South Africa Key Facts
For South African travel insurance, select 'Worldwide' Region
International Calling Codes
South African Rand
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In South Africa they drive on the left side of the road
When is the best time to visit?
The nicest months to see South Africa are between September and November, and between March and early June. December and January are the main school holiday, and South Africa is best avoided at that time.
- Airports (10 international, 737 domestic),
- Ports and harbours
World Heritage Sites
- Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa, where the celebrated Taung Skull was found in 1924
- Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape, formerly the home of the largest kingdom in the sub-continent
- Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape, a dramatic mountainous desert that is still home to the semi-nomadic pastoral Nama people
- Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela and other activists were famously imprisoned
- Cape Floral Region Protected Area, a naturally beautiful area showing a staggering amount of floral diversity
- Vredefort Dome, a large meteorite impact structure dating back 2,023 million years
- Simangaliso Wetland Park, an important habitat for a range of species from Africa's marine, wetland and savannah environments
- Maloti-Drakensberg Park, which is an area of exceptional natural beauty that is also home to many endangered species
Average Annual Temperature
(not including Prince Edward Islands)
Average Annual Rainfall
(not including Prince Edward Islands)
South Africa enjoy a temperate climate. Summer is generally hot and dry, and winter mild and wet. Most rainfall tends to happen in the months from June until August, which is winter time. Some areas do show variations, such as the area around Roggerveld Mountains where winter temperatures can drop to -15 degrees. Around the Western and Southern Cape the climate is very Mediterranean with wind of various degrees most of the year.
- January 1 - New Year's Day
- March 21 - Human Rights Day
- Date varies - Good Friday
- April 6 - Family Day
- April 27 - Freedom Day
- May 1 - Worker's Day
- June 16 - Youth Day
- August 9 - National Women's Day
- September 24 - Heritage Day
- December 16 - Day of Reconciliation
- December 25 - Christmas Day
- December 26 - Day of Goodwill
Why Visit South Africa?
South Africa is beautiful, offers an amazing array of activities, and can be travelled on a budget. Kruger National Park proves a power magnet for wildlife viewing, and Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world that also attracts the US film industry ever year.
Things To Do In South Africa
- See Cape Town from Table Mountain
- Stand at the Cape of Good Hope
- Eat & drink in the wine region
- Visit Kruger National Park
- See bustling Johannesburg
- Explore the charming Garden Route
- See whales in Hermanus
Travel Tips For South Africa
If you are planning on spending some time in South Africa, consider renting a car. While buses are available to travel around, there are many cheap car rental places in all major cities that allow you to rent the car for weeks or months, making travel cheap and allowing you to see more destinations.
South African Food
South African food culture is very diverse and you can see influences and foods from many different cultures. Indian and particularly Malay cuisines have left their traces and all forms of curries are popular. A bunny chow is an iconic take away food, which consists of a bean curry placed in a hollowed out loaf of bread, as is a gatsby, a baguette type sandwich with chips and meat filling. One of South Africa's favorite past times is the braai, which is a barbecue. Meat forms a big part of the diet, with excellent game meats available.
South African Travel Safety & Warnings
- South Africa is sadly not one of the safest countries in the world. It is important to be vigilant and use common sense, which will help to avoid most problems.
- Make sure you have travel insurance for South Africa before starting your travels.
- Do not leave your valuables in plain sight. If you have a bag, make sure it is on your person at all times, do not leave it on a chair next to you in coffee shops.
- Avoid walking around alone at night anywhere.
- Do not let anyone 'help you' while you are at an ATM, whatever the reason.
About South Africa
The 2010 World Cup showed the world a magnificent country of diverse landscapes, spectacular cities, and friendly people: South Africa. World renowned for Nelson Mandela, South Africa is an amazing destination to travel to.
From Cape Town to Kruger National Park, from warm oceans to sand dunes, South Africa has an amazing amount of activities to keep travellers busy. Get your sunscreen ready, organize travel insurance for South Africa, and go explore!
Things to do in Cape Town:
Cape Town is probably South Africa's most popular tourism destination. The World Design Capital of 2014, Cape Town is culturally, ethnically, and architecturally very diverse, and that’s not even talking about their massive national parks! The central business district and Waterfront are very popular, but to properly experience Cape Town you should also explore the many diverse neighborhoods.
You can choose from Llandudno or Clifton, which are the beaches of the rich and famous, to the busy surfing beach of Muizenberg. Muizenberg has several surf schools, so if you want to join the tribe of surfers this is the place. Before going in the water though, buy travel insurance for South Africa.
Cape Town is home to several national parks:
- Table Mountain is Cape Town's iconic flat top mountain, and you can choose to walk up or take the cable car (though not on windy days) for views of Cape Town and the surrounding bays.
- Cape Point National Park is where you will find the Cape of Good Hope. With a higher flower diversity in this small region than the entire island of Britain, this is truly a nature lover's dream.
Cape Town has probably some of the best restaurants of the country, if not of Africa as a whole. From Asian fusion to South African braai (barbeque), from molecular gastronomy to Sushi, you will find delicious food all over this city, you just have to be willing to look!
Outside of Cape Town are the famous wine areas of the country:
There are thousands of wineries, each with their own specialty and most of them also offering excellent restaurants.
Kruger National Park is another major draw card of South Africa for both tourists and locals. While everyone has seen documentaries on African wildlife, nothing can prepare you for seeing an actual lion, roaming freely. It is absolutely majestic!
Namaqualand and the Cederberg, close to Kruger, is where you will find the famous flower fields. Every year from August until September this area explodes into color. From hills covered in orange, to blue, red and purple valleys, words truly cannot do this site justice.
South Africa is unfortunately not one of the safest countries for travelling, so travel insurance for South Africa should be on your check list before you leave home. With a bit of common sense and vigilance, you can avoid most unwanted problems.
Otherwise, the Rainbow Nation is a place where everyone will smile at you, and most people are helpful and happy to connect with foreigners, so make sure to enjoy yourself!