Africa Honeymoon Accommodation (8) | South Africa Honeymoon Safari Lodge (60) | South Africa Hotels (392) | South Africa House (3) | South Africa Kruger Park Game Lodges (58) | South Africa Kruger Park Game Lodges (4) | South Africa Kruger Park Safari Lodge (29) | South Africa Kruger Park Safari Lodge (4) | South Africa Kwazulu Natal Game Lodges (14) | South Africa Lodges (116) | South Africa Luxury Accommodation (137) | South Africa Madikwe Game Lodges (8) | South Africa Malaria Free Game Lodges (48) | South Africa Malelane Game Lodge (2) | South Africa Namibia Specials (2) | South Africa Overland Tours (10) | South Africa Phinda Game Lodge (6) | South Africa Pilanesberg Game Lodges (9) | South Africa Resorts (125) | South Africa Sabi Sand Game Lodge (14) | South Africa Safari Lodge Specials (3) | South Africa Safari Lodge Specials (104) | South Africa Safari Lodges (322) | South Africa Safaris (39) | South Africa Self-Catering (92) | South Africa Tented Camp (7) | South Africa Thornybush Game Lodge (10) | South Africa Timbavati Game Lodge (6) | South Africa Tours And Safari Specials (29) | South Africa Waterberg Game Lodges (17) | South Africa Welgevonden Game Lodges (5)



    South Africa Country Info Travel, Attractions, Tourism