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South Africa

Welcome to a World in One Country

Few countries rival South Africa’s scenic splendor, rolling farmlands, fertile vineyards, traditional tribal villages and 21st century skylines.  It is a country blessed with beauty, spectacular mountains, a prodigious floral kingdom, fishing harbors, broad white beaches all surrounded by a sapphire sea.   A coastline dotted with tranquil beaches and charming seaside resorts from Mozambique to the mouth of the Orange River.  Great contrasts from the Karoo’s Valley of desolation to Namaqualand transformed in the spring by a blaze of brilliant blooms, from the craggy Drakensberg Mountains to the imposing golden cliffs of the north-eastern highlands. 

 

The countries friendly hospitality is legendary and accommodation standards are high.  Wherever you go be assured of a warm welcome, comfort, good service, excellent food and fine wines.  In the Western Cape gracious Cape Dutch buildings recall the leisurely charm of vanished eras and the origins of the earliest settlers set in the shadow of magnificent Table Mountain and cosmopolitan Cape Town.  In far flung areas tribal people inhabit beehive huts, tilling the soil and herding cattle, ever mindful of the ancestral spirits. The country’s rich multicultural mix is strikingly reflected on its restaurant menus: Traditional Cape Malay dishes, Natal’s spicy Indian heritage, pizza/pasta parlours, and French, Portuguese, Greek, German, Chinese and Japanese eateries.

 

In habitats from desert dunelands to savannah lands and shady subtropical forests, South Africa’s game reserves are inhabited by an unparalleled variety of animal and bird species. Major scene-stealers are the elephant, lion, leopard buffalo and rhino (The Big Five). However, you don’t want to miss the Kudu peaking from the forest at dusk and the golden orb spiders large web glistening as dawn breaks and casts it light. Experienced rangers familiar with the foibles of the innumerable inhabitants of the bush are only too happy to share their anecdotes with you. Provincial and National Parks, Luxurious privately owned game lodges, offer a variety of accommodation so you can rough it or live it up. An incomparable experience awaits you in the South African wilderness with its extraordinary variety of travel options, game reserves, cosmopolitan cities, mountain resorts and pristine beaches.  Lions and diamonds, ancient forts and tribal dancing, flickering campfire, the fish eagle’s haunting cry . . .

Sample Itineraries:

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South Africa Explorer

9 Days

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Highlights of South Africa

12 Days

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Best of South Africa 

15 Days

Key Facts

Geography

Located at the southernmost tip of the African Continent South Africa occupies 1,223,410 sq kim (about 472,659 square miles) and stretches from the Limpopo River in the north to Cape Agulhus in the south. It is five times the size of Britain, twice the size of France and one eight the size of the United States.  South Africa borders Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe to the north, Mozambique and Swaziland to the Northeast, the Atlantic Ocean to the West and Indian Ocean to the South and South East.  South Africa enjoys a wealth of fauna and flora.  The miracle of spring flowers in the arid Namaqualand regions, herds of elephant, endangered black and more common white rhino and most revered of all, the lion, are an inspiration to all those who seek the wonder of the African bush.

Currency

The official currency of South Africa is the Rand.  Rand notes in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and coin.

Electricity

For US citizens a passport must be valid 6 months beyond intended stay and contain two blank facing visa pages. Note: The last three pages in the passport are reserved for Passport Amendments and cannot be used as visa pages. In addition: Tickets and Documents for return or onward travel, no visa required for stay up to 3 months, Vaccinations - International Certificate of Vaccination required for Yellow Fever if Arriving from Infected Area within 5 days.

Health

No vaccinations or injections are required for visitors to South Africa arriving directly from Europe or North America.  There are a few basic health matters that require care and attention. Malaria occurs in the northwestern parts of South Africa (Mpumalanga, Kruger Park, Swaziland, KwaZulu Natal) and the time of year when it is most active is from Mid-January to April after the rains.  Therefore, Malaria prophylaxes are recommended if you are traveling to these areas.

Climate & Best Time to Travel

Summer in South Africa lasts from October to March. Despite regional differences, South Africa’s climate is generally mild through the year and enjoys many clear, sunny days.  Snowfall is limited to the highest mountain peaks, and annual rainfall averages 502 mm.  Kwa-Zulu Natal has a subtropical climate with high humidity in summer.  The Gauteng region enjoys hot summers and occasional thunderstorms, and frosty winters as do the cape interior and Free state with similar weather conditions.  The Western Cape enjoy as a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and cold wet winters.

Entry Requirments

For US citizens a passport must be valid 6 months beyond intended stay and contain two blank facing visa pages. Note: The last three pages in the passport are reserved for Passport Amendments and cannot be used as visa pages. In addition: Tickets and Documents for return or onward travel, no visa required for stay up to 3 months, Vaccinations - International Certificate of Vaccination required for Yellow Fever if Arriving from Infected Area within 5 days.