A practical guide to South Africa
National holidays and celebrations
The majority of the South African population is Christian, so they celebrate many of the same festivals as we do in the UK. In addition there are a number of national holidays of cultural and historical significance.
If you're not sure when is the best time to travel, have a chat with one of our travel advisers who can help you make the most of South Africa's many and varied cultural experiences.
Non religious public holidays
- New Year's Day: 1st January
- Human Rights Day: 21st March
- Family Day: Last day of Easter break
- Freedom Day: 27th April
- Workers' Day: 1st May
- Youth Day: 16th June
- National Women's Day: August bank holiday
- Heritage Day: 24th September
- Day of Reconciliation: 16th December
- Day of Goodwill: 26th December
Religious public holidays
- Good Friday: Friday before Easter
- Easter Sunday: Varies each year
- Christmas Day: 25th December
Money and currency
The official currency in South Africa is the rand (R), which comes in easily identifiable notes and coins. The rate with the British pound fluctuates constantly so it's a good idea to check before you travel. Nevertheless, the exchange rate is usually favourable, making South Africa a relatively cheap destination for UK travellers.
You should have very little trouble changing British pounds at most banks upon arrival. ATMs are also widely available in most towns and cities but check with your bank that your card will work beforehand.
In all inclusive resorts you won't need as much cash but it's always a good idea to take some for tipping and emergencies.
As with everything in South Africa, the food varies depending on where you are in the country. Most cities, like Cape Town and Durban, will have a huge choice of fine dining eateries and local delicacies to choose from, including some excellent seafood.
Sample the 'biltong', a traditional dried meat similar to jerky in the U.S. The local 'bobotie' is often described as South African moussaka and made with mince and spices topped with baked egg. And don't forget to try some of the delicious domestic wines.
As diverse as the people and wildlife it is home to, in South Africa the weather depends on where you are located and what time of year you visit. It can range from sunshine-filled skies in the south west to sub-tropical storms in the north west plateau. The weather in South Africa is always exciting, but you can usually expect a healthy dose of sunshine whenever you visit.
- Summer season is from October through to February and winter is May to July, due to its southern hemisphere location.
- It's a relatively dry country, with the Western Cape region receiving the least rainfall each year.
- UK autumn is considered the best time to go as most of South Africa experiences virtually no rainfall and warmer temperatures during this period.
South Africa Holidays Browse all
Soak up the natural splendour of the South African Bushveld on an exhilarating adventure, you’ll remember for a lifetime.
Experience the Bushveld in affordable, laidback comfort at the Hannah Game Lodge.
- The Comfortable thatched roof chalet accommodation oozing with South African charm.
- Enjoy activities galore including mountain trails, waterfalls, high ropes and low ropes, sable spotting, bush walks, game drives, archery
- The private nature reserve location
Go for the experience of lifetime on this self-driven Kruger route - a classical tour that offers something for everyone with magical views along the way.
- The package includes accommodation in carefully selected 4* properties, meals as well as car hire including a GPS during your entire journey
- The tour is 7 nights and 8 days long with insights into the history of South Africa, cultural diversity, adventure, scenic beauty and unforgettable safaris
- Enjoy 4 game drives including morning and afternoon safaris to see elephants, leopards, lions, rhinos, cheetahs, hippos and many more animals
Indulge yourself with this once in a lifetime South African wilderness experience
- Delight in the well-appointed chalets ensuring a more than comfortable stay
- Enjoy dining Al Fresco with a view that you will cherish for a lifetime
- Treat yourself to a round of Golf with some of the most impressive scenery as your back drop
Explore the natural landscapes and wildlife that South Africa has to offer, before experiencing the Paradise of Seychelles.
- Have the time of your life, combining the best of both worlds!
- The resort is set between a turquoise lagoon and verdant green hills, beside its own bay of white sands. The resort is on the west coast of Mahe, just 35 minutes from the international airport.
- 5 days self drive tour in South Africa
Combine the excitement and adventure of South Africa with a luxurius stay in Maritius
- Swim with Dolphins in Mauritius for a simply amazing tropical experience
- Experience a spectacular Ballon Safari at Mabula Game Lodge
- Capture the magic and wonder of the big five in South Africa
With access to a private game reserve, you'll be given a personal safari experience like no other!
- Marvel at the impressive Cango Caves, filled with weird and wonderful stalactite and stalagmite formations
- Seek out the small breeding colony of African Penguins at Stony Point
- Ascend one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature - the majestic Table Mountain
Tour Summary South Africa is one of the most diverse countries in the world, a place where you will find exotic...
Overview South Africa is one of the most diverse countries in the world, a place where you will find exotic...
HIGHLIGHTS TOUR SAFARI, WINELANDS & CAPE TOWN South Africa is one of the most diverse countries in the world, a place...
Escape to the magical land of South Africa and spend two weeks exploring its natural beauty and its most popular...
Nestled upon the St Lucia Estuary, the elephant lake hotel is surrounded by natural beauty and offers a thrilling array...
Surrounded by more than 8,000 hectares of malaria free, unspoiled African bushveld, the affordable, laidback and...
The “Zebra Country Lodge Reserve” is nestled amongst scenic bushveld mountains, running streams and manicured gardens...
Sprinkled alongside the tranquil waterways of the picturesque V&A Waterfront Marina, The waterfront village boasts a...
Located directly within Cape Town's historical city centre, this tranquil, modern and elegant hotel serves as the...
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