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YYour guide to

South Africa 

SSo you're excited about starting your South African adventure but you're not quite sure about how things work here. Luckily for you, you have this guide to help you out. Here you'll find everything you need to know about travelling to and around South Africa. 

Quick facts about South Africa

People
Population

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Population

South Africa is home to multi-cultural melting pot of 55 million beautiful people of diverse origins, cultures, languages, and religions.

Languages

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Languages

Although English is widely spoken and is used for informational signage, South Africa celebrates diversity in language with a total of eleven official languages. These languages are Afrikaans, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Siswati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga and English.

Religions

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Religions

Enshrined in the South African constitution is the right for all people to practice their religion free from persecution. The most practiced religions in South Africa include Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism.

Money
Geography
Health
Facilities
Weather
Transport
Plan your trip

Entry requirements

If you’re a citizen of another country and want to travel to South Africa then you need a visa.

Travelling South Africa by road

Yes, flying is quick and easy but most of the magic of exploration lies on the ground. South Africa is a heaven for self-drive enthusiasts.

When to visit

Since South Africa is in the southern hemisphere, it’s summer down here when it’s winter in Europe and North America. Summer begins in November and lasts till February, which if you think about it, makes this the ideal time to visit if you want to escape the cold weather.

Drinking water in South Africa

Drinking water in South Africa is safe to drink and cook with when taken from taps in urban areas.

What to pack

When thinking about what to pack for your South African adventure, it all really depends on the purpose of your visit.

Staying healthy in South Africa

If you’re heading to South Africa you can rest assured that the country has a very well structured healthcare system with a number of public and private hospitals throughout the country.

Accommodation in South Africa

South Africa is well-known for its tourist attractions, not to mention its awesomely dynamic range of accommodation. It stretches from game lodges to five-star hotels, to friendly country houses, small hotels, B&Bs and camping sites – all kitted out with a range of catering options.

Getting around South Africa by air

There are over 70 international airlines now flying to South Africa. The award-winning South African Airways, the national carrier, flies to destinations all over the world and is connected to major international air routes, making it easier for you to enter the country from pretty much any corner of the world.

Getting around South Africa by bus

If you’re on a budget, travelling by bus is the cheapest way to travel the country. As a result it has become the go-to travelling option for the more economically-conscious locals. Be sure to book with a reputable service as not all bus companies have an equally good reputation.

Getting around South Africa by train

If you’re an adventurer at heart, rail travel provides an exciting way to soak in South Africa’s scenic beauty without having to drive yourself around.

South Africa on social media

With a clear 15km stretch of beach, natural forest, exciting outdoor adventures, cultural encounters on tap and a range of accommodations and restaurants, Chintsa in the Eastern Cape is recognised as 1 of South Africa’s prime coastal destinations. It’s the perfect chill-out hideaway for travellers of all ages. The region covered by the Wild Coast Jikeleza Route is among the most carefree areas on the planet, ideal for taking time off from the hustle and bustle of modern-day life. LENGTH OF STAY You can do the entire route in a day but you will miss plenty. Rather spend at least a week relaxing and exploring the area. Incredible snap by @gavmam18. #MeetSouthAfrica #SouthAfrica #thisissouthafrica #exploresouthafrica #Travelgram #wanderlust #travelsouthafrica #exploresouthafrica #Wonderlustsouthafrica #EasternCape #Chintsa

Explore South Africa’s rich cultural & natural heritage when you visit the Point of Human Origin in Mossel Bay. Begin your journey by going on the Human Origins Experience tour which focuses on the beginnings of modern human behaviour followed by a guided cave tour by professionals. This is a one of a kind experience waiting for you. Amazing image from @zanemeadon. #MeetSouthAfrica #SouthAfrica #thisissouthafrica #exploresouthafrica #Travelgram #wanderlust #travelsouthafrica #adventure

Mossel Bay is a coastal town, tourist haven or another stop along South Africas beautiful 3 200-km-long coastline. This must-visit town is nestled in the Western Cape approximately 400 kilometers from Cape Town with an incredible range of the things to do. Picture yourself walking amongst its friendly community members as you pop in some of the local stores, restaurants & historic sites. Come #MeetSouthAfrica for an authentic coast living experience like no other. Thank you to @diaryofjustin for the stunning image. #MeetSouthAfrica #SouthAfrica #thisissouthafrica #exploresouthafrica #Travelgram #wanderlust #travelsouthafrica #MosselBay #WesternCape #beachvibes

With warm weather all year round, Durban welcomes visitors to a relaxed, outdoor lifestyle where beaches, braais (barbecues ) seafood and curry restaurants, clubs and upmarket accommodation establishments provide everything an out-of-towner could wish for while on holiday. Durban is South Africa’s self-styled 'playground', where year-round warm weather encourages visitors to make the most of the province’s outdoor lifestyle. The beautiful city has so much to offer, why not visit a cultural village and learn about the ways of the Zulu people or explore its oceans and meet some new friends. Amazing image from @southafricaanz. #MeetSouthAfrica #SouthAfrica #thisissouthafrica #exploresouthafrica #Travelgram #wanderlust #travelsouthafrica #Durban #KZN #adventure

If you’re looking for the complete coastal forest experience, Tsitsikamma, in the Eastern Cape has to be on the top of your list. Walk through the ancient forest, chill on the beaches, kayak up rivers and hike some of the most famous trails South Africa has to offer. The Tsitsikamma National Park forms part of the greater Garden Route National Park. The area is covered by large areas of forest as well as many rivers that have carved deep gorges into the mountains as they wind their way from the plateau to the sea. Accommodation in the area is not a problem at all, the fernery lodge and chalets is the perfect place to relax after an exciting day of adventuring. Beautiful image @tsitsikammalangkloof. #MeetSouthAfrica #SouthAfrica #thisissouthafrica #exploresouthafrica #Travelgram #wanderlust #travelsouthafrica #Tsitsikamma #Adventure #EasternCape

There are many things that make Cape Town so special. Unparalleled beauty can be combined with adventure. Here you can take part in outdoor activities without having to stray far from the city centre. Whether you want to lose yourself in sea, sky or somewhere in-between, adventure is just a step away. You needn’t go far to find adventures in Cape Town. Diving, paragliding, abseiling and hiking are just some of the outdoor activities that you can enjoy within 5km of the city centre. From the sea to the sky, head to Lion’s Head for a bit of paragliding; awesome views of Cape Town. Thank you to @nicolaslarsen for the gorgeous image. #MeetSouthAfrica #SouthAfrica #thisissouthafrica #exploresouthafrica #Travelgram #wanderlust #travelsouthafrica #mothercity #capetown #Adventure #exploresouthafrica #WesternCape

Giant’s Castle, part of the Drakensberg Experience route is a haven for adventurous travellers, who enjoy the simple pleasure of walking its many trails. The base area of the Drakensberg Experience Route is the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, from where you're always aware of the rugged mountain peaks the Zulus call Ukhahlamba – ‘the barrier of spears'. There is so much to the Drakensberg tour, so many villages in its valleys to explore, trails to hike, people to encounter and sites to visit, that one needs to set aside a good few days for this experience. Amazing image from @ramonmellet. #MeetSouthAfrica #TravelSouthAfrica #TravelTuesday #Travelgram #thisissouthafrica #exploresouthafrica #Travelgram #wanderlust #travelsouthafrica #Drakensberg #adventure

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