South Africa Travel Facts

By | May 31, 2022

South Africa is the most developed country in Africa and belongs to the BRICS countries. It borders the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. The neighboring states are Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and a walled enclave, the Kingdom of Lesotho. The country is particularly popular because of its unique landscapes and biodiversity. Many wild animals can be observed in the wild in the national parks.

Capital Cities Pretoria, Cape Town, Bloemfontein
Size 1,219,912 km²
Resident 54,000,000
Official Language Afrikaans, English, etc
Currency edge
Time Zone UTC+2
Telephone Area Code +27

Fast facts to know

  • South Africa has 3 capitals.
  • South Africa has some of the best water quality in the world.
  • Wine has been grown in the country for over 300 years.
  • Is a founding member of the United Nations.
  • The Vredefort crater is one of the largest impact craters on earth.
  • Two Nobel Prize winners live on the same street in Soweto: Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
  • The R62 Wine Route is the longest wine route in the world.
  • In the Karoo semi-desert you can see the fossil of a 280 million year old petrified shark.
  • There is left-hand traffic, an international driver’s license is required.
  • A passport that is valid for at least 30 days and has 2 blank pages is a requirement for entry.
  • At many petrol stations you have to pay in cash.
  • Malaria prophylaxis is recommended in many areas of South Africa.
  • For your own children, an international birth certificate is required in addition to the passport.
  • In many cities it is better not to go for a walk after dark.

Exciting cities in South Africa

  • Johannesburg
  • Cape Town
  • Durban
  • Pretoria
  • Port Elizabeth
  • Bloemfontein
  • Nelspruit
  • Kimberly
  • Polokwane
  • Pietermaritzburg
  • soweto

History of South Africa

  • Settled by indigenous peoples early in human history.
  • Dutch colonial period beginning in 1652.
  • 1797 First occupation by troops from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
  • Permanent British Crown Colony from 1806.
  • 1880 – 1881 First Boer War against British expansionist efforts.
  • 1899 – 1902 Second Boer War.
  • 1910 Foundation of the South African Union.
  • Apartheid (racial segregation) after the end of World War II.
  • 1960s with rapid economic growth.
  • In 1961 South Africa had to leave the Commonwealth.
  • 1990 end of apartheid.
  • 1994 readmitted to the Commonwealth.
  • 1994 Nelson Mandela is elected South Africa’s first black President.

Climate & travel weather in South Africa

  • Climate: warm, sunny, dry.
  • West Coast: dry, warm summers, cool, wet winters, rain mostly from June to September.
  • East coast: humid & warm weather, precipitation from November – March.
  • Inland: significantly drier, low rainfall from October to April.
  • Recommended travel time:
    • Suitable for travel all year round.
    • Best travel months in general: April, May, September, October, November.
    • Whale Watching: July – October.
    • Safaris: July – October.

Ideas for trips in South Africa

  • Robben Island.
  • Whale watching at Hermanus.
  • Enjoy the view of the Cape of Good Hope.
  • Watch the Big Seven (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo, whale, great white shark).
  • Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg.
  • Train ride with the Rovos Rail.
  • Visit national parks:
    • Kruger National Park.
    • Addo Elephant National Park.
    • Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park.
    • Pilanesberg National Park.
    • Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
    • Augrabies Falls National Park.
    • West Coast National Park.
    • Golden Gate National Park.
    • Marakel National Park.

Eating & drinking in South Africa

  • Each province has its own characteristics and priorities.
  • Influenced in many ways, e.g. B. through Indian, Malay, Indonesian cuisine, but also through cuisine of the Boers, English, Dutch etc.
  • Meat is one of the main ingredients in Cape cuisine.
  • A typical South African specialty is dried meat (biltong).
  • Particularly popular types of meat: beef, lamb and chicken.
  • More expensive, but also popular: game meat such as ostrich, springbok, kudu, crocodile, zebra.
  • Fish plays a minor role.
  • South Africa has very well-known wine-growing regions.
  • Common accompaniment: corn, sweet potatoes, squash.
  • Dishes are often very aromatic and seasoned well and in a variety of ways.
  • Very large range of fruit and vegetables of excellent quality.
  • Coffee mostly instant coffee, well-known tea: Rooibos.
  • Typical dishes:
    • Biltong (air dried meat).
    • Bobotie (Malaysia mince casserole with egg, beef or lamb mince, raisins, yellow turmeric rice, curry spices).
    • Pap en sous (corn brai with tomato and onion sauce).
    • Oliekoek (sweet and fatty pastries, often combined with syrup).
    • Filled Gem Squash (squash stuffed with corn and cheese).
    • Potjie (stew with vegetables, potatoes and lamb, traditionally cooked over an open fire in a three-legged black pot).
    • Melktert (delicious sweet milk cake with puff pastry base and egg white cinnamon soufflé).
    • Chakalaka (seasoned sauce or vegetable relish from mild to super hot for meat dishes and stews).
    • Sosaties (tenderly marinated, grilled ground beef skewers).
    • Malva Pudding (creamy, soft cake with a light apricot flavor, served with vanilla sauce).
    • Bredie (stew with vegetables and lamb, chicken or meat).
    • Droewors (traditional, well-seasoned and air-dried sausage).
    • Mopane worms (caterpillars cooked in peanut sauce or with onion, tomato and chili).
    • Sousboontjies (dried beans cooked with butter, sugar, vinegar and other vegetables).
    • Ulusu (soft-boiled tripe in an onion, celery and potato sauce)
    • Isibindi (thinly sliced ​​lamb’s liver with onions).
    • Kingklip (most popular saltwater fish in South Africa, belongs to the cod family).
    • Perlemon (also called abalone, hand-sized shell from the Atlantic Ocean).
    • Samoosa (small, triangular puff pastry pockets filled with vegetables or meat, fried in hot oil).
    • Sosaties (skewers of lamb, dried fruit, tomatoes and onions, usually grilled).

Particularly scenic

  • Augrabies Falls.
  • Blyde River Canyon.
  • Wilderness of the Cederberg.
  • Table Mountain & Lion Head.
  • Drakensberg.
  • Sea of ​​wildflowers in Namaqualand.
  • Garden Route.
  • Wild Coast.
  • Enjoy dream beaches:
    • Bloubergstrand, Western Cape.
    • Camps Bay, Western Cape.
    • Muizenberg, Western Cape.
    • Kraalbaai Beach, Western Cape.
    • Grotto Beach in Hermanus.
    • Wilderness Beach, Garden Route.
    • Dolphin Beach at Jeffrey’s Bay.

South Africa Travel Facts