One of the best African travel destinations, South Africa welcomes tourists of all budgets, which means that their is accommodation for everyone, from people looking for hotels with hot tubs to people on smaller budgets. The country offers diverse cultures, excellent safaris, beautiful sea beaches, delicious foods, luxurious jacuzzi hotels and world-class wines. If South Africa is your next holiday destination, you must know the basic travel information before making travel plans. You should start the travel arrangements in advance to avoid disappointment. This is very important if you are looking to stay in a hotel with in room jacuzzi tubs or somewhere similar.
Tourist visas are not needed to enter into South Africa for some nationalities. Tourists from the United States of America, Europe, Japan, Scandinavia and most of the Commonwealth countries do not need to apply for a tourist visa. A free entry permit up to 90 days can be obtained on arrival if your passport does not expire within 6 months; however, an official visa is needed for a longer stay in the country.
Being in the Southern Hemisphere, South Africa’s seasons are opposite to the seasons in the Northern Hemisphere. From mid-October to mid-February is considered to be as summer, which is the peak season for holidays and most of the hotels and seaside resorts get crowded with families and children which means that booking a hotel with a hot tub suite is going to be a little more expensive. If you travel during the summer months, make sure to carry lightweight clothing, sunscreen lotion, sunglasses and hats. Afternoon showers are common during the summer months, so you should be well prepared to deal with them.
In South Africa, tap water is safe to drink. You can easily get fresh vegetables and fruit to eat also. Medical facilities and health services are excellent in the country. However, private hospitals are expensive. Make sure to have medical insurance to save on unexpected medical expenses.
South Africa is a busy tourist destination with many diverse areas of interest. Public transport should be avoided, as they are often not very reliable. It is good to hire a car to roam around the cities and various attractions. You can also opt for an organized tour offered by many local bus companies. Most of the shopping malls are open for 7 days a week. Remember, you need to pay Value Added Tax (VAT) on most of the items. You must collect refund receipts from the shops and keep it safe to get the refund at the time of your departure.
The South African currency, the Rand is weaker than the dollar and the Euro. Hence, traveling is very affordable in South Africa as per international standards. Foreign currency exchange can be done at Bureaux de Change or at banks. Major credit cards are also accepted at most of the hotels, restaurants and shopping centers.