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South Africa Tourism

Continent: Africa

Ideal Duration: 10 - 14 days

Best Time: May - September Read More

Currency: South African Rand (ZAR)

Budget: Affordable

"Where Natural Beauty Abounds "

South Africa Tourism

South Africa is a country that is as well known for its wildlife and safaris as it is for its beaches and Winelands. It has been given the name of 'Rainbow Country', as it is very culturally diverse. South Africa has a lot of big, popular cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg, which in turn have a lot to offer to tourists. It shares its northern borders with countries like Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The country has also been listed as one of the most megadiverse nations in the world, regarding its biodiversity.

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Regions in South Africa

The major regions of South Africa areEastern Cape which holds major towns and cities such as Port Elizabeth, Free State which is often called the granary of this countryGauteng which holds one of the largest cities - JohannesburgKwaZulu-Natal which is famous for its mountains and beachesLimpopo which has some of the best wildlife reservesMpumalanga which is the number one tourist destination in the countryNorthern Cape which is known for its gemstones and desert areasNorth West which holds the famous resort area Sun City and the Western Cape, known for the Table Mountain and Cape Town.

Best time to visit South Africa

May - September is the best time to visit South Africa

The period between May and September is considered ideal visiting time. This is because the weather conditions are extremely pleasant. Improper or poor weather can often interfere with wildlife safaris. But you can rest assured that during these months, your tours and safaris can go on undisturbed.

Photos of South Africa

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Multilingual nation.  Abundance of wildlife. Cheaper cost of living. Good weather.

What's Not So Great?

Frequent power outages. Traffic in the cities. Pollution.

For Whom?

Adventure lovers. Wildlife enthusiasts. Photographers. Solo Travellers.

Stay options in South Africa

There are a lot of accommodation options in South Africa. There is something designed to suit every pocket. Luxury 5 star properties and game lodges exist in plenty, for those who do not mind spending a little more. If you're watching those purse strings, you can also stay at inns and lodges, bed and breakfasts, private game reserves and the like. If you're up for a bit of adventure though, sign up for the tented camps or bush camps. There is nothing like camping out in South Africa, under the stars and surrounded by the beauty of nature.

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Currency of South Africa

South African Rand is the national currency. The most frequently used notes are ZAR 10, ZAR 20, ZAR 50, ZAR 100 and ZAR 200. US Dollars and Euros are also accepted. However, credit cards such as Visa and Master Card are more commonly accepted. The exchange rates for those coming in from foreign countries are quite favourable.

Exchanging Money in South Africa

South Africa has a well-run financial system. ATMs can be found nearly everywhere. Credit and debit cards are also easily accepted, as are traveller's cheques. Banks and hotels will also help you exchange currency safely and quickly. However, several experts and frequent travellers say that it is better to always carry cash with you. There are a couple of national parks in the country that will only accept US dollars as their entry fee!

Nightlife in South Africa

South African nightlife is pretty amazing. The country boasts of a lot of nightclubs scattered across cities. Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Sandto and Johannesburg are the top cities to visit to enjoy the nightlife. Dance clubs, pubs, bars and more can be found at all of these cities. Electro dance music has taken South Africa by storm, so you can expect to groove to those beats at most of the clubs. International DJs are also known to host nights at several clubs.

Shopping in South Africa

South Africa can cater to all your shopping needs. There are sprawling complexes such as shopping malls in all the major cities. Apart from these commercial giants, you will also find tiny boutique stores selling everything from fine jewellery to beautiful clothes. Shops tucked away into street corners, bustling flea markets and more make up the rest of the shopping scenario in South Africa. Flea markets are great if you'd like to shop for knick-knacks and souvenirs. The country also has a lot of hawkers who will try and sell their wares on the streets, at traffic signals and in the rural areas. These hawkers sell homemade sweets, sculptures, fruits and home decor items.

Festivals of South Africa

The most popular festivals of South Africa are Knysna Oyster Festival, Ficksburg Cherry Festival, Splashy Fen Music Festival, Hermanus Whale Festival, Prince Albert Olive Festival, Robertson Wacky Wine Weekend, Cape Town Jazz Festival and Oppikoppi Bushveld Music Festival. Fun, games, music and dance fill the streets of the cities during all of these celebrations.

History of South Africa

The first living inhabitants of South Africa existed more than 10,000 years back. During the 19th century, gold and diamonds were discovered, pushing the country away from being centrally agrarian, making it more industrial. The Boers and Britain were then fighting over who would go on to control this mining industry. After the South African War, which culminated in the defeat of the Boers, the British created the Union of South Africa and made it one concrete whole, instead of the separate entities/colonies it once was. In 1934, South Africa became self-governing. South Africa eventually became a Republic in 1960.

Hygiene in South Africa

Tap water is safe to drink. But if you're travelling in rural areas, do not drink from the taps there. Public toilets are available at several tourist spots and are maintained and cleaned regularly, by the staff.

Customs of South Africa

Do not initiate a handshake with a South African woman. It is always safer to wait for them to do so. If you are invited to somebody's home, do not go without a gift for the host such as flowers or chocolates. Always be punctual, as time is valued. Tipping is expected here.

Tips for visiting South Africa

Make sure to carry binoculars, as there are lots of beautiful and rare bird species to be spotted here. Do not walk around the city during the night, as even big groups of tourists can be harassed. Tipping is expected, especially by drivers and valet services. Note that the word 'robot' here means 'traffic signal', so do not be surprised if someone tells you to stop at the next robot.

Culture of South Africa

South Africa has a very rich culture. There are a lot of tribes here such as the Zulus and the Xhosa, whose folk stories and songs have always been popular. South African art and craft is another popular phenomenon, examples being traditional masks, statues, etc. The extended family is given a lot of importance in this country, which is made clear by the concept of Ubuntu according to which you cannot live in isolation, as we are all connected to each other. Majorly, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism are the religions of this country. There is also Judaism and a handful of other regional African sub-religions that the people believe in and follow. South Africa boasts of 11 official languages -- Afrikaans, Southern Sotho, Tsonga, English, Tswana, Swati, Xhosa, Northern Sotho, Ndebele, Zulu, Venda and South African English.

Food of South Africa

As a result of the colonisation and immigration that took place in the country, South African cuisine contains a lot of different influences. Apart from foreign influences, the local indigenous people have also contributed towards the flavour and diversity of the cuisine. The Cape Dutch form of cuisine is very popular here, characterised by the use of chilli peppers, nutmeg, and allspice. The name of this cuisine traces its roots back to the Dutch East India Company, also explaining why so many spices are used. Cape Malay cuisine, on the other hand, includes a variety of stews, pickled fish, minced meat and spiced curries. The influence of Indians is also seen in their cuisine. They prepare a lot of Indian curries, chutneys, samosas and other sweets. Some popular South African dishes are Bunny Chow, Potjiekos, Chakalaka relish, etc. Regarding beverages, beer is most popularly consumed.

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