South Africa enjoys a temperate climate with beautiful sunny days during most of the year. It is a destination where you can travel throughout the year, depending on the activities you want to do or attractions you want to visit. Winter is cooler, dry and ideal for outdoor activities. Being less dense vegetation, animals gather in rivers and other permanent water sources for drinking, so it is also the best time to see wildlife itself as whales.
But the more than the climate, we must take keep in mind Scholl holidays (mid-December to January), they make tourist areas and national parks very crowded and it is recommended to book well in advance.
Spring and fall are ideal almost anywhere. Spring is also the best time to see dazzling vegetation in the 3 provinces of Cape (North, West and East)
Citizens of the European Union do not need visa to enter South Africa. However recommend to visitors informed in this regard before starting the journey. Visas to enter in Swaziland are issued at the border. The Lesotho visa depends on the nationality
The official languages are English (which is also the main language of communication between the different communities), Afrikaans (derived from Dutch), Sesotho, the isiXhosa, isiZulu, the isiNdebele, the saLebowa, and the siswati, the Xitsonga, Setswana and Tshivenda.
During the summer months the schedule shows no change compared to that of Spain, but when the time comes change in Spain (in autumn), South Africa is one hour ahead compared to the time zone Spanish.
Winter (June to September). In the more elevated areas the winter is characterized by dry, bright and sunny days, but the nights cool and become quite cold, temperatures vary according to the area between (8-24ºC). It is recommended to wear warm clothes.
Spring (September to late November), temperatures, welcoming the summer coming on, are milder, vary the area between (9-30ºC)
Summer (December to late March) temperatures vary according to the area between (24-32ºC), in much of the country is characterized by warm weather and storms of short duration at sunset, leaving the air a distinctively earthy aroma of South African. Along the coast of the Indian Ocean it is a tropical climate with a high level of humidity and temperatures.
Autumn (April and May) One of the most peaceful times, little rain throughout the country and the climate is mild and not too hot. Temperatures vary according to the area between (9-30ºC).
The currency of South Africa is the rand (ZAR), often called “buck”, which is divided into 100 cents. There are coins of 1, 2 , 5, 10 , 20 and 50 cents and 1 , 2 and 5 ZAR. Notes are 10, 20, 50 ,100 and 200 ZAR. Apart smaller cities, in all other you will find a bank where you can quickly and easily change money. The rand also circulates in the neighboring countries of Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho, members of the Common Monetary Area.
Regarding tips, of 10 to 15 % of the bill is the normal tip in restaurants and taxis. Note that many of the people who will see you have tips to supplement salary. The hotel porters usually receive R5 per package. In South African service stations, there will always be someone on hand to throw gasoline and clean the windshield, so it is worth to tip with about 5 rand. In hotels also normally leave something to tip the person who manages the room.
In South Africa you drive on the left side of the road. The national speed limit set on tar roads is 120 km/h, 80 km/h on gravel roads, 60 km/h in cities and towns and 40 km/h in all reserves and national parks in general. South Africa is ideal for driving with a network of well-maintained highways and a high proportion of secondary and tertiary roads are asphalted and where you can drive comfortably. The only way to reach national parks and remote areas is by car. Similarly, some of the most interesting places off the beaten track places are only accessible in your own vehicle. If you do not have a driving licence in English you need an International one.
Besides roundabouts, where the British rule prioritize the right, crosses the rule is that the person comes first, first exit is followed.
We must not lose sight of the drivers who advance because they assume you shall remove toward the shoulder to avoid an accident (it is legal to drive on the shoulder but be careful because people often use it when travelling). If one deviates onto the shoulder to let overtake a car, the driver probably will thank you by giving you the lights. Always take extra care to animals on the roads.
We recommend a couple of bars deflate your wheels if you will circulate for long stretches on gravel roads. It is advised not to drive at night or exceed the maximum speeds.
They are public and private hospitals in major cities. Private hospitals are the best choice for travellers, comparable to the Europeans well equipped; they will probably give you a good treatment. The services are not cheap, so it is little more than mandatory to have a travel insurance that covers health costs. Stomach problems caused by food are rare. The water should be drinked bottled. With regard to vaccinations, consult an international vaccination centre. As a preventive measure, any serious traveller, used to being vaccinated for tetanus, hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
Most of South Africa is malaria free and only affects a small part of the country. However, protection against malaria is essential if you are planning to visit any of these areas: northern and northeastern Mpumalanga, Northern KwaZulu -Natal and the border regions of the provinces of North West and Limpopo. The highest risk is during the hot months covering the period from November to April. The risk is reduced during the coldest and driest months ranging from May to October. It has to be aware that no medication against malaria is fully effective and that the only sure protection is to prevent mosquitoes from biting you. The mosquitoes that transmit malaria are active between dusk and dawn, so it has to avoid being outdoors during these hours or at least with be well covered. It is advisable to sleep under a mosquito net whenever possible and apply mosquito repellent on body parts not covered.
South Africa is a safe country to visit, always take normal precautions to be taken elsewhere. We recommend locking the vehicle with key, close the bedroom door locked whether or not we in it, avoid the streets uncrowned at night and not leave valuables or the vehicle or in the hotel room if we will not be in it.
Belongs to A.L.S ®
Licence number AN-041609-2 registered in the registry of tourism of Andalusia.