South Africa

A paradise for holidaymakers, South Africa is truly a world in one country, offering every type of holiday imaginable, from superb sun, sea and sand to setting out on safari, international-style cities with a variety of great shopping, dining and entertainment and wide, open spaces!

When you buy a Vacations in Africa Holiday, it’s the most versatile and affordable way to explore South Africa at leisure. Enjoy an incomparable holiday at one of our specially selected hotels. Vacations in Africa combine flights, hotels, car rental, sightseeing and much more to offer you a variety of choices and to ensure the perfect holiday!

FACTS AND FIGURES

South Africa is 1,220.000 sq km which makes it bigger than France, Germany and Italy combined, with a population of 40.6 million. The country is divided into 9 provinces: Gauteng; Limpopo; Mpumalanga; Free State; KwaZulu-Natal; North-West; Northern Cape; Eastern Cape and Western Cape.

LANGUAGE

South Africa has 11 official languages, however, the two most widely used are English and Afrikaans. Most of the hospitality are versed in at least one other foreign language.

CLIMATE

South Africa falls into the southern temperate zone with midwinter in June/July and midsummer in December/January. The country generally enjoys a warm climate all year round. A Mediterranean climate prevails along the Cape coast with winter rainfall. The KwaZulu-Natal coast, Limpopo Province and Mpumalanga regions are subtropical, with plenty of sunshine year round. Elsewhere, temperatures are moderated by the high interior plateau with summer rainfall, often in the form of thunderstorms.

SUN PROTECTION

Sunscreen lotions and sun hats are recommended at all times when participating in outdoor activities.

FLORA AND FAUNA

South Africa is the only country with one of the world’s six floral kingdoms within its borders. This is the Cape kingdom, mostly in Western Cape, with its characteristic fynbos (‘fine bush’). The Protea is the national floral emblem of South Africa. Rich in wildlife, there is an excellent chance of seeing the ‘Big Five’ (Buffalo, Lion, Leopard, Elephant and Rhino).

COMMUNICATIONS

South Africa has an extensive automatic telephone system, three GSM cellular networks, e-mail facilities at most hotels and a postal service. Remote areas may not be covered.

CREDIT CARDS

All major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners cards) are accepted nationwide. Cash can be withdrawn at Automatic Teller Machines (ATM’s) which operate 24-hours a day in most towns and cities.

MALARIA PRECAUTIONS

Spread by mosquitoes, malaria symptoms include headaches, fever, chills and sweating. Malaria can be easily diagnosed by a simple blood test. It is strongly recommended that all visitors to Northern KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Limpopo Province commence a course of anti-malaria prophylaxis – please consult your local practitioner well before departure for the most suitable medication.

WATER

It is safe to drink tap water throughout, unless otherwise advised.

CLOTHING

South Africa enjoys long hot summers and clothing is generally informal. In the more up-market hotels, evening entertainment venues and gala dinners, smart-casual attire is often required. For the summer months (October-March) pack lightweight clothing but include a jacket for the occasional chilly night. Neutral colours and sensible walking shoes are best for safaris. As most of the country is in the summer-rainfall region, it is best to carry an umbrella or raincoat. Warm clothing is suggested for the winter months.

SHOPPING

A full range of shopping facilities for both necessities and luxuries is available. Gold and diamond jewellery is well priced. Traditional South African crafts include items such as beadwork, carvings, tapestries, candlework, paintings and clothing. Try out the Canal Walk Creme de la Creme Shopping experience in Cape Town.