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South Africa: Plan your Trip

The following suggestions will help you when planning your holiday, weekend break-away or even day excursion.

Either decide on your destination first and then find out what activities you can follow, attractions you can visit and scenery you can see.
Or first decide on the type of holiday (in terms of activities and attractions) and then seek a destination.

Orientation Maps, Provinces & Towns
Read short introductions on the nine provinces of South Africa, view the maps and find a list of towns within each province.

Activities, Attractions & Entertainment
South Africa offers an incredible variety of activities, landmarks, attractions and sightseeing opportunities. Choose from these options according to your preference:

Travel Tools
Before embarking on your trip, remember to check the Weather. For finding an address or to get coordinates for GPS use our Coordinate Finder.

Travel Tips for Foreign visitors
Foreign visitors have to keep the following in mind:

 



Museums & Historical Places
bullet Museums
bullet Historical Places
bullet Mission Villages
bullet Monuments & Memorials
 
Cultural Experiences
bullet Cultural villages
bullet Art galleries
bullet Craft creations
 
 Outdoor Fun
bullet Beaches
bullet Bird watching
bullet Fishing
bullet Hiking
bullet Horse riding
bullet River cruises & boat trips
bullet Whale watching
 
 Eco Destinations
bullet Game Reserves
bullet Botanical Gardens
bullet Nature Reserves
bullet Animal Sanctuaries
bullet Oceanariums
Sun
The sun in Southern Africa is severe, especially during the spring and summer months, and it is advisable to cover up with loose clothing or high factor sun screen. Good sunglasses, a wide brimmed hat, insect repellent, moisturiser, lip salve - are also essential. The African sun is harsh most of the year.

Clothing
It's not sunny all the time, especially in the Cape, where the wind can pick up suddenly, and evenings can be cool.

Comfortable shoes - If you plan to walk through some of South Africa's National Parks, a good pair of walking boots is essential, as sometimes the path surfaces are quite uneven, although the majority have good paths and trails.

Electricity
220/230 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. Three round pronged plugs are universal. Most hotel rooms have 110 volt outlets for electric shavers and small appliances. A travel adapter may be required if you are bringing your own electrical goods.

General Safety Tips
Africa is no more or less safe than any other country in the world. Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert. Avoid dark areas at night, and park in well lit public places. Always lock your car when you leave it and lock valuables in the boot or leave them at your accommodation for safe keeping.

Don't have lots of jewellery and valuables on show. When you carry your passport and/or money, keep them in a button-down pocket.

On Safari - game reserves have common sense rules to ensure your safety. Listen to your guide or ranger and follow his advice. If self driving, be aware that wild animals are dangerous so stay in your car, drive slowly and keep a reasonable distance.

Travel Insurance
Take out a comprehensive travel insurance plan for the duration of your trip; as you will be refused treatment in some hospitals if you do not have insurance. For claiming lost/ stolen articles and luggage, it is advisable that you buy the insurance in your country of residence - see travel insurance for indication of costs.

Driving
All drivers will need a valid driving licence and in South Africa are required by law in to carry an identity document (e.g. a passport) and driving licence at all times.

Health & Medical
You may need some inoculations - Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis A or B and Typhoid - but it will depend on how up to date you are. If you are visiting a malarial area, you should take malaria prophylactics, wear long sleeved clothes and long trousers at dusk and use a repellent.

As medical opinion changes fairly frequently, you should speak to your doctor or contact the British Airways Travel Clinic in Johannesburg at +27 11 807 3132.

If walking or hiking, wear insect repellent and use Bayticol spray against ticks. Bayticol is sprayed on the clothing and not on the skin. If you cannot get Bayticol before you arrive, it is commonly available at chemists..

If you are taking regular medication, make sure you have enough to cover the duration of your holiday.

Money
There are banks and ATMs in all the towns, in most villages and in the larger petrol stations. All large hotels, restaurants and shops accept Visa and MasterCard credit cards although American Express is not commonly accepted.

Swimming
It is best only to swim in designated areas, otherwise you might come across a hippo or a crocodile! Be careful of strong currents when swimming in the sea and don't swim too far out.