Frequently Asked Questions About South Africa
WHAT KIND OF ACCOMMODATION IS AVAILABLE IN SOUTH AFRICA?
A wide variety of accommodation can be found, from five-star hotels to guesthouses, game lodges, “bed and breakfasts” and safari camps. In the cities there are also award-winning boutique hotels and spa resorts. It is strongly recommended that you reserve all your accommodation as far in advance as possible.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT SOUTH AFRICA?
Summer is from October to April and winter is from May to August. Summers tend to be quite hot, with daytime temperatures hovering around 30ºC (86ºF). For beach holidays and bird watching, summer tends to be the preferred time to visit. Winter is the best time for game viewing, as temperatures are lower, wildlife tends to concentrate in areas where water is available and the bush is less dense, improving visibility. Winter temperatures during the day are around 15ºC (59ºF) and nighttime temperatures can fall to as low as 0º (32ºF). Snowfalls are rare but occasionally occur on the higher mountains.
IS SOUTH AFRICA A GOOD FAMILY DESTINATION?
South Africa is a great family destination. There are activities for children of all ages and plenty of adventure for the whole family. During the summer months, the beaches are wonderful for children of all ages and numerous adventure activities like boat rides and cruises, horse riding, surfing, hiking and many others are offered. Many safari lodges allow children but it would be wise to check with individual lodges for requirements regarding children.
SHOULD I TAKE OUT TRAVEL INSURANCE BEFORE VISITING SOUTH AFRICA?
It is essential that adequate travel insurance be taken out prior to departure. This should cover any medical situation such as hospitalisation, as well as cancellation, curtailment of arrangements and baggage. When you travel with &Beyond, you are automatically covered by our emergency evacuation insurance. This guarantees emergency evacuation to the nearest hospital should you suffer either severe illness or injury. This does not cover the cost of treatment once in hospital and in no way replaces your normal travel insurance. There are certain medical exclusions. Please advise us of any existing conditions in advance in order to arrange cover, subject to our insurer’s approval. Please contact us for further details.
WHAT SHOULD I BE AWARE OF WHEN DRIVING IN SOUTH AFRICA?
South Africans drive on the left and give way to the right. Drivers must have a valid driver's licence, with photo, or an international driver's permit. Seatbelts are mandatory. Driving in South Africa is easy to adapt to, with sign posting in English and rental cars easily available in all major cities. There are a number of toll roads in South Africa that are clearly indicated well before reaching the toll stations, where payment may be made at an attended booth. Overtaking on the inside is not illegal in South Africa and is a common practice. When changing lanes be aware of cars on the inside. In general, speed limits are 120 km/h (75 miles) on freeways and 60 km/h (37 miles) in towns and cities. When outside major towns and cities please be aware of potholes in some areas.
ARE THERE SPECIAL HEALTH REQUIREMENTS WHEN TRAVELLING TO SOUTH AFRICA?
Please consult your doctor for advice on malaria precautions before travel to South Africa.Anyone who takes any special medication should take enough supplies to last the visit.Yellow fever certificates are required for entry into South Africa if you travelled through the Yellow Fever belt.
Be aware of ticks at Phinda. Like most wilderness areas, ticks can be found in the bush at &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve. To avoid getting bitten guests are advised to take precautions when going on bush walks by wearing long trousers, socks and boots. If you are bitten, a tick bite could lead to tick bite fever. Symptoms include fever, headaches, and painful enlarged lymph glands in the area of the bite. If you experience these symptoms after returning home please visit your doctor and advise them of the possibility of tick bite fever.
IS THE TAP WATER SAFE TO DRINK?
Tap water is safe to drink in South Africa but bottled mineral water is available for purchase.
CAN I USE MY CREDIT CARD IN SOUTH AFRICA?
All major credit cards, including Visa, American Express, Diners Club and MasterCard, are accepted at most hotels, shops and restaurants. Proof of identity may be requested in some instances and it is useful to carry a passport or some form of photo identification at all times.
WHERE CAN I CHANGE CURRENCY?
You will be required to declare all foreign currency in any form when entering/exiting South Africa and therefore we advise that you only change money as required. Most international airports have banks where money can be changed and facilities are usually available at reputable hotels and lodges. The unit of currency is the South African Rand (R), which is divided into 100 cents.
IS TIPPING EXPECTED AND HOW MUCH SHOULD I GIVE?
It is customary to tip 10 to 15% of the bill at hotels and restaurants and 10% of the fare to taxi drivers. It is also the custom to tip local guides and drivers. Hairdressers and theatre ushers are not usually tipped for their services.
Meander through the famed Cape Winelands. A perfect blend of art, nature and mildly decadent food paired with the finest wines in the world.
Feel the energy of Jo'burg and step into its rich history of gold and struggle. See the stately capital Pretoria and the Cradle of Humankind.
The Garden Route is one of the most visited areas in South Africa, the scenery is diverse but certainly consistent in its beauty.