South Africa - Frequently Asked Questions
Table of contents
- When is the best time to go?
- Do you need a visa?
- How can I get there?
- What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
- What is there to see and do?
- How big is South Africa?
- Is South Africa safe?
- Is South Africa a good family destination?
When is the best time to go?
South Africa can be visited at any time, with mild weather conditions throughout the year. However, depending on what you want to do on your holiday, some seasons are better than others. For active breaks that will involve hiking or cycling, it's best to travel in the winter (between June and September). This is also the ideal time for wildlife-watching breaks, as animals tend to congregate around water holes due to the lower rainfall. The busiest period tends to be around Christmas and into January, which is when the schools are on holiday and the weather is at its warmest.
Do you need a visa?
British citizens and most EU citizens, as well as U.S. nationals and Australians don't need a visa for holidays in South Africa lasting up to 90 days, although your passport needs to be valid for at least 30 days after your date of departure from South Africa. Immigration officials may require you to have at least two blank pages in your passport.
How can I get there?
There are regular direct flights from the UK to South Africa, with British Airways, South African Airways and Virgin Atlantic all operating services from London to Cape Town. The average flight time to South Africa is between 11 and 12 hours.
What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
The local currency is the South African rand and it is easy to exchange U.S. dollars, Euros and sterling once you arrive in the country. There are ATMs in all of South Africa's major cities but do exercise caution when you're using them though. Credit cards - particularly MasterCard and Visa - are widely accepted across the nation.
What is there to see and do?
South Africa is an incredibly diverse country, with a lot of varied attractions. Cape Town is one of the most popular cities to visit and has a wonderful mixture of cultural, historical and natural attractions - most notably Table Mountain, Robben Island and a host of museums. There are numerous national parks within South Africa that present outstanding wildlife-watching opportunities, with Kruger National Park standing out as the best known of these. Head here for a chance to see some of Africa's spectacular wildlife, including giraffes, rhinos and lions. The Western Cape region is home to some of the country's top wineries, so a vineyard tour to the likes of Stellenbosch or Franschhoek is a must if you're keen to sample a few of the local vintages. In the Eastern Cape along the Garden Route there are some fantastic beaches and dramatic sections of coastline. Port Elizabeth and Jeffreys Bay, which is a haven for surfers, are both worth a visit. There is a wide array of activities on
How big is South Africa?
With an area of more than 1,200,000 sq. km, South Africa is five times the size of the UK. As a result, it is home to a wide variety of landscapes and cultures that you can discover on your holiday.
Is South Africa safe?
The main tourist destinations in South Africa are generally safe, but it is advisable to take precautions, particularly against theft. Keep your money and valuables - including cameras and phones - out of sight when you are walking around and make sure your bag is always with you. It's also sensible to avoid walking alone at night and to stick to the main tourist areas when you're out and about after dark.
Is South Africa a good family destination?
South Africa is an excellent destination for families, with plenty of family-friendly hotels available, as well as a wide variety of attractions that will capture the imaginations of parents and children alike.
South Africa Holidays Browse all
Travel through the wonderful winelands region of South Africa before a short stay in a fully-equipped Dubai city hotel
- Doubletree by Hilton Al Barsha is set in Dubai's Al Barsha area, close to world-class shops, restaurants and popular Dubai attractions, just behind the Mall of The Emirates.
- Rental car included for the tour of South Africa
- Travel through the Winelands and Cape Peninsula in one of the most beautiful areas of the world
Relaxing and unforgetable experince with 11 nights tour including an excellent range of facilities
- Experience the fruitful lifestyle of the Cape Region
- Discover the spectacular landscapes of the Kruger region
- Travel to Karongwe Private Game Reserve to get exclusive access, day and night, to a wide range of animals including the "Big Five"
Be amazed by this once in a lifetime nature experience at the Isimangaliso Wetland Park
- Take advantage of this once in a lifetime experience, giving you memories that you'll cherish forever!
- Experience the magestic views and stunning wildlife up close
- Benefit from the local expert knowledge, giving you the best posible experience of the local wildlife
Combine two fascinating countries in one, with South Africa and Dubai as your perfect choice
- Spend a morning with the Big Five in the Kruger National Park
- Enjoy some ice skating in Dubai, even in summer!
- Gasp at the glory of God's Window, with a boundless view of mountains and fertile plains
Combine the wonder of South Africa with the paradise of Mauritius
- Enjoy a wide variety of activities for all ages with a gym, tennis courts, a Mini-Club and a club for teens
- Meander through the extraordinary Panorama route
- Ascend the grandiose north-eastern Drakensberg mountain range via Abel Erasmus Pass and the Strydom Tunnel
From the amazing Blyde River Canyon to the iconic table Mountain, this tour has it all!
- Explore the underground Cango Caves at Oudtshoorn
- Visit a real Chief's village in Swaziland
- Go in search of Africa's 'Big Five' in Kruger National Park
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