South Africa is one of the most diverse and interesting countries in the world. Tourists flock to SA for its natural beauty, wildlife and sunshine. South Africa's immensely varied terrain supports a rich diversity of animals, birds and plant life and offers an incomparable range of experiences. South Africa is an all-year destination so when you visit depends on what you intend and prefer to do.



South Africa has a temperate and pleasant climate, with warm sunny days most of the year. The seasons of the southern hemisphere are opposite to those in the northern hemisphere so our Summer runs from November to February, when most of the country is characterized by warm to hot weather. Click here to view detailed information about South Africa's climate.


Population / People

South Africa have been referred to as the rainbow nation, a title that illustrates the country's cultural diversity. The population of South Africa is 45 million.



There are 11 officially recognized languages, most of which are indigenous to South Africa. English is spoken everywhere you go. English is the language of the cities, of commerce and banking, of government and official documents. All our road signs and official forms are in English and at any hotel, bed and breakfast or guesthouse the service staff will speak English. Other languages you can expect to hear are Xhosa, Zulu and Afrikaans.


Standard Time:

South African Standard time is two hours in advance of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +2), one hour in advance of central European wintertime. There are no time zone differences within the country.


Safety and Security

As South Africa is a developing country, crime does exist, so we would advise you to take a few basic precautions. All valuables, passports, cameras, should be locked in the safe of your hotel. Valuables should be carried discreetly when walking in cities. Your hotel can advise you on safe and reliable transport. If driving, do not pick up hitchhikers and ensure that your car doors are locked at all times.


Phoning overseas

If you wish to make a call overseas, you must first dial 00, which is South Africa's international access code. You then dial the country code, area code of the city or region and the number of the person you wish to call.



220/230 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. Three pronged plugs are universal, so take an adapter. Most hotel rooms have 110 volts outlets for electric shavers and small appliances.



Tipping is customary in South Africa. A guideline for visitors is the following: R 5 per item, taxis, waiters and waitresses in restaurants 10%.



One Rand (R) = 100 cents (c). Notes issued R200, R100, R50, R20, R10; coins R5, R2, R1, 50c, 20c, 10c, and 5c. Currency exchange rates are available at banks and published daily in the press. click here to view exchange rate

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