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About South Africa

South Africa is the perfect budget travel destination. South Africa is known as a world in one country and it is not surprising given the vast range of highlights on offer. Home to stunning natural panoramas including Table Mountain and vibrant cultures South Africa budget travel is ideal for almost every taste and budget with a vast array of backpacking tours on offer.

South Africa Budget Travel

Below is a list of South Africa's top destinations, click on the link to view all details and tours.

Addo Elephant National Park, Cape Town, Drakensberg, Durban, Kruger National Park, Namaqualand, Stellenbosch

Fast Facts

Currency
South African Rands (ZAR)

Dialing Code
0027

AIDS

South Africa HIV/AIDS health precautions include:
• Practice safe sex at all times
• Avoid tattoos or acupuncture from unsterilized operators
• Do not share needles at any cost

Airports

South Africa airports include:
• OR Tambo Johannesburg International Airport
• Cape Town International Airport
• Durban International Airport
• KMIA Airport Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport

Birdlife

Birders from around the world come to South Africa to experience the country's great variety of South African birdlife, including migrants, and endemics (those birds found only in South Africa). Of the 850 or so species that have been recorded in South Africa, about 725 are resident or annual visitors, and about 50 of these are endemic or near-endemic.

Conservation

The Kruger National Park is just one of 20 national parks dedicated to South Africa conservation, plants and natural environments - with two more under development. South Africa aims to increase land under formal conservation to 8% by 2010, and marine protected areas to 20%.

Culture

South Africa has a great ethnic diversity, and no single national culture. Ethnic and cultural assimilation have begun slowly to change this situation. Each ethnic group may be identified with a more or less distinctive culture.

Customs

Customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export of items such as firearms, religious materials, antiquities, medications, business equipment and other items. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of your destination country for specific information regarding customs requirements.

Health

Nothing can spoil a holiday more than feeling off-colour, and nothing can dull the pleasure of your holiday memories more than getting ill far from home. There are a number of health issues that you should be aware of, particularly if you're from the northern hemisphere.

Innoculations

Recommended inoculations for travel to South Africa are:
• Hepatitis A
• Hepatitis B
• Typhoid
• Polio Booster
• Rabies
• Tetanus Booster
• Malaria Pills

Languages

South Africa languages include the following:
• Afrikaans
• English
• IsiNdebele (Ndebele)
• IsiXhosa (Xhosa)
• IsiZulu (Zulu)
• Northern Sotho (Sepedi)
• Sesotho (Southern Sotho)
• Setswana (Tswana)
• SiSwati (Swati)
• Tshivenda (Venda)
• Xitsonga (Tsonga)

Malaria

Many of the main tourist areas are malaria-free, so you need not worry at all. However, the Kruger National Park, the Lowveld of Mpumalanga and Limpopo, and the northern part of KwaZulu-Natal do pose a malaria risk in summer.

Money

One rand is made up 100 cents. The Rand is available in denominations of R1, R2, R5 (coins) and R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200 (paper notes). The cents are available as coins in denominations of 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c and 50c.

People

South Africa's population of forty million is three-quarters black (African) and about 15% white (European), with the remaining 10% comprised of people of mixed white, Malayan, and black descent and people of Asian (mostly Indian) descent.

Phrase

South Africa has 11 official languages Most people in the urban areas understand and can speak basic English so, if your English is OK, it is not totally essential to learn any of these languages to get by as a tourist.

Plants

South Africa plant life includes five major habitat types: fynbos, forest, Karoo, grassland, and savanna. The country can also be divided into seven biomes, or ecological life zones, with distinct environmental conditions and related sets of plant and animal life: Nama Karoo, succulent Karoo, fynbos, forest, thicket, savanna, and grassland.

Population

According to the mid-2007 estimates from Statistics South Africa, the South African population stands at some 47.9-million.

Religion

South Africa religion includes the following groups:
• Christianity: 29,684,861 adherents (73.52%)
• Traditional ethnic religion: 6,056,487 adherents (15%)
• Non-religious/other: 3,262,428

Safety Tips

South Africa safety tips include the following:
• Travel or walk in groups only
• Do not hitch-hike
• Always stay up to date with local & International news
• Do not carry more cash than required
• Always wear you seat belts
• Keep a photocopy of the first few pages of your passport, visas and air tickets.

Transport

South Africa local transport options include:
• Car
• Taxi
• Plane
• Bus
• Train

Travel Books

South Africa recommended travel books include:
• Frommer's South Africa by Pippa de Bruyn
• The Rough Guide to South Africa 5th Edition by Tony Pinchuck, Barbara McCrea and Donald Reid
• South Africa Eyewitness Travel Guide by DK Publishing
• Lonely Planet South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland by Mary Fitzpatrick
• AAA Essential South Africa 6th Edition by Richard Whitaker

Visa Requirements

South Africa visa requirements are as follows:
• A valid acceptable passport of 6 months minimum
• Sufficient funds to cover your trip expenses
• A return or onward ticket.
• At least two blank pages in your passport
• Yellow fever certificates are required if the journey starts or entails passing through the yellow fever areas

What To Buy

What to buy for South Africa safaris:
• Carry-on Bags
• Garment Bags
• Luggage Sets
• Travel Adapters And Converters
• Backpacks, duffel bags and a moneybag

What To Pack

What to pack for South Africa safaris:
• Lightweight summer clothes when visiting during the hotter months
• An assortment of shorts, T-shirts, skirts and sundresses
• Sweater or long-sleeved button-down shirt
• Swimsuit, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat
• Sunblock and a wide-brimmed hat
• Long pants and a heavy windbreaker

When To Go

When to go to South Africa:
• Summer is generally mid-October to mid-February
• Autumn is February to April
• Winter is May to July
• Spring falls between August and October

Wildlife

South Africa wildlife refers to mammals, birds, fish and reptiles found in the South African wild. South Africa is home to the Big 5, and more than 300 mammal species, over 500 bird species, over 100 kinds of reptiles and countless insects. South Africa is very proud of its rich natural heritage, which is diligently protected in the many national parks.

 

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19 South Africa OVERLAND recommended for you
Recent Feedback

Left quoteThe highlight of my trip had to be Gweru in Zimbabwe, it was my idea of paradise. So much to do there with the animals and the location of it was just beautiful!Right quote

Anne B (27) from Ireland

Left quoteThe trip was great! A very relaxed ride in a mokoro, followed by camping in the Okavango Delta and watching the animals on the islands was awesome!Right quote

Michael & Silke from Germany

Left quoteI loved every millisecond of the entire trip... Guess what I did in Swakopmund? I skydived out of a plane - woohoo was that AWESOME :-)Right quote

JoJo E (61) from Switzerland

Left quoteFinally home and had a great time…. I loved the shark diving, Sossusvlei and Himba people. Saw Lions, a Leopard, Elephants, Giraffes, everything really! Thanks for…Right quote

John E from Canada

Left quoteI did not believe in god till i visited Chobe National Park.Right quote

Juca from Uruguay

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