South Africa is the southern tip of the continent of Africa. Its landscapes are spectacular: enchanting natural parks, endless beaches, amazing cities, vineyards, will exceed your expectations. South Africa is one of the continent’s best safari destinations, highlighting the Big Five: lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino and also more scenery in accessible parks and reserves. With its three capitals, Pretoria, Cape Town and Bloemfontein, South Africa is the country with the most official languages in the world. The cultural diversity is astonishing. Modern and ancestral find a common path, and complement in a country that is a standard-bearer for the African values.
Name: South Africa (Republic of South Africa)
Capital: Executive: Pretoria, Legal: Bloemfontein, Legislative: Cape Town
Location: Southern Africa, at the Southern tip of the continent of Africa, bordered by the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic, to the north Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and to the east and northeast by Mozambique
Main towns: Johannesburg, Ethekwini (includes Durban), Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay, Buffalo City, Manguang, Emfuleni, Polokwane
Currency: South African Rand – ZAR
Timezone: UTC +2
Tipping: It is customary to tip good service in South Africa. An acceptable amount is 10-15%. If you want to be sure that your housekeeper gets your tip money, leave your 10-15 Rand per night in the room or give it to them directly. If your gratuity is requested with your bill, know that the appropriate person may never see that money. Porters should be paid 10 Rand per bag, or the equivalent of $1 each.
In South Africa it is good etiquette to tip 100 Rand per person per day or 10% to private drivers. Many private tour guides in South Africa are also the vehicle driver. In this case you can get by with tipping them 100 Rand per person per day. If you have a separate driver, make sure to tip them 10% of the total tour.
Voltage: Network parameters: 230 V / 50 Hz; C, M, N socket is used, you need adapters.
South Africa is the land of contrasts. Wildlife and modern beaches mingle, and form a diverse setup that you will definitely enjoy to discover in your next trip. National parks where you can enjoy the breathtaking sight of wildlife, modern cities, prehistoric caves, exotic beaches and places where modern history was written, here are the main reasons you should add South Africa on your bucketlist:
South Africa has a differentiated climate zone but generally the country’s climate is temperate due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean.
Because South Africa is a vast country and each region has different climatic conditions, the summer months tend to attract the majority of visitors, Europe. Spring (September – October) and Autumn (March – April) are considered the most suitable months to travel to South Africa, with temperatures moderate across the country. Kruger National Park and Mpumalanga and KawaZulu – Natal reserves have a hot and humid climate during the summer so it is advisable to go between September and October or June and when the vegetation is less dense and better visibility. Western Cape and Garden Route offer stunning scenery between March and April, and during the winter months you can also visit Northern Cape, which has a rest of the dry climate with hot summers.
Capetonians are among the most welcoming people in South Africa. From the merchants of Willowbridge’s Slow Food Market, to the Muizenberg seaside community, in love with surfing, everyone is pleased to meet you. Take some time to get to know them better. Maybe a shopping session at Kloof Street’s “The Lot” will do the trick, as fashion is one of the best ways of connecting one person with another. Or maybe a sneak-peek into Roeland Street’s “The Book Lounge” will help you read your way to their hearts.
Johannesburg, or Joburg, how its friends call it, is also a friendly place to be Once you get here, discover a breath-taking city view from Northcliff Ridge. An endless panorama of Joburg will unfold in front of your eyes. Also, if you happen to be in Johannesburg on Saturdays, go to Braamfontein’s Neighbourgoods Market. You’ll experience an authentic gathering, with delicious goodies and pints of craft beer, set up in a parking lot. Mingle with the locals and you’ll have an outstanding overview upon how life really looks like in Johannesburg.
Nelson Mandela is a legend and a standard-bearer for the human rights fight. Whether you are passionate about history or you want to honour the memory of this great South African figure, a trip to Robben Island is mandatory. Robben Island (Dutch for Seal Island) is the place where the President of South Africa Nelson Mandela served behind bars 18 out of his 27 years prison sentence before the fall of the apartheid regime. Robben Island is both a South African National Heritage Site and a UNESCO World heritage site.
Kgalagadi is one of the most famous South African National Parks. It is situated on the forntiere between South Arica and Bostwana and it comprises Kalahari Gemsbok National Park (in South Africa) and Gemsbok National Park (in Botswana). It is famous for the large desert antelopes called Gemsbok (the emblem of the Park), the black-maned Kalahari lions and the busy little weavers (small birds that construct huge communal nests). Make sure you don’t miss this attraction!
Set along the sandy Golden Mile shoreline, Durban beaches are iconic for Durban province. Its bets known beaches are Bay of plenty, where you have the best surf waves, North Beach, well-known for its water sport spots, safe swimming and cultural activities, and Addington Beach, the place where the inviting warm waters of the Indian Ocean make want to have a long, relaxing swim.