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South Africa

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Plan a South Africa Adventure With Downunder Travel

Learn more about our destination packages and the amazing attractions South Africa has to offer.

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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Learn More About South Africa

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.

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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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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: Facts & Information

Weather

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.

Safety

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.

Vaccinations

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.

Electricity

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).

Language

The main spoken language in South Africa is English.  There are also a variety of indigenous languages spoken throughout the country.

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South Africa 1

Best Vacation Ever

Jason created the Best Vacation Ever for us – a month long trip to Australia travelling the east coast, the Red Center and south. All arrangements, locations, excursions, transfers were well executed which resulted in a stress free vacation for us! Thanks so much for your attention to all the details. Would definitely recommend that others trust Jason to make their entire trip as spectacular as ours was.
Gregory’s and Short’s

L. Gregory

Australia, Africa, and more!

“A group of 9 travelers wanted to do a tour of Australia. 4 of us have been using Jason at Downunder Travel since 2005. We are a group with agricultural interests so we were hoping to see the diversity of Australia with as many ag components as possible. We met with Jason and he compiled an itinerary for us which gave us another trip of a lifetime. Jason’s attention to detail is truly amazing. Everything happened without a glitch which makes for a worry-free holiday. He also allowed for some free days if anything needed rearranged. We are already planning our next holiday with his company. Kudos to Jason!”

T. Evans

The best travel agent I have ever dealt with

Thanks so much for being so throughout. You are the best travel agent I have ever dealt with.  We are going to need your help again when we travel to Singapore and Japan.

T. Nguyen

Super Thank-You for completely arranging our 5 week trip!

We would like to say a super Thank You to Jason Webb at Downunder Travel. For completely arranging our 5 week trip to New Zealand, Australia, Bora Bora, Paul Gauguin Cruise in Tahiti & return to Canada. Jason booked all our airline travel, chauffeur pick ups, & travel dates. These were very convenient scheduled & were all on time. Twelve air planes in 34 days. Jason had the knowledge & experience to pre-book excellent hotels, exceptional tours & timely transfers. We had a memorable, enjoyable carefree trip due to Jason’s knowledgeable preparation.

Bonnie & Kent

Southern Africa 25 Day Tour

“Heard about this place through a friend and decided to inquire about a trip to Southern Africa. Jason did a fantastic job with very little time and set up a 25 day trip, flights included. Was excellent at every stage and everything went off without a hitch. Would absolutely recommend, and will most definitely be a repeat customer.”

J. Szoo

NZ and Cook Islands

“Jason planned our 3 week honeymoon to New Zealand and Cook Islands in October 2016. Jason was very knowledgeable and saved us so much time not trying to plan the trip details ourselves! We had an amazing time, with everything going smoothly. Overall, happy to recommend his service to anyone else planning to go “down under” 🙂 .”

L. Filipic

A Phenomenal South Pacific Adventure

A special thanks for putting my phenomenal South Pacific Adventure of a lifetime together.  Much appreciation for all the hard work that you have endured to make my trip a most memorable adventure.  I have totally enjoyed every aspect of the trip.  I will definitely recommend this itinerary to anyone looking for a trip of a lifetime.

A. Millette

African Safari

“Our group of 4 travelled to Africa, 4 different countries, many flights, hotels and tours under the guidance of Jason at Down Under Travel. The trip was amazing especially the safaris. Jason’s attention to detail made this trip outstanding. Truly a trip of a lifetime that was arranged perfectly. Don’t hesitate to book with this company, you will not be disappointed.”

M. O'Bryan

Selection of excursions were suited to our interests

Kudos to Sawyer, our travel agent from Downunder Travel, who did a fantastic job of arranging our trip to Fiji. Her attention to detail was impeccable.

We were delayed for takeoff from Calgary to San Francisco due to weather and Sawyer helped us with our hotel bookings and transfers en-route to San Francisco. As well, she automatically readjusted our Fiji itinerary to coincide with our missed arrival dates in Fiji.

When we were planning our trip, we told Sawyer what our interests were, and her selection of excursions were exactly suited to our interests. Her choice of accommodations was excellent.

Jim & Mary

We will be recommending you to anyone we know

We absolutely loved our vacation, Jason!  Kudos to you with your recommendations, bookings, etc.  Everything came off without a hitch –  excursion pickups, airport shuttles were always on time.  We made out great driving on the wrong side of the road, and steering wheel on wrong side of car lol.  Air New Zealand was a great choice for our main flights, flight attendants came to our seats and thanked us personally for flying with Air New Zealand.  Again, we have to thank you so much Jason for helping us plan such a fantastic vacation – such a great time.  Hopefully we will vacation in another area you sell and we’ll need your services again.  We will definitely be recommending you to anyone we know.

C. Hinks

3 Week Australia Trip!

Our family would like to thank you for coordinating an amazing trip to Australia!  We only had 3 weeks but we were able to experience so much with an itinerary that was seamless and worry free!

Every spot was memorable, from the Grampians to Kangaroo Island, to a liveaboard on the GBR and the bright lights of Melbourne and Sydney  – a spectacular country and can’t wait to go back!

We definitely recommend Downunder Travel and are grateful to Andree for all her help and expertise in creating a wonderful adventure!

Maureen

New Zealand Self-Drive

“We spent 6.5 wonderful weeks exploring both Islands in New Zealand. Jason met with us to understand our interests and a sense of where we hoped to travel while there. Accommodations, day trips, half day tours etc all ran without a hitch. At one point we thought we might be seeking medical assistance at a drop in clinic. Not sure about the process with Medical Insurance, we sent him a note to which he quickly responded and we really appreciated. We are very thankful for the arrangements and bookings that helped make the time there truly great. Thanks Jason.”

D. Nixon

Wonderful Thailand and Myanmar!

Thanks for organizing and planning our recent trip to Thailand and Myanmar. We had a wonderful, magical month on some Thai islands, and tremendously enjoyed Mandalay and particularly, Bagan. The hot air balloon ride, is not to be missed.  Our next trip to that part of the world , we will certainly use your expertise Andree.

T. Baker

Ghan Platinum Trip

Just to let you know we arrived safely back home late yesterday after a wonderful trip. Thank you for setting it all up. We saw almost no rain but the day that it did rain was when we arrived in Darwin. Having Platinum [The Ghan] meant our transfer bus was right beside the train whereas the Gold passengers had quite a walk to get to the station. The train is almost a kilometer long so it meant a walk in the rain for some.

G. Bernhardt

Melbourne, Cairns & Sydney!

The tours in Melbourne, Cairns and Sydney were exceptional.  The guides were all very informative and helpful when explaining the sites, sometimes throwing in their own personal stories too.  In Melbourne we enjoyed: the hop on/off bus tour, the Central Historical tram, the Treasury and ANZAC Memorial is is very worthwhile, The Great Ocean Road with our small group tour was fabulous and the Penguin Parade with underground viewing is definitely a must-see!  The Cairns tours are remarkable; I enjoyed our small personalized group travel to Frankland Island (including guided walk), the Kuranda Train, Skyrail and Hartley’s offered a great variety and St. Monica’s Cathedral with its stained glass windows are a hidden gem!  In Sydney, we enjoyed so much; the Ferry boat was easy to manage, The Sydney Opera House was definitely a highlight, our Harbour Cruise was fantastic and our Blue Mountains tour with hike was lovely, definitely another must-experience.

In addition to the terrific tours, our flights and connections were seamless and the personal touches and the variety of experienced offered on this trip was one of a kind!  I look forward to working with you again in the not too distant future!

W. MGee

I wouldn’t have put it all together the way you did!

I just wanted to thank you for all the great advice and information that you provided for our recent trip to Australia.  I am the type of traveller that tends to search on in the internet and book things on my own, so using a travel agent for our trip wasn’t my first thought. However the trip we had planned was quite complicated with multiple destinations which involved several flights, varied accommodation,  local transportation, and tours  and I know I wouldn’t have been able to put it all together the way you did.  This was a trip that we booked with short notice which made it even more complicated. Once we met with you,  I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders,  and I had confidence in your recommendations. You really know Australia and it shows. I truly felt that we had a better vacation because of you. The tours in Tasmania and the Daintree were spectacular,  and everything went very smoothly from start to finish.  I felt that we received excellent service and advice and we really got great  value for our travel dollars. We have recommended you to several friends,  and will be calling on you again in the future if our travels take us ‘down under’!

The Baillie family