South Africa Holiday

Tip: Our most loved Hotels for your relaxing South Africa Holiday

Ever since the World Cup in 2010, the hype surrounding the southernmost African country has grown steadily. Eleven official languages already hint at the diversity of South Africa and the exciting history behind this multicultural land. The South Africans live densely in big cities, while rural lands dominate the outskirts of the country. The rainbow state is home to an overwhelming nature that should be seen in the national parks, on the coasts and on the mountains. Immerse yourself in this adventurous, wild world and enjoy the hospitable atmosphere and the openness of the people.

Facts & Figures

Official name: Republiek van Suid-Afrika (Republic of South Africa)
Location: Southernmost country in Africa
Area: 1,219,090 km²
Capital: Pretoria
Population: 54.96 million
Religious and Ethnic groups: 79.8% Christians, 1.5% Muslims, 1.2% Hindus, 0.3% Jews
Language: Zulu language, Xhosa language, Northern Sotho language, Tswana language, Sotho language, Tsonga language, Swazi language, Venda language, Northern Ndebele language and English.
Geography: More than 2,500 km long coastline, Drakensberg mountains stretch across the country, highest point: Thabana Ntlenyana (3482m)
Time zone: UTC + 2
Political and Economic: Parliamentary democracy with strong executive power, GDP: 268.8 billion (2015)
Currency: Rand (current exchange rate can be found online)

Arrival and departure

Visa:
Vaccinations:
On site: In South Africa it is advisable to book a rental car, optionally with a driver, as the public transport can be confusing and unsafe.

Climate and best time to travel

South Africa, with its desert and subtropical forests, is a diverse country and therefore offers different climatic zones. In general, the climate is warm, sunny and dry. The west coast is characterized by dry, warm summers and cool, damp winters and the east coast by generally humid, warm weather. The inland is known to be much drier. Rain showers only occur in the summers. (October-April).

Winter average temperature (June / July): Cape Town / Johannesburg: 13 ° C / 17 ° C (minimum temperatures 10 ° C / 1 ° C)
Summer average temperature (January / December): Cape Town / Johannesburg: 21 ° C / 23 ° C (maximum temperature 25 ° C / 28 ° C)

The best time for safaris is July to October. In the Cape Province, you are in perfect hands from October to March. The main tourist season of South Africa is in December and January and from July to September.

The most beautiful holiday regions

Stellenbosch - The heart of South African winegrowing
Cape Town - Natural beauty and history united
Port Elizabeth - Dream beaches on the Indian Ocean
Kruger National Park - Wildlife on the border of Mozambique
Pietermaritzburg- Parks and historic buildings from the colonial era

Public holidays and celebrations

New Year (January 1), Memorial Day to the Sharpeville massacre (March 21), Good Friday (March / April), Easter Sunday (March / April - always Sunday), Easter Monday (March / April - always Monday), Day of Freedom (April 27), Labour Day (May 1), Youth Day (June 16/17), National Women's Day (August 9), Heritage Day (September 24), Day of Atonement (December 16/17), Christmas (December 25/26).

DOs and DON'Ts

DO's

•    Try a braai barbeque. This is much more than your typical barbeque. The communal meal is a ritual with a long traditional heritage. Even famous chefs such as Jamie Oliver rave about them.
•    Road trips. The landscape of South Africa is breath-taking and therefore you should not miss a day trip to the wilderness.
•    Local craftsmanship. The big cities offer the usual, home-style shopping centres, but it is also worthwhile to browse the local small craft shops. You will be able to find much more unique and thoughtful souvenirs here than in the larger shopping plazas.

DON'Ts

•    Leave the car unlocked. If you are traveling by car, do not go without locking your doors and windows.
•    Carelessness. Unfamiliar areas should not be conquered on your own, if you do not know that it is a safe neighbourhood.
•    Go skinny dipping. Permissive bathing is heavily punished in South Africa. If you still want to integrate this adventure into your holiday, inform yourself about official naturist beaches.

Holiday tips

Can you drink the tap water? The tap water in general is drinkable in the big cities, however in rural regions, bottled water should be consumed.
Do I need an adapter? In South Africa, the power plug type M is used, so you need an adapter.
What about medical care? In the big cities, medical care meets European standards, but most hospitals do not accept travel health insurance, so advance payments must be made. Medical care in rural areas does not meet European standards.

Top tips and discoveries

Table Mountain
Secret tip? Of course, everyone knows this 1087 m high peak of Cape Town. The mountain is just as much a part of the city as the “Cape of Good Hope” and offers an outstanding view of Cape Town and the oceans. To get to the top, you could potentially use a cable car, but dare yourself to hike instead - it's worth it. There are also different difficulty levels. Get away from the cable car station for more peace and fantastic views of the city.

Port St Johns

Surrounded by evergreen rainforests, Port St. Johns boasts a fantastic location on the Indian Ocean. Since most South Africa vacationers rush to the cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg, this pearl on the Eastern Cape is still relatively untouched. The only other guests who have made the bumpy path to the pristine dream beach are cows. The four-legged friends know just what is right, because the sandy beach, is right in front of you, a paradise for every dream vacationer.

Woodstock
For a long time, the bohemian district of Cape Town has not received a lot of attention from tourists. Yet now more than ever, the district is becoming a trendy destination. Not only do the art galleries invite you in, but even house walls have become a canvas for unique graffiti art. You could also visit the highly recommended Organic Mill Market - specialties of the area can be bought here at a fair price.

Regions in South Africa