South Africa has obtained its reputation of “The world in one country” for its astonishing diversity!
South Africa has become one of the world’s most appreciated and sought after travel destinations thanks to its breath taking landscapes, people, history, astonishing wildlife and exceptional hospitality.
South Africa is 1.219.602 km² in size, two times larger than France and three times the size of Texas and has got nearly 3.000 km of coast line. South Africa is located on the southern tip of the African continent, bordered to the north, from west to east, by: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. It includes the independent kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland. It’s flanked by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and the warm Indian Ocean on the east – giving the country its spectacular range of biodiversity.
The last census shows a population of about 52-million people of which about 79,5% are African, 9% coloured, 9% white, and 2,5% Indian.
The main groups of indigenous people are Basotho, Tswana, Xhosa, Swazi, Ndebele, Venda, Tsonga, Pedi, Zulu, Nama and San (Bushmen). A mixture of cultures that gives to South Africa a unique vibe and a constant discovery while travelling through the country.
There are 11 official languages in South Africa, English is understood almost everywhere.
The other languages are Afrikaans, Sesotho sa Leboa, Sesotho, Setswana, SiSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu.
South Africa’s currency is the rand or ZAR. One rand is made up of 100 cents.
South Africa enjoys a temperate climate, with lovely warm sunny days most of the year. South Africa has got indeed one of the world’s highest average daily hours of sunshine – 8.5 h compared with 6.4 h in Rome. The summer is characterised by hot weather with afternoon thunderstorms. Only in the Western Cape region you will experience winter rainfall.
Our seasons are so classified:
Spring: September, October
Summer: November, December, January, February
Autumn: March, April, May
Winter: June, July and August
The South African electricity supply is 220/230 volts.
Most plugs are 15 amp, 3 prong with round pins.
An adaptor can be provided directly by Mal d’Africa Safaris or can be purchased locally.
Travel By Road And Plane
South Africa has an extensive road infrastructure including national highways and secondary roads. Most roads are in good condition.
The country is well covered by international and regional airports that connect the major touristic attractions.
For visa requirements, please contact your nearest South African diplomatic mission.
If you are visiting the Kruger National Park or the northern part of KwaZulu-Natal you are exposed to malaria areas and you should take precautions. Please consult your doctor for prophylactic medication.
The rest of South Africa is malaria free.
Tips and Tipping
As a rough guide: give 10% to 15% to a waiter in a restaurant. The tipping guidance for your safari ranger is provided at the different lodges, but it is completely at your discretion.
Use common sense and take basic safety precautions. Keep valuables locked away and don’t show off expensive objects. Your guide will remind the basic safety guidelines once you are here.