Southern Africa tailor made tours and safaris

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR TRAVELLERS TO SOUTH AFRICA

PASSPORT

Required are two consecutive blank pages which lie side by side, in other words a left and a right hand page in an open passport.  Passort must be valid for at least six months.

A parent travelling with children WITHOUT the other parent requires an affidavit from his or her other parent consenting to the travel.

Passengers travelling to South Africa with passports which do not comply with these requirements, will either be stopped from boarding the aircraft or risk deportation on arrival in South Africa

The South African government is implementing a new law effective from 1 June 2015 that all minors (under the age of 18 years old) will be required to produce an unabridged birth certificate – in addition to their passports. A minor travelling with neither parents, is required to produce:

- an affidavit/s from both parents consenting to the journey
– a copy of their IDs or passports; and
– the parents’ contact details

CLIMATE

South Africa generally has a mild climate for most of the year, relatively dry, sunny and averaging 8-10 daily sunshine hours in most regions.

From north to south-

Gauteng;  experiences hot summers and occasional thundershowers with frosty winters.

Kwa-Zulu Natal has a  subtropical climate and high humidity in summer;

Mpumalanga and the Kruger National Park otherwise known as the Lowveld have mild winters.

The Cape interior and the Free State have similar weather conditions to the Gauteng region.

The Western Cape, where the climate is Mediterranean, has warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters

In the winter months snow collects on the high mountains of the Cape and the Drakensberg,

REQUIREMENTS FOR SAFARIS

Suggestions;

Passport and International Drivers License

Essential ;   Malaria Prophylactics if applicable,  sunscreen and  insect repellent.

Shorts and t-shirts, neutral colours, comfortable walking shoes plus a wide brimmed hat.  Windbreaker and warm clothes for the evenings

Personal toiletries. Camera with spare batteries and film and binoculars.

BANKS

Opening times for most banks

Monday to Friday 09h00 to 15h30

Saturday                08h30 to 11h00

Foreign exchange services at  First National, Nedbank, Standard Bank and ABSA.

Various teller machines (ATM’s) are found in every large town. Several international banks have branches in the main cities.

Banks and the Bureaux de change at the airport offer the best exchange rates, but it is also possible to change money at the hotel reception.

CREDIT CARDS

Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted throughout the country. American Express and Diners are less widely accepted, however more acceptable in the main city centres.

When it comes to paying for fuel, you can pay cash or use your credit card. Historically, filling stations used to be cash-only operations so some smaller stations may still not accept cards. Check with the attendant what payment method they accept before filling up. Many filling stations have on-site ATM machines.

BEACHES

With literally hundreds of miles of golden sands South Africa boasts some of the finest beaches in the world.  From the pristine coastal stretch of Cape Vidal in KwaZulu-Natal to the Eastern Cape’s famous Wild Coast, from the penguin colony of Boulders Beach to sun-drenched Camps Bay in the Western Cape … when it comes to beaches, we win, hands down.

Although for the majority of the time the surf is safe for swimming, there are dangerous undertows and side washes.

DRINKING WATER

Fortunately we have clean, drinkable tap water; water in hotels is purified.

Borehole water at camps and lodges is also good.  Supplied ice is safe to consume.

Stagnant water, or water from rivers and  lakes is not recommended.

DRIVING

South Africa accepts valid driver’s licence which bears the photograph and signature of the holder,  printed or authenticated in English. \

Some vehicle hire companies may also require an international driver’s licence.  Please confirm the requirements with your travel agent or the vehicle hire company when making the booking.

This applies to additional drivers who must be identified when hiring your vehicle.

Do carry all your documentation when travelling.

CUSTOMS

Green Channel: no more than duty-free customs allowance, no  goods for commercial purposes, or no prohibited or restricted goods

Otherwise proceed to Red Channel.

Customs charges: You will have to pay duty on items which are over the allowed limits.

No person under 18 is entitled to a tobacco or alcohol allowance.

Green Channel: Proceed through the green channel only if you have no more than the duty-free customs allowance, or no goods for commercial purposes, or no prohibited or restricted goods.

PERSONAL SAFETY

As in all countries, it is wise to be vigilant and cautious.                   

Travelling by taxi in urban cities is adviseable and taking care when walking to avoid being pick-pocketed.

We advise you to take extra precaution with your belongings to avoid unnecessary inconveniences during your holiday. As with anywhere in the world, some areas of the country are safer than others. The garden route for example offers travellers a safe and beautiful self-drive journey along the South-East coast.

Money

The Rand, South Africa’s currency, is denoted by an R in shops and ZAR in currency trading. A favourable exchange rate with major currencies makes travelling in South Africa cheaper than visiting Europe or the United States.

Most shops, restaurants and lodges accept credit cards;   there are many ATMs throughout the country.  Traveller’s cheques can be  exchanged at all banks. Best cash currencies to bring are US Dollars, Euros or British Pounds as these are accepted at the many Bureaux de Change in bigger cities.

Visas and Vaccinations

A free entry permit on arrival that is valid for up to 90 days is issued to visitors from most Commonwealth, Asian, European and American countries   It is wise to request the full 90 days in case of emergency, mishap or the inevitable urge to extend your holiday.

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your intended departure date and it must have at least two blank pages to accommodate the visa sticker and subsequent entry and exit stamps.

Vaccinations

None  unless you have come from a Yellow Fever country in which case you should present your certificate on arrival.

Malaria is a risk in low-lying areas in the north of the country and appropriate precautions should be taken according to your health practitioner’s advice.

Due to changes in legislation, it is wise to contact your nearest South African consulate well in advance for the latest visa and travel information.

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