Travel to South Africa
The last census in 2011 showed a population of about 52-million people, of varying origins, cultures, languages and religions, of which 79,2% are African, 8,9% ‘coloured’ (a term used in South Africa to describe people of mixed race), 8,9% white, and 2,5% Indian. Just over half the population is female.
South Africa’s currency is the rand, which offers visitors great value for money. The rand comes in a range of coins (R1 = 100 cents) and note denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200.
South Africa is known for its long sunny days, hence the title, ‘Sunny SouthmAfrica’. Most of the nine provinces have summer rainfall, except for the Western Cape, which experiences winter rainfall. The high-lying areas of the
interior can be chilly in winter. The South African Weather Service uses the following dates for seasons:
Spring: September, October, November
Summer: December through February
Autumn: March, April, May
Winter: June through August dapibus leo.
South Africa has a well-developed communications infrastructure. A number of cellphone providers offer national coverage and there are well-established landline phone networks. Internet and Wi-Fi are easily accessible in most urban areas.
South Africa is a multilingual country and there are 11 official languages, namely: English, Afrikaans, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Siswati, Tshivenda and Xitsonga. Although only about 10% of the population has English as its mother tongue, English is the language most widely understood, and is the second language of the majority of South Africans.
South Africa’s three major international airports are OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg); Cape Town International Airport; and King Shaka International Airport (Durban). There are also many regional airports, including the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Mbombela (Nelspruit). Visitors arriving at OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg
For visa requirements, please contact your nearest South African diplomatic mission. South Africa requires a valid yellow fever certificate from all foreign visitors and citizens over one year of age travelling from an infected area or having been in transit through infected areas. Infected areas include Zambia and Angola in southern Africa.
South Africa has been well known for its medical skill since Professor Christiaan Barnard performed the first successful human heart transplant in the country in 1967. There are many world-class private hospitals and medical centres around the country, especially in the urban areas, while many state hospitals also offer excellent care, among them Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town.
Most of South Africa is malaria-free, but if you are visiting the Kruger National Park or low-lying parts of northern KwaZulu-Natal, be aware that you are entering malarial areas and should take precautions in the form of prophylactic medication.
Use common sense and take basic safety precautions. Keep valuables locked away and don’t wear expensive watches or jewellery, flash expensive cameras, or walk in deserted areas. Keep car doors and windows locked at all times. If in doubt, ask a guide or at your accommodation for safety guidelines.
YOUR PRE-TRAVEL CHECK LIST :
- Valid passport
- Travel insurance
- Correct visa for the destination
- Yellow fever certificate, if applicable
- Internationally recognized credit card
- Understanding of the appropriate pre-registration and clearance for the countries to be visited
- Understanding of the PCR test results required for all points of the journey and re-entry to RSA
- RSA departure and entry forms
- All documentation should be printed out in duplicate for inspection at the border points
- Online check-in is recommended where possible.
Please note that the onus is on all travellers to ensure that they have all the necessary documents required for the flights. Please take a face mask with you and keep a safe distance from other passengers. You may be required to wear a mask on board the aircraft. Thermal scanners are still present at most airports.