Do I need a visa to visit South Africa?
A passport with at least two blank consecutive visa pages is required for each entry into South Africa. Many tourists can enter South Africa for 90 days without a visa. Please contact your nearest South African embassy or consulate to find out if you require a visa to enter South Africa.
It is your responsibility to check the entry visa requirements with the individual embassy of each country you intend visiting prior to departure.
Do I need to take anti-malaria medication when visiting South Africa?
Most of South Africa is malaria free. However, if visiting Limpopo, Mpumalanga and northern KwaZulu Natal, malaria is present. If visiting the Kruger National Park, Sabi Sands and many of the northern game reserves malaria is present. The high-risk period is September to May. It is recommended that you visit your doctor or a travel clinic in your home country to discuss preventative measures.
South Africa does not require you to have vaccinations to enter. The only exception is if you are arriving from or have travelled through a country that is a risk for Yellow fever. This includes countries in East Africa such as Kenya and Tanzania.
YELLOW FEVER – IMPORTANT
The government of South Africa requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. This does not include the US.
Please speak to a travel clinic about vaccinations at least 4 weeks before travel.
For further information please click on the link here
When is the best time to visit South Africa?
South Africa is a year-round destination and when you should come depends on the reason for your trip and which region you are visiting. The Western Cape Province where Cape Town and the Cape Winelands is located has a Mediterranean climate and gets most rain in winter from May – September. Many visitors come for the hot summer weather from October – April. The spring flowers up the West Coast are best in September. Whale watching is best from June – November.
If the main purpose of your visit is to go on safari in the Kruger National Park, Sabi Sands, Madikwe or another private safari reserve, the best time to visit is from May – October during the dry winter months when the vegetation is less dense and the wildlife congregates around sources of permanent water.
The Cape Winelands and Garden Route are wonderful to visit at any time of year.
Can I drink the tap water in South Africa?
Water in South Africa is safe for bathing and brushing your teeth. Most of the country has some of the best quality tap water in cities. However, not all water is safe to drink especially in remote areas, so we recommend that you use bottled water during your trip.
What is the weather like in South Africa?
South Africa has a diverse climate which ranges from temperate regions to Mediterranean and tropical. Summer lasts from November to March and the coldest months in winter are from June to August. Cape Town and the Western Cape experience winter rainfall and dry hot summers.
The rest of the country, including most safari areas get thundershowers in summer and dry cool winters. Summer temperatures on safari can range from 25 C/ 77 F to 35 C / 95 F. Winter temperatures can be very cold on early morning game drives but generally warm up to an average of 17 C / 62 F.
Currency and credit cards in South Africa
South Africa’s unit of currency is the Rand (ZAR), denoted by the symbol R, with 100 cents making up R1 (one Rand).
Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted throughout South Africa.
American Express and Diners Club are not widely accepted.
Foreign currency can be exchanged at local banks and Bureaux de Change.
ATM’s are readily available in major cities.
Languages spoken in South Africa
South Africa has twelve official languages. English, Afrikaans, Xhosa and Zulu are widely spoken. Most people you encounter will speak English. English is the primary language in cities, commerce, banking, and government.
All electrical appliances in SOUTH AFRICA run on 220V. Outlets are made to fit round 3 pin, 15 amp plugs. Although adaptors are generally available at hotels, we highly recommend taking your own adaptor.
If you are taking electric hair styling tools in any shape or form (flatirons, curling irons, hairdryers etc) or any other electrical appliances, you should make sure they are dual voltage.
Local time in South Africa is GMT +2 which 6 – 7 hours ahead of the Eastern USA depending on daylight saving time.
Most of the tours with Nziza Hospitality will be with a driver and guide. However, if you are doing a self-drive holiday in South Africa you will need to check with the South African Embassy in your country if you need an international driver’s licence.
South Africans drive on the left side of the road and the driver sits on the right-hand side of the car. Distance is normally calculated in kilometres.
South Africa has a well-maintained road network and toll roads with lots of petrol (gas) stations.
The speed limit is usually between 60 kilometres per hour in built up areas and 120 kilometres per hour on highways and freeways.
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I'm a travel agent who works with tour operators and travel providers across the whole of Africa. Nziza Hospitality have helped me immensely in providing a 5-star experience for my clients, who come back raving about the experience and service they provide. They value ethics and professionalism very highly, and never fail to not only live up to expectations, but go above and beyond them whenever possible. Greg Gross