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About South Africa

South Africa is one of the most diverse and enchanting countries in the world. Exotic combinations of Big Five game parks, acres of pristine beaches, rugged mountains, lush and fertile valleys, spectacular scenery, fascinating people, history and culture offer the traveller a unique and inspiring experience.

For more information on South Africa, visit www.southafrica.net.

Languages

Divided into 9 provinces, it also has 11 official languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu. Most South Africans speak English which is accepted as the business language. French, German and Italian are also spoken in most of the larger hotels.

Climate

South Africaís climate is mostly Semiarid. The East Coast has a subtropical climate influenced by the Indian Ocean; the West Coast is cooler due to being at the Atlantic Ocean, becoming hot and dry towards Namibia. The two seas meet at Cape Agulhas, although many believe it to be at the more scenic Cape Point at the tip of the Cape of Good Hope. Generally the days are sunny, but it cools down considerably at night. Temperatures in the north donít vary too much from that at the coast, but these interior plateau regions experience summer rainfall, and the Western Cape Coastal regions experience winter rainfall.

Visa / Passport Requirements

All visitors require a valid passport, and those from certain countries may also require a Visa. On entering South Africa, citizens of most Commonwealth countries, most European countries and the US will receive a free entry permit, which allows you to stay for up to 90 days. Passports need to be valid for at least six months upon entering and have to contain at least two consecutive blank pages. Information on Visa requirements can be obtained from your local travel agent, a South African Embassy or the department of Home Affairs in Pretoria, South Africa.

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements, as supplied by the department of Home Affairs, include:

  • A valid acceptable passport / travel document good for a sufficient period to cover the intended stay.
  • A valid visa, if required.
  • Sufficient funds.
  • A return / onward ticket.
  • Yellow Fever certificates are required if the journey starts or entails passing through the Yellow Fever Belt of Africa or South America.

For more information, visit www.home-affairs.gov.za

Health

No immunisation is required for visitors entering South Africa, other than for those who have left an area infected by Yellow Fever. In such cases, visitors will need a valid, international Yellow Fever vaccination certificate. There are a few areas, namely the Kruger National Park and areas in KwaZulu Natal that are Malaria-risk areas and taking Prophylaxis is most advisable.

Currency

The currency of the country is Rand (R), divided into 100 cents. Banknotes are in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Rands. The international symbol for the currency is ZAR. All major credit cards are accepted throughout the country except for the purchase of fuel / petrol.

VAT at a current rate of 14% is levied on the majority of products in South Africa. Foreign tourists may claim a VAT refund at their exit point for all purchases which exceed R250.00. Remember to keep all your original tax invoices / till slips / proof of payments in order to facilitate this.

Local Time

GMT +2

Electricity

220V / 230V / 250V / 50Hz. Plugs fit a three-pin 15A socket.

System

Metric.

Driving

Left-hand side.

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