PRACTICAL INFORMATION FOR TRAVELLING TO SOUTH AFRICA 

Immunisations and Vaccinations

You will need to make an appointment with your personal physician or travel clinic at least one month prior to departure to review pertinent health precautions including necessary vaccinations and medications. Make sure your doctor knows you are travelling to South Africa, not just Africa, so he can prescribe the right medication. Travellers entering South Africa from countries where yellow fever is endemic are often required to present their yellow World Health Organization (WHO) vaccination record or other proof of inoculation.

Documentation:

  • Valid passport

  • Valid visa (if applicable)

  • ID photo (eg driver's license if applicable)

  • Air tickets

  • Expense money

  • Travel insurance

  • Recommended innoculations / valid international Health Certificates

  • All paper work, faxes, and emails to and from Offtrack Africa as well as your booking agent pertaining to your trip

  • Photocopies of all the above documentation, carried in a place separate to the original documents
     

For up to date information on entry requirements for South Africa, please visit the Official Gateway to South Africa website.

Clothing:

  • A lightweight, dark colored hat or baseball cap

  • A lightweight pair of gloves

  • A warm, windproof jacket or top

  • A light rainproof jacket

  • Some short sleeve and long sleeve shirts (with collars)

  • Some short and long pairs of pants

  • Good comfortable boots & several pairs of socks

  • Jeans and a track suit to relax in

  • Light running shoes and flip flops to relax in

  • Bathing costume
     

For safaris taking place in the Spring or Summer time (October to March), lightweight versions of the above can be packed. However, for safaris taking place in the Autumn or Winter (April to September), heavier shirts and warmer jackets should be packed. Note the bathing costume must always be packed….. some of our best bathing time is in winter.

Climate

South Africa has a temperate climate and is comfortable most of the year. Winter is very moderate compared to the Northern Hemisphere and most summer activities carry on through winter. The best months for safari in the Eastern Cape are from April through to the end of September; these being our cooler winter months. Daytime temperatures are reasonably warm (up to 18°C / 65°F), with colder nights (sometimes as low as - 4°C / 25°F). Our rainfall occurs mainly in summer.


Our seasons are opposite to the Northern Hemisphere, with Spring starting in September, Summer from November to March, Autumn in April / May and Winter from June to August. Temperatures in Summer range from 15°C to 35°C, however the norms are 18°C to 28°C. Temperatures in Winter, whilst it can get to freezing at the higher altitudes, normally range between 8°C and 25°C inland, and 15°C to 27°C at the coast.

General South African Information

Languages: There are 11 official languages in South Africa, but most people do speak English.


Standard time: South African standard time is two hours in advance of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT + 2), one hour in advance of central European winter time and seven hours in advance of United States eastern standard time throughout the year. There are no time zone differences within the country.
 

Banking, currency and money matters: The South African unit of currency is called the Rand and it is divided in to 100 cents. Coins come in denominations of 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2 and R5, and notes in denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200. South Africa has a very sophisticated banking sector and automatic teller machines (ATM’s) are widely available in the main cities and towns. Credit cards are widely accepted, except at gas stations. Traveller’s cheques (American and Visa) and credit cards (American Express, Visa and Master Card) are widely recognised and accepted.


Electricity: 220/230 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. Three pronged plugs are universal, so take an adaptor. Most hotel rooms have 110 volt outlets for electric shavers and small appliances.


Road Travel: There is a well-maintained network of roads and motorways in populous regions. Traffic drives on the left. In non-residential areas, speed limits are 120kph, and 60kph in urban areas. Petrol stations are usually open all week, 07h00 to 19h00, and some are open 24 hours. Petrol must be paid for in cash. Wearing of seat belts is compulsory, and driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offence. It is required that you carry a valid driver's license at all times whilst driving.


Drinking water: South Africa’s tap (faucet) water is of a high quality and is both palatable and safe to drink straight from the tap. It is treated so as to be free of harmful micro-organisms, except in informal or shack settlements. In some areas, the water is mineral-rich, and you may experience a bit of gastric distress for a day or two. Bottled mineral water is readily available. Drinking water straight from rivers and streams could put you at risk of waterborne diseases, especially downstream of human settlements.


Sun exposure: The African sun can be harsh, and you should wear sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat whenever you are out of doors, particularly between 10am and 4pm, regardless of whether there is cloud cover or not.


Nationwide emergency telephone numbers: For the police, this is 10111, and for the ambulance service this is 10177. It is not necessary to dial an area code for these numbers, including from mobile phones.

Call: Guy on +27 82 655 2739
Email: guy@offtrackafrica or
caroline@offtrackafrica.co.za 

© 2019 by Off Track Africa