The world’s 25th largest country in both size and populace. Uniquely multicultural with a national identity which sits well under the “rainbow nation” banner.
The people are warm, friendly, outgoing and enterprising. The climate is kind and a magnificent mixture of landscapes and ecosystems supports a healthy outdoor lifestyle and provides great holidays to suit all tastes and budgets.
With excellent infrastructure the holiday hotspots in Cape Town and the Garden Route are easily combined with Big 5 safari options in Kruger National Park.
The country is unique with great safari trips in year-round non-malaria areas, ideal for family safaris with children.
South Africa safaris are perfect for first time visitors; a gateway for seasoned travellers.
7 heritage sites
2m hectares of protected wildlife areas
It is really easy to get to South Africa by air, with international airports at Cape Town and Johannesburg. For those doing the Garden Route, it is easier to use the airports at George, and Port Elizabeth.
If you are coming from the rest of mainland Africa it is very easy to travel by road (although this is a more lengthy option given the size of the country) and this is often the best way to see Africa up close and personal. However, we still recommend to travel by air.
Finally, it is also possible to get to South Africa by boat from any of the Indian Ocean islands, whether it is a chartered yacht or a cruise ship from the Seychelles.
USA - Atlanta (ATL)Johannesburg (JNB)15h10 (non-stop)
USA - New York (JFK)Johannesburg (JNB)14h50 (non-stop)
USA - Washington (IAD)Johannesburg (JNB)17h15 (1 stop)
Germany - München (MUC)Johannesburg (JNB)10h35 (non-stop)
Germany - Frankfurt (FRA)Johannesburg (JNB)10h25 (non-stop)
Switzerland - Zurich (ZRH)Johannesburg (JNB)10h35 (non-stop)
Netherlands - AmsterdamJohannesburg (JNB)10h45 (non-stop)
France - Paris (CDG)Johannesburg (JNB)10h35 (non-stop)
Turkey - Istanbul (IST)Johannesburg (JNB)09h50 (non-stop)
UK - London (LHR)Johannesburg (JNB)11h25 (non-stop)
Hong Kong (HKG)Johannesburg (JNB)13h15 (non-stop)
Australia - Perth (PER)Johannesburg (JNB)10h50 (non-stop)
Australia - Sydney (SYD)Johannesburg (JNB)13h55 (non-stop)
Brazil - Sao Paulo (GRU)Johannesburg (JNB)08h40 (non-stop)
Argentina - Buenos AiresJohannesburg (JNB)09h25 (non-stop)
Israel - Tel Aviv (TLV)Johannesburg (JNB)08h45 (non-stop)
UAE - Dubai (DLB)Johannesburg (JNB)08h10 (non-stop)
Qatar - Doha (DOH)Johannesburg (JNB)08h55 (non-stop)
Egypt - Cairo (CAI)Johannesburg (JNB)08h15 (non-stop)
Kenya - Nairobi (NBO)Johannesburg (JNB)04h15 (non-stop)
CAPE TOWN (CPT)
UK - London (LHR)Cape Town (CPT)11h30 (non-stop)
Singapore (SIN)Cape Town (CPT)13h55 (1 stop))
UAE - Abu Dhabi (AUH)Cape Town (CPT)13h40 (1 stop)
Namibia - Windhoek (WDH)Cape Town (CPT)02h10 (non-stop)
THE BIG 5
58,78 million +
+/- 850 species
11 official languages
The Big 5 is one of the main attractions to South Africa in terms of its wildlife. This group includes the African Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Lion, Black Rhino, and Leopard. This combination of predator and mighty terrestrial mammals makes for a once-in-a-lifetime sighting of some of the world’s most impressive species
9,000 species, of which 70% are found nowhere else on the planet
WHY SOUTH AFRICA
Great Game Viewing
Great Food & Wine
South Africa is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time – (GMT) + 2 hours.
The currency unit in South Africa is the Rand (ZAR), denoted by the symbol R, with 100 Cents making up ZAR 1.00 (one Rand).
The winters overall are generally mild, although the temperature can drop to as low as -10 in the highveld. Summers are generally quite hot, especially around Durban and Kwa-Zulu which are particularly humid when it rains. The best time to visit Cape Town is between November and March; game viewing is best June to November.
South Africa utilises a socket with three fat round pins. Many hotels have installed European or UK-style sockets too, and keep adaptors at reception. The standard voltage is 230 volts and the frequency is 50 Hz.
Public transport is available, however is not recommended. Our travel agents will provide you with our recommended travel options.
It is customary to tip good service in South Africa, although it is entirely at your discretion. At places such as restaurants, an acceptable amount would be 10–15% for good to excellent service. For in-depth tipping advice get in touch with one of our Safari specialists, they'd be more than happy to share their knowledge with you.
Best Time to Travel
South Africa safari - May to October
Cape Town beach holiday - November to March
Cape Winelands tours - All year round
Garden Route holiday- All year round
Whale watching- July to November
South Africa’s national currency is the South African Rand (ZAR). Travellers' cheques and foreign currency can be exchanged at banks; credit cards are widely accepted.. For most travellers it is easier to just draw cash at ATMs (cash machines), which you’ll find throughout South Africa’s towns and cities. We advise against carrying large quantities of cash and instead recommend using your credit card for big purchases. Most major credit cards (American Express, Mastercard and Visa ) are widely accepted in shops, restaurants and hotels, but are not always accepted at petrol (gas) stations. You can claim back the VAT (a 15% value-added tax) on products you purchased in South Africa and are taking out the country (provided the total value of purchases exceeds R250), so be sure to keep your tax invoices and claim your cash back at the airport when you leave. We suggest you also check with www.xe.com for the latest exchange rates.
What to Pack
What to pack depends on where and when you visit South Africa.
If you’re coming to South Africa for a beach holiday, you should definitely pack lots of sunscreen, swimming costumes and casual wear for day time. If you are spending time in the cities such as Cape Town or Johannesburg, you might want to consider dressing up slightly more formal for the evenings. In general, South Africans are casual dressers, but if you're staying in exclusive hotels, you'd want to consider slightly more formal attire.
Winter in South Africa can get surprisingly chilly, especially between the months of June and August. In this case you'd want to pack a few warmer layers, a coat/jacket and a pair of boots or closed shoes.
If you're visiting for a South African safari, stick to practical and lightweight clothing in neutral (khaki) colours, complimented with a warm fleece or jacket for early morning and evening game drives (as it can get chilly during the early and late hours). Cape Town is known to have all seasons in one day, please ask our safari specialists for detailed information.
For all itineraries, walking shoes are a must. Wether it be a safari or a beach holiday, there is lots to be seen on foot!
Visa and Passport Requirements
All visitors to South Africa require a passport valid for six months from the date of departure, as well as at least one completely blank page in your passport which does not include the final page.
Visitors from the following don't require visas; USA, most Commonwealth countries (including the UK and Australia), most Western European countries and Japan, instead they will be issued a free entry permit on arrival , which is valid for up to 90 days. Visitors of nationalities other than those listed above will need to obtain a visa from a South African embassy or consulate prior to travel.
Please note that this information is subject to change, for full updated details on visa requirements and processing times, visit the South African Government Webpage or contact one of our specialists.
Ready to Go on Safari?
Get in touch with one of our Experts to help you create your own itinerary: