Planning your holiday in South Africa

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Planning your trip to South Africa
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Planning your trip to South Africa

When planning your holiday to South Africa, there are a few essentials that you shouldn't leave home without.

Firstly, and probably most importantly, we strongly recommend that you take out a comprehensive travel insurance plan, for the duration of your trip; as you will be refused treatment in some hospitals if you do not have insurance.
Secondly, the sun in South Africa is incredibly strong - far stronger than in Europe, especially during the spring and summer months. It is not advisable to expose yourself to the midday sun at all!

Whenever you are in the sun, always cover up with loose clothing or high factor sun screen. Even on overcast days the sun is surprisingly strong so please take notice of this advice. There is nothing worse than being burned by the sun on holiday; it can ruin the whole trip, so please be careful in the sun. Good sunglasses, a wide brimmed hat, insect repellent, moisturiser, lip salve - are also essential. The African sun is harsh most of the year.

Other items which will be of use to you:

Warm clothing - it's not sunny all the time, especially in the Cape , where the wind can pick up suddenly, and evenings too can be cool.

Driving License - is absolutely essential if you intend to drive in South Africa

Comfy shoes - If you plan to walk through some of South Africa's National Parks, a good pair of walking boots is essential, as sometimes the path surfaces are quite uneven, although the majority have good paths and trails.

These are just a few essential items, but by no means is this list of ALL you will need for your trip.

More Useful Information

National Booking Service- Events, theatre, cinema and accommodation can all be booked throughout South Africa, by CompuTicket. Visit their website for details.

Time Difference -
Central European Winter time + 1 hour
Eastern Standard Winter time +7 hours

Electricity - 220/230 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. Three round pronged plugs are universal. Most hotel rooms have 110 volt outlets for electric shavers and small appliances. A travel adapter may be required if you are bringing your own electrical goods.

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

Banks - Located throughout the city & suburbs and are open from Mon to Fri 09h00 - 15h30, Sat 08h30 - 11h00. Banks generally accept all major international credit and debit cards eg. Mastercard, Diners, Visa, American Express etc. ATM's are also found widely in all major cities and towns and most small towns and petrol stations.

Foreign Exchange - Currency can be exchanged at airports, nearly all banks, select travel agents, American Express and in many of the larger hotels in the cities.

Public Holidays

  • January 1 - New Years Day
  • March 21 - Human Rights Day
  • April 14 - Good Friday
  • April 17 - Family Day (easter Monday)
  • April 27 - Freedom Day
  • May 1 - Worker's Day
  • June 16 - Youth Day
  • August 9 - National Woman's Day
  • September 24 - Heritage Day
  • December 16 - Day of Reconciliation
  • December 25 - Christmas Day
  • December 26 - Day of Goodwill
  • December 27 - Public Holiday


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