FAQ-Africa-South Africa

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.