SOUTH AFRICA TRAVEL GUIDE
South Africa has the world’s richest floral kingdom, which produces brief but bright and colourful flowering season. You can enjoy the flowering season in the spring months of August and September, when specialist flower viewing trips are run and almost every small town has a flower show.
As well as a vast variety of endemic and migratory birds, South Africa is also home to one-sixth of the world’s marine species along its 2954 km of coast.
Although some health insurance companies will pay “customary and reasonable” hospital costs abroad, very few will pay for medical evacuation back to the country of origin. Medical evacuation can easily cost $10 000.00 or more, depending on the location and medical condition. Travel/health insurance is compulsory on all our safaris due to the health care system at state facilities in South Africa – it is in your own interest.
Important Phone Numbers
Ambulance & Fire Emergency – 10177
National Sea Rescue Institute – +27 21 434 4011
AIDS Helpline – 0800 012 322
Emergency Contraception Hotline – 0800 246 432
Flight Information Hotline – 086 72 77 888
LifeLine Counselling Line – 0861 322 322
Malaria Hotline – +27 82 234 1800
Medic-Alert Emergency Medical Information – +27 84 194 4444 or +27 21 461 0000
Netcare911 – 092 911
Poison Hotline – +27 21 931 6129
Snake/Scorpion/Spider Bite Hotline – +27 21 931 6129
Baz Bus – +27 21 439 2323
Local Telephone Directory Assistance – 1023
International Telephone Directory Assistance – 903
Tourist Information Hotline – +27 83 123 6789
South Africa Time
South Africa Money & Banking
These are the two best ways of paying/getting cash while here, and the exchange rates are usually quite good, with minimal bank charges (please also confirm these with your bank before departing). Traveller’s cheques are often a bit of a nightmare, especially in the far out places! However, exchanging them at major tourist centres and airports is not a problem. Some forex (SA Rands in cash) may be useful, but we do not recommend carrying vast amounts of cash around, rather draw while here, as needed. A safe bet is always to draw money at the airport upon arrival.
Remember, if heading straight for the bush, there are no banks/cash machines in most of these spots since the elephants take offense!
The banks are open from 9am to 3.30pm (Monday – Friday), and 8.30am to 11am on Saturdays. All major credit cards can be used in South Africa, with American Express and Diners Club enjoying less universal acceptance. In some small towns, you may find you’ll need to use cash. You can’t purchase fuel with a credit card. You can pay road tolls with MasterCard or Visa.
Value-added-tax (VAT) is charged on most items. Foreign visitors to South Africa can have their 14% VAT refunded (value of purchases exceed R250.00). VAT is refunded at the point of departure provided receipts are produced.
South Africa Languages
Climate & Weather
Autumn – February to April
Winter – May to July
Spring – August to October
Regarding malaria, firstly confirm that you will be entering a malaria area on your safari with us. Even though the incidence of malaria has decreased markedly in many areas, we still strongly recommend prophylaxis. Many foreign doctors recommend a drug called “Larium” which has no resistance, but has been known to cause marked side effects. These include insomnia, hallucinations, mood swings, and personality changes, and can ruin a safari for you. We have seen these personally, so know they do occur. Some countries have now brought out strict measures regarding the use of this drug, notably the US where it is produced. There are several new prophylactic drugs available in different countries without resistance and minimal side effects, and we recommend using one of these.
Remember no prophylaxis is 100% and common sense measures to avoid being bitten are most important (insect repellents, long sleeves, etc)
For more information, please have a look at the “Useful Links” page on our website for a link to a comprehensive malaria website.
The above information for you to consider and discuss with your doctor. Brothers Safaris accepts no liability in this regard whatsoever.
South Africa Public Holidays
Human Rights Day – 21 March
Good Friday (the Friday before Easter Sunday)
Family Day (the Monday after Easter Sunday)
Freedom Day – 27 April
Workers Day – 1 May
Youth Day – 16 June
Women’s Day – 9 August
Heritage Day – 24 September
Day of Reconciliation – 16 December (traditionally the start of South Africa summer vacations)
Christmas Day – 25 December
Day of Goodwill – 26 December
If a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the Monday following becomes a public holiday.
South Africa Visa's
Services to foreigners
General visa information
Supplemental visa information
Visa application form