South Africa

Have you been eager to visit the African continent for a while but the language barrier always stopped you? South Africa is the perfect solution for you!
In South Africa, you will get the perfect African experience! You can spend a night in one of the many safari parks of the country, visit the beautiful Cape Town or try one of the many delicious meat plates that this country has to offer! With 10 UNESCO heritage sites and 20 different natural parks, you’re guaranteed never to get bored! Is it still not enough? Well, remember that here the weather is mostly nice all year round and prices are way cheaper than in Europe! If you're on a budget, this is the perfect country! If you’re eager to hear the sound of new languages, if you want to discover a new culture or if you simply want to explore the flora and fauna of Africa, South Africa won't disappoint you! This country will give you the perfect opportunity to get a taste of the many wonders of the African continent with all the comforts you need! Discover the local Township art, share a meal with the locals at a Braai and get lost in the celebrations of Heritage day!
Wine fields – Shot near Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa
African Elephant walking in bushveld in early morning sun in Kruger national park South Africa

South Africa is the perfect place to visit if you love nature! The country has 20 national parks for you to explore. Table Mountain National Park, situated in Cape Town, is the most popular, while Kruger National Park, in the northeast part of the country, is the largest.

The country is divided in two by a semi-circular mountain chain called The Great Escarpment. In general, the west part of the country tends to be more desertic and here you will find the famous Kalahari desert. The east part is greener with areas such as Kwazulu-Natal, Lowveld and Limpopo where you’ll be able to find animals such as elephants, giraffes and lions. 

Cape Town
Cape Town and the 12 Apostels from above in South Africa

South Africa is very diverse in its climate but in general, days tend to be warm and sunny and nights tend to be cool. The southwest area, where Cape Town is situated, is characterized by Mediterranean weather with cold and rainy winters and sunny and warm summers. Cape Town is also famous for its strong wind blowing all year round. The east side of the country tends to be 6°C warmer than the west coast and unlike the area around Cape Town, here, as in the rest of the country, it rains mostly during the summer. Unlike Europe, in South Africa the further north you go the warmer the weather. Lastly, we cannot forget that being South Africa situated in the southern hemisphere, seasons are opposite to ours. 

Braai South africa
South African people braaing (cooking) meat together. 

South Africa is mostly famous for its meat and many would say Braai is the national dish. But Braai is more than just a meal, it’s a social event where South Africans gather together to share food. Braai is a sort of barbecue in which the fire is fueled by charcoal and briquettes or wood. Fire is a must and you won’t find gas grills here. South Africans don’t need a special occasion for Braai and they tend to have it more than once a week. Looking for exotic tastes? Then don’t miss Mopani worms, a big caterpillar that is consumed in large parts of Africa. If you’re vegetarian you can try the typical bunny chow, a hollowed loaf of bread filled up with curry! South Africa is also known for its many sweets and the country is full of amazing desserts from melktert to koeksisters and malva pudding! In the western cape province, you will also find some of the most delicious wine in the world! 

South Africans usually wear casual clothes, so simply bring with you some light trousers and a few t-shirts. However, remember that they are quite conservative so clothes that are too revealing may not be the right option. If you’re staying in Cape Town, don’t forget something to cover you from the wind, such as a wind jacket. If, on the other hand, you’re staying on the east coast in Johannesburg, for the summer, bring something to cover you up from the rain. Lastly, remember that after a swim it’s not usual to go around in your swimming suit, like in other parts of the world, so wear something.  

South African Rand Closeup

South Africans use the African rand as their currency which is approximately 0.052 pounds. South Africa is very cheap, especially for European travelers who are used to expensive prices. An Airbnb in Cape Town is approximately 28.00 pounds per person, while hostels can be easily found for 6.00 to 10.00 pounds per night. A private double room ranges from 15.00 to 25.00 pounds. Food is also cheap, as you will be able to get a full meal with three main courses for only 10.00 pounds. Talking about public transport, a ride from Cape Town to Johannesburg by bus will cost you only 20.00 pounds. Without a doubt, the biggest expense you will have, in case you decide to try the experience, will be a safari. A night in the cheapest safari will cost around 100 pounds, while luxury ones can cost up to 1000 pounds! 

Kids showing hands during a lesson at an elementary school

South Africa has plenty of indigenous languages! There are a total of 35 languages currently spoken in the country and 11 official ones! Most South Africans are either bilingual or even tri-lingual! However, English is the preferred language and almost everyone speaks it and understands it. 

Pilgrims Rest, South Africa: A Ndebele woman sits in front of a shop in Pilgrims Rest South Africa. The women sit here on a daily basis asking for money for photos. Questioned further why they do it they say that it helps them preserve their culture. It shows their children that they can still live a traditional lifestyle and stay true to their culture.

Because it is made up of so many different cultures and religions, South Africa is known as the rainbow nation. Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Tswana, Ndebele, Khoisan, Hindu, Muslim, and Afrikaner people, to name a few, live inside South Africa’s borders.

South Africa is the second-largest economy of Africa and the number one for industrialization. Despite a big gap between the poor and the rich classes of society still exists, the middle class has been growing since the ’90s. This country is also home to the third-largest hospital in the world and it has the best health facilities in the whole of Africa. The best day to visit the country is during Heritage day on the 24th of September when everyone is encouraged to wear his traditional costumes and express his own cultural background. Unfortunately, criminality is still high in certain areas so always ask locals before visiting an unknown region. South Africans love sports and you will find many people surfing and playing rugby. If you love art, you cannot miss Township art, a form of art that became extremely popular during the ’60s and ’70s depicting the poor communities of South Africa of the time.

South Africa visa in traveler’s passport closeup photo

passport holders of an additional 48 nationalities can visit South Africa visa-free for tourism or business for a maximum of the 90-day stay, including citizens of the United Kingdom.

Although a South Africa visa for UK citizens is not required for stays up to 90 days, British travelers will be required to obtain one of the South Africa visa types for longer visits and purposes other than tourism or business.

 

If you’re staying in South Africa for less than 90 days you are not required to apply for a Visa, but make sure to check your passport as it needs to be valid for at least 30 days after you exit the country. Bear in mind that some immigration officials still ask for the validity of six months on arrival. If you want to stay longer than three months, you will have to apply for an online eVisa. The process is fast and you will need to provide a little information regarding your personal data and the reasons for your stay. Make sure to check whether you will need a yellow fever vaccination certificate, as travelers coming or transiting for more than 12 hours in countries at risk of yellow fever transmission will be required to provide one. Based also on your own health history you may be asked to bring some additional vaccine certifications.

South African three-pin electrical plug.

 

Types C, D, M, and N are the four plug types associated with South Africa. Plug type C has two round pins, plug type D has three round pins arranged in a triangle arrangement, and plug types M and N have three round pins each. South Africa uses a 230V supply voltage and a 50Hz frequency.

Why travel to South Africa?
Wine fields – Shot near Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa
Location and Geography
African Elephant walking in bushveld in early morning sun in Kruger national park South Africa

South Africa is the perfect place to visit if you love nature! The country has 20 national parks for you to explore. Table Mountain National Park, situated in Cape Town, is the most popular, while Kruger National Park, in the northeast part of the country, is the largest.

The country is divided in two by a semi-circular mountain chain called The Great Escarpment. In general, the west part of the country tends to be more desertic and here you will find the famous Kalahari desert. The east part is greener with areas such as Kwazulu-Natal, Lowveld and Limpopo where you’ll be able to find animals such as elephants, giraffes and lions. 

Climate and weather
Cape Town
Cape Town and the 12 Apostels from above in South Africa

South Africa is very diverse in its climate but in general, days tend to be warm and sunny and nights tend to be cool. The southwest area, where Cape Town is situated, is characterized by Mediterranean weather with cold and rainy winters and sunny and warm summers. Cape Town is also famous for its strong wind blowing all year round. The east side of the country tends to be 6°C warmer than the west coast and unlike the area around Cape Town, here, as in the rest of the country, it rains mostly during the summer. Unlike Europe, in South Africa the further north you go the warmer the weather. Lastly, we cannot forget that being South Africa situated in the southern hemisphere, seasons are opposite to ours. 

Cuisine
Braai South africa
South African people braaing (cooking) meat together. 

South Africa is mostly famous for its meat and many would say Braai is the national dish. But Braai is more than just a meal, it’s a social event where South Africans gather together to share food. Braai is a sort of barbecue in which the fire is fueled by charcoal and briquettes or wood. Fire is a must and you won’t find gas grills here. South Africans don’t need a special occasion for Braai and they tend to have it more than once a week. Looking for exotic tastes? Then don’t miss Mopani worms, a big caterpillar that is consumed in large parts of Africa. If you’re vegetarian you can try the typical bunny chow, a hollowed loaf of bread filled up with curry! South Africa is also known for its many sweets and the country is full of amazing desserts from melktert to koeksisters and malva pudding! In the western cape province, you will also find some of the most delicious wine in the world! 

Clothing and Dress

South Africans usually wear casual clothes, so simply bring with you some light trousers and a few t-shirts. However, remember that they are quite conservative so clothes that are too revealing may not be the right option. If you’re staying in Cape Town, don’t forget something to cover you from the wind, such as a wind jacket. If, on the other hand, you’re staying on the east coast in Johannesburg, for the summer, bring something to cover you up from the rain. Lastly, remember that after a swim it’s not usual to go around in your swimming suit, like in other parts of the world, so wear something.  

Currency
South African Rand Closeup

South Africans use the African rand as their currency which is approximately 0.052 pounds. South Africa is very cheap, especially for European travelers who are used to expensive prices. An Airbnb in Cape Town is approximately 28.00 pounds per person, while hostels can be easily found for 6.00 to 10.00 pounds per night. A private double room ranges from 15.00 to 25.00 pounds. Food is also cheap, as you will be able to get a full meal with three main courses for only 10.00 pounds. Talking about public transport, a ride from Cape Town to Johannesburg by bus will cost you only 20.00 pounds. Without a doubt, the biggest expense you will have, in case you decide to try the experience, will be a safari. A night in the cheapest safari will cost around 100 pounds, while luxury ones can cost up to 1000 pounds! 

Language
Kids showing hands during a lesson at an elementary school

South Africa has plenty of indigenous languages! There are a total of 35 languages currently spoken in the country and 11 official ones! Most South Africans are either bilingual or even tri-lingual! However, English is the preferred language and almost everyone speaks it and understands it. 

Culture
Pilgrims Rest, South Africa: A Ndebele woman sits in front of a shop in Pilgrims Rest South Africa. The women sit here on a daily basis asking for money for photos. Questioned further why they do it they say that it helps them preserve their culture. It shows their children that they can still live a traditional lifestyle and stay true to their culture.

Because it is made up of so many different cultures and religions, South Africa is known as the rainbow nation. Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Tswana, Ndebele, Khoisan, Hindu, Muslim, and Afrikaner people, to name a few, live inside South Africa’s borders.

South Africa is the second-largest economy of Africa and the number one for industrialization. Despite a big gap between the poor and the rich classes of society still exists, the middle class has been growing since the ’90s. This country is also home to the third-largest hospital in the world and it has the best health facilities in the whole of Africa. The best day to visit the country is during Heritage day on the 24th of September when everyone is encouraged to wear his traditional costumes and express his own cultural background. Unfortunately, criminality is still high in certain areas so always ask locals before visiting an unknown region. South Africans love sports and you will find many people surfing and playing rugby. If you love art, you cannot miss Township art, a form of art that became extremely popular during the ’60s and ’70s depicting the poor communities of South Africa of the time.

Passport & Visa
South Africa visa in traveler’s passport closeup photo

passport holders of an additional 48 nationalities can visit South Africa visa-free for tourism or business for a maximum of the 90-day stay, including citizens of the United Kingdom.

Although a South Africa visa for UK citizens is not required for stays up to 90 days, British travelers will be required to obtain one of the South Africa visa types for longer visits and purposes other than tourism or business.

 

If you’re staying in South Africa for less than 90 days you are not required to apply for a Visa, but make sure to check your passport as it needs to be valid for at least 30 days after you exit the country. Bear in mind that some immigration officials still ask for the validity of six months on arrival. If you want to stay longer than three months, you will have to apply for an online eVisa. The process is fast and you will need to provide a little information regarding your personal data and the reasons for your stay. Make sure to check whether you will need a yellow fever vaccination certificate, as travelers coming or transiting for more than 12 hours in countries at risk of yellow fever transmission will be required to provide one. Based also on your own health history you may be asked to bring some additional vaccine certifications.

Electricity & Plugs
South African three-pin electrical plug.

 

Types C, D, M, and N are the four plug types associated with South Africa. Plug type C has two round pins, plug type D has three round pins arranged in a triangle arrangement, and plug types M and N have three round pins each. South Africa uses a 230V supply voltage and a 50Hz frequency.

Destinations in South Africa

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We are a group of friends who wants to travel to South Africa during the summer break. However, our families are quite concerned about the racial conflict in South Africa and we would like to know if South Africa is safe for white tourists?

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