Each and every nation in the world displays some degree of diversity, but if there is one country that personifies the term ‘diversity’, it is South Africa. It is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with breathtaking scenic sights, awe-inspiring mountains, amazing beaches and vast plains. South Africa’s hugely diverse terrain supports a great variety of animals, birds and plant life. The Big Five – lion, the African elephant, the Cape Buffalo, the leopard and the rhinoceros can all be found on popular wildlife safaris on your trip to South Africa. The Kruger National Park is the place to be for people even minutely interested in wildlife. This national park is as big as any average-sized country and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the nation. It boasts of rushing rivers, rocky terrains, open savannah and of course wild animals.
If some other kind of wild life interests you, then hit any of the happening nightclubs in Cape Town and Johannesburg. And if self contemplation beckons you then do it in any of the quiet, quaint restaurants on the Garden Route, a top tourist destination that stretches along the Southern Coast. Indeed, South Africa is blessed with natural beauty. Be a part of the adventure and experience thrill and delight in this rainbow nation.
Important Tourist Destinations in South Africa
Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Durban
Thai Culture & Lifestyle
South Africa is a stunningly beautiful nation with plenty of different cultures. The country is often referred as the rainbow nation because of its great cultural diversity and ethnic multiplicity. As in any part of the world, the lifestyle of South Africans varies according to their earnings, their preferences and their geographical location. South Africans, in general, are fun-loving and laid back people. The friendly and smiling faces of South Africans make visitors feel at home. South Africa’s major part of population is Black. The Black population is divided in several ethnic groups, such as Nguni, Shangaan, Tsonga and Venda. Myriad cultures and people make South Africa a special place.
Best Time to Visit South Africa
Tourists can travel to South Africa any time of the year. However, what you plan to do in the country may influence the time of your visit to the place. It must be noted that seasons in South Africa are the reverse of those in the northern hemisphere. Winters range from June to September and is usually a perfect time for outdoor activities. It is also the ideal period for wildlife watching.
The period starting of Christmas holidays and most January, and that of Easter holidays are peak travel times in South Africa due to the school holidays. This is the time when most South Africans head out from cities for vacations causing the prices of accommodations to shoot apart from the same being heavily booked.
Find the latest airfares and discounted offers on flights to South Africa operating from UK.
Preferred Airlines to South Africa from UK
Travel Tips for holidays in South Africa
- The level of crime scene in South Africa is pretty high, however such crimes mostly occur in isolated areas away from tourist spots. You should follow basic safety rules and precautions.
- South Africa has more or less pretty good hygiene levels with drinkable water. However, various health precautions should be taken while in the country. One must keep in mind that South Africa has one the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world. Thus, it is best to practise safe sex.
- In South Africa it is prohibited to smoke in public places like airports and railway stations. Most restaurants feature a designated smoking area.
- Always keep a copy of important documents such as the passport with you.
South Africa Travel Etiquettes
South Africa is a highly multicultural country and it might be difficult to provide travellers with a certain set of etiquettes to adhere to.
- Family is most important to the citizens of South Africa. For a certain section of people nuclear family is of foremost importance. For some, extended family takes precedence over immediate family. Some others feel that tribe is their identity in the community. It is advisable to keep this in mind while travelling to the country.
- One should be always be careful of what they say in public. Phrases that you may think are funny may not seem same to the people of South Africa. It is best to spend some time observing and listening to the local residents.
- Shaking by hand is the most common form of greeting in South Africa. It should also be noted that there are a variety of handshakes between ethnic communities.
- Use titles and surnames in order to address people.
- Location – Southern Africa
- Time – GMT + 2
- Capital – Pretoria
- Area – 1,219,912 sq km/ 471 011 sq miles
- Population – 49.3 million (2009)
- Currency – Rand
- Calling Code – + 27
- Official Language(s) – Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu
- Largest City- Johannesburg
- Religion- Two thirds of the country’s population is Christian. Hindus, Muslims and Jewish are significant communities. Additionally, traditional African rituals are practised.
- Government – Parliamentary Republic
- Visa – For information on Visa procedures and regulations, travellers must check the visa guidelines from the relevant embassy/ consulate or consult their travel agent.
Foreign Exchange is available at all major banks and international airports. Money can also be changed at some major hotels. It is advisable to carry some proof of identity as it may be requested.
(Note: This destination guide is not exhaustive and is based on information gathered from reliable resources available on the internet. Southall Travel holds no responsibility for any misrepresentation of facts and will not be in any way liable for any kind of eventuality arising from the use of information given in this guide)