We know that many people would like to visit South Africa, but have their doubts because of the big unknown....
like driving on the left side, other languages, different currency, different food, what to do when you get sick,
negative publicity about crime statistics etc..
It is exactly those people we would like to convince to visit this beautiful country, and enjoy its wonderful nature and wildlife.
South Africa is situated at the southern most part of the African continent.
Its total land area is 1, 228, 376 square kilometers (larger than the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy and Germany combined). SA borders Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe in the north, and Mozambique and the Kingdom of Swaziland in the northeast.
South Africa is surrounded by the Indian and Atlantic oceans to the west, east and south of the country,
with a coastline of 3000 km. running from the border with Mozambique to the oranjeriver in the west.
South Africa is divided into nine provinces, each with their own distinctive landscapes, vegetation and climate.
The provinces are: Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal, Northern Cape, Free State, North-West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the Limpopo province.
POPULATION AND LANGUAGE
South Africa has a total population of almost 55 million, about 79% of African origin, 10,9% Whites , 8,9% Coloureds and 2,6% Indians.
The population consists of the San, Nguni people (Xhosa, Zulu, Swazi, Ndebele), Sotho-Tswana people, Tsonga, Venda, Afrikaners, English and Chinese people.
There are 11 national languages in South Africa, the majority speaks English and Afrikaans.
The summer in South Africa is in December and January, the winter in June and July. The climate changes from a chaparral climate on the Cape peninsula to subtropic on the Natal coast and the northern part of the Transvaal.
On the higher plateaus there is a mild climate, and in the mountains occasional snow occurs.
Keep in mind that this is a very big country with a big difference in weather between coast and inland, and a few degrees difference in temperature between north and south.
From June to August the wildlife is best visible due to the drought.
Av. temp. summer: 28 dgr.
Av. temp. winter: 18 dgr.
Rainseason: November till February
Phalaborwa is called the city of two summers as it has a very nice and warm climate the whole year around. In the south african summer ( November till April ) the average temperature during daytime is between 30 and 40 degrees Celsius.
In the evening and during the night the temperature is around 20 degrees Celsius.
The summer is also the rainseason, with ( short ) heavy showers of rain and lots of sun in between...
The winter ( June till September ) has an average temperature of about 23 degrees Celsius during daytime and
10 to 15 degrees during the night.
South Africa has a very good roadnetwork, on some of the bigger motorways you will have to pay toll.
Traffic in South Africa drives on the left side.
The big car rentalcompanies have agents on the airports and the major cities, by internet you can book your car in advance.
Besides normal cars there are also 4x4's, motorhomes, and campers you can rent.
South Africa also has a network of busses connecting all major cities, like the greyhound/ cityliner.
The railnetwork spans the whole of this country, with the long distance trains it's possible to visit all the major cities.
First of all forget all the ghost-stories that are being told about this country, we have never experienced extraordinary crime. Of course you must think about what you do, just as at home and there are places you have no use of being
as a tourist (like the townships)
In big cities like Jo'burg or Pretoria it is good advise to keep your cardoors locked, and if you are the only tourist for miles around you better think if it is wise to leave your car.
Besides these precoutions South Africa is a very save country to travel around, and most of all very beautiful!
The national currency is the Rand.
Almost everywhere ATM's are available where all bank cards will be accepted, and creditcards are widely accepted, so there is no use to travel with large amounts of cash or change money at the airport.
South Africa has a high standard on sanity en hygiëne.
In some regions there is a malaria risk, so it is wise to take medication with you. (for example lariam or malarone)
Insect repellents with DEET are very useful to prevent mosquitobites.
Usually no vaccinations are advised to travel South Africa
If you are using prescribed medication it is wise to bring a so called "medication-passport ".
If you by chance forgot your medication you can get new medication from a south african doctor with this passport.
Tourists from The Netherlands or Belgium, the UK and Germany do not need a visum to travel to South Africa, but your passport should still be valid for 6 months after leaving South Africa.