Visiting South Africa is an easy choice for most Westerners because English is spoken widely and we have a variety of cosmopolitan and modern culture.
South Africa has an immense range of opportunities for travellers, whether you’re looking for a rugged adventure, a food and wine tour or a spiritual experience.
Here’s everything you need to know before you travel to South Africa:
Getting to South Africa
Getting to South Africa is easy. We have 3 international airports – OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, Cape Town International Airport, and King Shaka International Airport in Durban.
Visitors from some countries require visas while others don’t. You can check on the South African Department of Home Affairs website to find out if you need a visa to visit South Africa.
Travelling around South Africa is relatively easy by air, road and rail. An extensive tarred road system makes travelling in South Africa by vehicle convenient and easy. You will find gravel roads in rural areas though.
Another means of getting around South Africa are luxury inter-city bus services. Metrobus buses are available for in-city transport. Metered taxis must be ordered by telephone. There is a hop-on-hop-off bus in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Best time to visit
With our year round temperate climate, your decision about the best time to visit will not so much be based on the weather but more about the experiences and adventures you wish to have.
Winter months (June, July, August) have the least rainfall, except for the Western Cape with its Mediterranean climate. This is a peak time for game viewing as a shortage of water means animals gather at watering holes.
The summer months (December, January, February) is the best time to take advantage of the lovely weather, beautiful beaches and outdoor adventures.
Autumn, winter and spring are also ideal times to visit the Northern Cape’s wonderful national parks with their black-manned lions.
There are 11 official languages spoken in South Africa and many unofficial ones.
English is the official language of business, politics and media, but on South Africa’s streets you’ll find a heady mix of languages spoken from all over the world, most notably Africa, Europe and Asia.
Is it safe to drink water and eat food?
Drinking water in South Africa is safe to drink and cook with when taken from taps in urban areas. Not all tap water in rural areas is safe for consumption, so take precautions if necessary.
Standards of hygiene in relation to food health and safety are generally high in hotels, restaurants, pubs and nightspots.
It is safe to eat fresh fruit, vegetables and salads, and put ice in your drinks. Our fish, meat and chicken are of excellent quality, so there is no need to limit yourself when enjoying the local cuisine.
There are 9 provinces in South Africa, and wherever you go, you will not be disappointed by what each unique region has to offer!