Travel Info

Please remember your credit cards,  travel documents, visas, camera, digital cameras, extra memory cards, chargers for mobile phones and cameras, universal adapters, mobile phones with roaming activated, hats, sunscreen, comfortable shoes, some warm clothing for your travel pleasure.

Temperature

South Africa’s temperature ranges from an average high of 28° C to average lows of 8°C  in the summer months while winter temperatures range from 1°C at night to around 18°C in the day.  South Africas winter is too short for most homes to have central heating therefore South Africas winter might feel colder than they really are, so one should make sure to have enough warm clothing.

Most of South Africa has summer rainfall.  The Western Cape has more of a Mediterranean climate and a winter rainfall pattern. George, in the Tsitsikama region, falls on the limit between the two climate zones and finds itself having rain most the year round.  South Africa has one of the world’s highest average daily hours of sunshine at 8,5 hours per day, compared with 3,8 in London, 6,4 in Rome and 6,9 in New York.

Every season is good in South Africa.  It will all depend on what you prefer.  The best times for game watching for instance, are the winter and spring seasons (June to October).  The Cape region is best in the summer months of October to April if you want to avoid the wind and the rain.

Distances

South Africa is a very large country covering  1,219,912 km2 and is the 25th largest country in the world with 2500km of coastline. This means that distances between destinations in South Africa will normally be or feel far.  Johannesburg to Cape Town is 1500km and Johannesburg to the Kruger National Park is 350km.  A lot of time can therefore be spent travelling on our roads which are fortunately mostly scenic.  But for example one will not drive from Johannesburg to Cape Town unless a tour down the south coast is deliberately planned.

Malaria

High Risk Malaria areas are found in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo Lowveld.  This includes the Kruger National Park.  Please consult your physician before coming here about the best malaria prophylaxis to suite you. Northern Kwa Zulu Natal areas such as Kosi Bay and the Isimangaliso Wetland Park are a medium risk malaria areas and malaria prophylaxis  are only needed for people with a high risk of contracting malaria. For the rest of South Africa precautionary measures can be taken against mosquito bites.

Gratuities

Tipping in South Africa is the norm with 10 – 15% being the average amount tipped at restaurants or pubs. Most parking areas in the streets or at shopping centres have car guards who will offer to watch your car or even wash it.  A tip of R2 and up is generally acceptable depending on the length of time and R20 and up for a car wash.  Luggage porters at a hotel or at the airport generally accept a R10 – R20 tip.  Tour guides, hairdresser, drivers and other similar general service providers also appreciate tips – at your own discretion.

ATM’s

South Africa has a wide network of ATM machines and point of sale pay points on offer and are clearly marked as to what cards get accepted but all generally accommodate Visa Mastercard and American Express.

Languages

A list of the 11 official languages spoken in South Africa:

Afrikaans
English
IsiNdebele
IsiXhosa
IsiZulu
Sesotho sa Leboa
Sesotho
Setswana
siSwati
Tshivenda
Xitsonga

 

 

This is a language guide to some common phrases:

isiXhosa isiZulu isiNdebele Sesotho
Hello Bhota Sawubona Lotjhani Dumela
How are you? Unjani? Unjani? Unjani? O kae?
I am fine, thank you Ndiyaphile, enkosi Ngisaphila, ngiyabonga Ngikhona ngiyathokoza Ke teng
Yes Ewe Yebo Lye Ee
No Hayi Cha Awa Tjhee
Please Nceda Ngiyakucela Ngiyabawa Hle
Thank You Ndiyabulela Ngiyabonga Ngiyathokoza Ke a leboha

 

Setstwana Tshivenda xiTsonga Siswati Afrikaans
Dumela Ndaa/Aa Avuxeni Sawubona Hallo
O kae? Vho vuwa hani? Ku njhani? Unjani? Hoe gaan dit met jou?
Ke teng Nne ndo takala vhukuma Ndzi kona ndza nkhensa Ngikona ngiyabonga Goed dankie
Ee Ee Ina Yebo Ja
Nnyaa Hai E-e Cha Nee
Tsweetswee Ndi khou tou humbela Ndza kombela Ngiyacela Asseblief
Ke a leboga Ndi a livhuwa Ndzi khense ngopfu Ngiyabonga Dankie

 


This post is also available in Italian.