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.
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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"
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
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
Treat yourself to a wold look at South Africa and a luxury stay in Mauritius
- Near to Fisherman’s Cove, part of an unspoilt and authentic area of the island
- visit some of the oldest caves in the world - the Echo Caves - which have been declared a Historical Monument.
- The Lowveld, also referred to as “Big Game Country”, is the setting for dozens of game reserves teeming with wildlife and birds
Discover the best of Cape town before an amazing treat in Dubai
- Complimentary Wi-Fi access when you get to Dubai
- Take in the breath-takingsights of Whales and Dolphines in Paternoster
- Meet and Greet at Cape Town International Airport
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