Plan a South Africa Adventure With Downunder Travel
Officially the Republic of South Africa, the country has 9 official languages and is divided into 9 provinces. South Africa is the southernmost country in Africa, boarding Mozambique, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia. It also boarders Lesotho which is completely surrounded by South Africa. The currency of South Africa is the Rand (ZAR). Temperatures year around can reach a high of 30 degrees with a low of 8 degrees in their winter (June/July). The most precipitation will arrive around January. Tipping is customary and the standard is 10%.
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South Africa contains some of the oldest human-fossil and archaeological sites in the world and is also one of the world's largest producers of gold.
South Africa is famous for its wines. The winelands near Stellenbosch are well worth a visit. Stellenbosch is also the second oldest town in South Africa and provides a unique insight of colonial Dutch architecture. Unique train rides of South Africa include the Shongololo Express, the Blue Train and Rovos Rail. Any of these experiences will leave you captivated.
One of the main focuses of travellers who visit South Africa is the viewing of the country’s rich wildlife. Major national parks including Kruger National Park and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park are located in the heart of the Kalahari desert and great for catching glimpses of wildlife. There are a few smaller parks which are also worth a visit such as Addo Elephant National Park, Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park, iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Pilanesberg National Park.
Favourite attractions to the country are, the iconic Table Mountain as well as Robben Island, both found in Cape Town. Robben Island which is just off the coast is where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for many years. The Cradle of Humankind, near Johannesburg is a must see for anyone interested in where it all started. Here you can find a large collection of caves with hominid and advanced ape fossils. South Africa has a very rich history and stunning landscape which will intrigue the educated traveller.
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The Mpumalanga Landscape
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The Famous Cango Caves
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The Quaint Town of Stellenbosch
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What you need to know
Information and Facts
The Republic of South Africa, divided into 9 provinces, and offers travellers some of the world’s oldest human-fossils and archaeological sites! Famous worldwide for its wines, South Africa’s winelands near Stellenbosch, South Africa’s second-oldest town, are worth travelling to, for sampling flavoursome reds and whites. Stellenbosch city gives travellers some historical insights of its colonial past with the town’s Dutch architecture.
South Africa’s climate is mostly of a subtropical climate with two distinct seasons; a wet season, also known as the summer (between October to April), characterized by heavy rain falls and humidity and from May to September is the country’s dry season where the weather includes cooler, drier conditions and very little rainfall.
Canadians can enjoy safe travels year-round in South Africa. We recommend that all our travellers purchase travel insurance to cover theft, loss, cancellations/travel interruptions, accidents and non-pre-existing medical problems.
The (UV) sunrays can be very strong and can cause a burn, even on a cloudy day, and therefore it is important to bring, and regularly apply, sun block as well as wearing sunglasses and comfortable, long-sleeved clothing. Stay hydrated and cool off in shaded areas as much as possible.
As well, make well-informed decisions, take necessary precautions as you would with travel anywhere else, have copies on-hand of your important documents (ie: passport, excursion confirmations, event tickets, etc.), while keeping them stored separately (and safely) from the originals.
Some vaccines may be recommended, and should be up to date when travelling to South Africa. These recommended vaccines include: Tetanus, Diphtheria, Hepatitis A & Hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, measles, meningitis and the influenza shot among others. It is best to seek advice from a medical professional prior to travel.
Currency & Customs
The currency in South Africa is the South African Rand. There are ATMs in major towns throughout the country and Visa and MasterCard is often widely accepted.
Your Canadian passport must be valid, or should not expire, for at least 6 months past the date of your return. Canadian passport holders do not need an entry visa to enter South Africa.
There are restrictions on the amounts of alcohol and tobacco products brought into the country. Plants and animals, and products made from such, will be subject to restrictions and quarantine. All Food Products should be declared on arrival.
The electrical current for South Africa is 230 volts; it is recommended for certain appliances such as hair dryers and straighteners to bring both a plug adapter and converter. For newer electronics such as tablets or smartphones, a plug adapter may only be needed as the voltage could automatically adjust (best to seek advice from an electronic or gadget specialist).
The main spoken language in South Africa is English. There are also a variety of indigenous languages spoken throughout the country.