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FFrom its stunning landscapes to its rich cultural heritage and abundant wildlife, every trip to South Africa is filled with unforgettable experiences. However, before you go make sure to check out all the key information to have the best experience possible after you touch down in the Rainbow Nation.
British and Irish citizens don’t need to obtain a visa for stays of up to 90 days. See requirements for children travelling through South African ports of entry here. To check entry information for any other nationality, please check with the South African High Commission or the IATA Travel Centre.
- All COVID Arrival protocols lifted
- Masks no longer required
GMT+1 (UK & Ireland Summer), GMT+2 (UK & Ireland Winter).
11 hours from London to Jo'burg or 12 hours from London to Cape Town on a direct flight.
The Pound remains strong against the Rand (local currency). See the latest conversion here. South Africa is the cheapest long-haul destination for Brits according to Post Office Holiday Money Report 2023.
A glass of wine costs around £3.07, a coffee £1.42 and for a three-course dinner with wine for two you would pay £35.80.
South Africa has 11 official languages. English is widely spoken throughout the country.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
South Africa is a year-round destination with the climate varying all over the country. Summer runs from November to March, making the southwest hot and dry with average temperatures of 23C, while the winter brings mild, dry temperatures to the tropical northeast coast with average temperatures of 26C.
South Africa is similar to the UK, with 10-15% customary in restaurants and for tour guides.
We suggest checking for the latest guidance from the NHS before travelling. Please note that malaria tablets are only advised in the Kruger region of South Africa. Head to the NHS Fit for Travel site for more information.
South Africa has a bustling LGBTQ+ scene with lively bars, clubs, and multiple Pride parades (the two most popular ones are organised yearly in Cape Town and Joburg). It's a welcoming destination for LGBTQ+ travellers and a popular place for weddings and honeymoons.
How to travel around South Africa?
South Africa has a well-developed network of domestic airports, making it easy to hop between major cities and tourist destinations. Airlines like Airlink, South African Airways, CEMAir, FlySafair and Lift are the main carriers.
As in the UK, South Africans drive on the left-hand side of the road. Hiring a vehicle is one of the most affordable options for getting around and also one of the best ways to experience the nation’s breathtaking scenery. A couple of simple rules to follow:
- Know where you are going - Google Maps isn't reliable in certain areas of the country
- Don't drive at night - lack of adequate lighting can be challenging
Metered taxis are widely available throughout the country, especially in urban areas. Popular taxi apps — such as Uber — are a great and safe way to get around cities.
The luxurious Blue Train and Rovos Rail offer upscale, scenic train journeys.
Many tourist destinations offer shuttle services to and from airports and key attractions. These shuttles are convenient and hassle-free.
Joining an escorted tour, whether by bus, safari vehicle, or boat, is a popular way to explore South Africa's wildlife reserves, national parks, and cultural attractions while benefiting from local knowledge and expertise.
Walking around cities and towns in South Africa can be a great way to explore the local culture, history, and scenery. Many cities and towns offer pedestrian-friendly areas and have a range of experiences you can enjoy such as local markets, culinary adventures, botanical gardens and art galleries.
As with any city, remember to take normal safety precautions, especially in urban areas, and be aware of your surroundings.
We can't wait to have you here! #LiveOurSouthAfrica