- Country Quickfacts
- Things to know before you go
- Best Time to Go
- Arrival Guide
- South African Trivia
- Phrases and Words in 4 of the official languages
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Cape Town, 4 days
- Johannesburg, 3 days
- Beautiful Knysna, 3 days
- Sun City, 3 days
- Durban, 3 days
- Cape Winelands, 3 days
INDEPENDENT TRAVEL IDEAS
- Cape Town and Kruger, 12 days
- Cape Highlights and Safari First Class Option
- Panoramas Best, 3 days
- Winelands and Wildlife, 10 days
- Kruger Park Adventure, 3 days
- Savanna Style, 10 days
INDEPENDENT LUXURY TRAVEL
- Cape Gourmet, 8 days
- Cape Highlights and Safari Deluxe Option
- Route of the African Sun, 9 days
- Ultimate South Africa, 12 days
- Zululand Spectacular
- Splendours of the Cape, 9 days
- Cape Town to Kenya, 41 days
- Cape Desert Safari, Northbound, 11 days
- Cape Desert Safari, Southbound, 11 days
- Great Kruger Walking Trek, 5 days
- Transkalahari Adventure, 21 days
- World in one Adventure Lodge Safari, 19 days
- South West Safari, 19 days
- Zanzibar, Victoria Falls and Kruger, 22 days
FAMILY FRIENDLY HOLIDAYS
UNIQUE SMALL ESCORTED GROUPS
HOLIDAY OF A LIFETIME
- Magic of Africa, 20 days
AFRICAN TRAIN JOURNEYS
- The Blue Train, South Africa
- Rovos Rail, South & East Africa (Itineraries)
- Shongololo Express, Southern Africa
EXCLUSIVE GAME LODGES
- Kruger Area
- Eastern Cape Area
- Northern Cape Area
- Kwa Zulu Natal, 3 days
- North West Province
- Limpopo Province
- Project Rhino Kwa-Zulu Natal
- Mpumalanga Excursions
- Car Rental
- Eastern Cape Beach Safari, 9 days
- Garden Route, Winelands & Whales, 7 days
- Kwa-zulu Natal, Beach & Bush, 7 days
- Scenery, Culture & Game, 7 days
STAYS OF DISTINCTION
- 15 On Orange
- Cape Grace Hotel
- Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
- Melrose Arch
- Oyster Box
- Palace of the Lost City
- Table Bay Hotel
- Taj Cape Town
Up-market restaurants serve culinary masterpieces accompanied by a five-star wine list. For less formal occasions, you have a choice of steak houses, pizza/pasta parlors and French, Portuguese, Greek, German, Chinese and Japanese establishments. Seafood is always in great demand. Some restaurants specialize in regional South African dishes. Traditional Cape cooking has a delightful Malay influence, and Natal is renowned for its spicy Indian heritage.
Restaurant guides are available from most publicity associations. The concierge at hotels are also up-to-date with restaurants as well as local newspapers.
Local manufacturers set a high premium on workmanship, and at the current Rand value, one can afford to be really extravagant!
In the cities, you can buy anything from antiques to hand-woven rugs, and individually designed treasures in gold and precious stones.
Up-market boutiques offer quality garments and accessories. For ethnic chic, flea markets and curio shops are the places to peruse. The better curio shops also stock original creations by tribal artists: wooden carvings, shields, drums, masks, tapestries, beadwork, copperware and pottery.
In Durban's aromatic Indian Quarter, you'll find filigree jewelry, oriental ornaments, silk saris and spices. In Cape Town, Long Street's enticing specialist shops offer items not always obtainable in the rest of the country: rare books, Africana maps, old pictures, antique jewelry and bric-a-brac. Department and chain stores, supermarkets and delicatessens stock a wide range of merchandise. Films, cameras and accessories are readily available. Processing of film is carried out locally by companies of international repute.
Most shops open between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday; mornings only on Saturday. Sunday opening times vary throughout the country, but supermarket chains normally open in the mornings. Cafes (delis) stay open until late and generally close only on major religious holidays. They stock mainly basic foodstuffs, soft drinks, cigarettes, newspapers and magazines.
VALUE ADDED TAX
14% is included in the cost of items purchased.
Is appreciated - not more than 10%.
Seasoned travellers know the potential pitfalls when leaving valuables unattended or strolling down dark and lonely alleys in cities anywhere in the world.
Unfortunately, petty thievery and more serious crime is also a factor in South Africa. Take the same precautions as you would in any major city.
Here are a few universal rules:
Don't walk alone in apparently deserted areas, especially in and around the cities. It is preferable and usually more enjoyable to walk with company or in groups.
Don't carry large sums of cash in your purse or pocket.
Be aware of the possibility of pick-pockets and bag snatchers in crowded areas.
Don't leave valuables in a hotel room. Most of them offer safety deposit lock services.
Make photocopies of the first few pages of your passport, air ticket and other important travel documents. These should obviously be in safe-keeping separate from the originals and will help towards expediting replacement in case of loss or theft.
Be certain that you have adequate insurance coverage.
South Africa has three capitals: Pretoria is the administrative, Cape Town, the legislative and Bloemfontein, the judicial.
The Republic of South Africa is a Constitutional State. The new Constitution became the sovereign law of the land on 4 February 1997, when it effectively replaced the interim Constitution of 1993. The Constitution was signed into law by President Mandela on 10 December l993 and was implemented in stages until the general elections in 1999. It is a model of democracy and unequivocally establishes a separation of powers and fundamental human rights. Parliament consists of a 400-person National Assembly and 90-person Council of Provinces. The National Assembly is made up of 200 people from the national representatives list and 200 people from the regional representatives list of the various political parties, elected on the basis of proportional representation. The Council of Provinces, ten people elected indirectly by each of the nine provincial legislatures, has specific powers to protect regional interests.
Ordinary laws are passed by a simple majority in each house and if one house rejects a bill, it must be passed by a majority of the total number of the members of both houses. Finance bills, such as the budget and taxation laws, can only be introduced by the National Assembly. Bills affecting provincial boundaries or the exercise of powers functions allocated to provincial government must be approved both by the National Assembly and the Council of Provinces.
South Africa is the largest and most advanced economy in Africa. The country was subjected to an increasingly severe array of economic sanctions during the past decade. However, its unique range of minerals, including vast coal resources, gold and diamonds, and its well-developed agricultural, industrial and commercial sectors enabled it to survive. With the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990 and the clear intention of the existing government to enter into negotiations, South Africa began its return to the international community. By mid 1993 the economy was picking up and that trend has continued. Business and investor confidence has been boosted by the government's current fiscal and monetary policy.
South Africa offers vital and diverse cultural fare. The country's artists are active both locally and abroad in the fields of theatre, classical and modern music, opera, ballet, the visual arts and literature (drama, poetry and prose). Many South African productions are showcased on stages and at exhibitions abroad.
South African sportsmen and women continue to excel on the playing fields of the world and at home, establishing new world and South African records and scoring remarkable feats. One of the reasons is probably South Africa's ideal climate which permits all forms of outdoor sport and recreation virtually throughout the year in most parts of the country. Rugby, tennis, field hockey, soccer, cricket, squash, badminton, golf, surfing, sailing, running, sky diving, cycling, triathlons are among major sports. The South African rugby team triumphed in the 1995 World Rugby Cup and the national soccer team Bafana, was the African Cup winner in 1996. At the Atlanta Olympics, South Africans achieved notable placements, including two golds for swimmer Penny Heyns and the marathon gold for Josia Thugwane. The city of Cape Town was one of five candidate cities for the 2004 Summer Olympics.