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South Africa

The vibrant rainbow nation of South Africa combines its distinctive history with a natural and demographic diversity which makes it one of the most fascinating places in the world. Take a trip up Table Mountain and gaze out over the beautiful harbour in Cape Town, or admire the bustling markets and gorgeous beaches of Durban. Visitors can also go vineyard hopping in the many wineries of the delightful Garden Route. And no trip to South Africa is complete without going on safari to Kruger or Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park and trying to spot one of the ‘Big 5’ game animals in the astonishingly beautiful wild surrounds of the north of the country. The options for luxury accommodation stays in South Africa are incredible too.

 

What you’ll love most about South Africa

  • Visit South Africa’s most famous city, Cape Town, located on the southwestern coast, to explore its stunning beaches, Table Mountain, and Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned
  • Go on a safari to see South Africa’s wildlife up close, including lions, elephants, and rhinos, at one of Africa’s largest game reserves such as Kruger National Park
  • Take a road trip along the scenic Garden Route, which stretches along the southern coast, and visit charming towns such as Knysna and Plettenberg Bay
  • Hike or trek through the Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa’s highest mountain range, located in the eastern part of the country, to discover its stunning landscapes and indigenous flora and fauna
  • Visit the Cape Winelands, located near Cape Town, to indulge in wine tasting and explore its historic sites, art galleries, and outdoor activities
  • Explore the rugged and unspoiled coastline of the ‘Wild Coast’, located on the southeastern coast, to experience South Africa’s rich cultural heritage and breathtaking natural beauty

Where to Book

  • Couple relaxing in a pool at Madikwe Game Reserve Lodge - South African Tourism

  • On a beach at Hole in the Wall, Coffee Bay - South African Tourism

  • Viewing white rhino and buffalo while on a game drive from Tshukudu Lodge, Hoedspruit - South African Tourism

  • Yacht in Camps Bay, with a view of Twelve Apostles - South African Tourism

  • Hot air balloon ride in the North West Province - South African Tourism

  • Tubing down the Storms River - South African Tourism

  • Enjoying a canopy tour - South African Tourism

  • Cycling in the Northern Cape - South African Tourism

  • Couple enjoying the views during a picnic over Blyde River Canyon - South African Tourism

  • Photographing lions on an evening game drive - South African Tourism

Average temperature

Information below is based on average highest temperature for each month.

  • 29℃
  • 29℃
  • 27℃
  • 25℃
  • 22℃
  • 20℃
  • 20℃
  • 20℃
  • 21℃
  • 24℃
  • 25℃
  • 27℃
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • 6
  • 9
  • 10
  • 10
  • 10
  • 8
  • 5
  • 4
  • 4

Information above is based on the average number of days which experience some form of rainfall for each month.

Rainfall

When to Visit

Below gives you information and a rating of the best time of year to visit.

January

This is one of Cape Town’s busiest times but for good reason. Loads of sunshine and limited rainfall making it an ideal destination for the UK traveller to escape the winter. With hotels likely to be busy, you may find it difficult to bag a bargain if you’re travelling this month.

February

Like January, this is the most desirable time to travel for most due to the warm weather, low rainfall and social events.

The month’s biggest social event is the Cape Town Pride Festival which is aimed at the LGBT+ community but is one for all to attend with many parades, parties & competitions.

Cape Town Art Fair is held over three days annually and is hailed as one of the biggest art fairs in Africa.

March

March is the beginning of the shoulder season and the crowds will begin to subside which increases the likelihood of you bagging a good deal. It’s a great time to visit as the rainfall is still very low and you can expect plenty of warm sunshine.

Cape Town Jazz Festival is one of the highlights of the annual events calendar – a must if you love this kind of music.

Cape Town Carnival is held in March and is a street parade that showcases and celebrates the diversity of Cape Town and South Africa.

April

April will begin to see the weather become more unpredictable with slightly higher rainfall and cooler nights but it’s unlikely to affect your holiday with temperatures still capable of reaching the high 20’s. Hotels are likely to need your business so you may be able to secure a lower price than the earlier months.

The Cape Town Electronic Music festival is held this month and has gained the reputation as being one of the more forward thinking music festivals on the African calendar.

May

May is the end of the spring and the conditions will see cooler conditions but don’t worry, you can still expect weather up to 22degrees.

This is often the time of year when many of the restaurants bring out their winter specials so you can take advantage of some of the world class food at discount prices.

June

It’s the start of winter so this may be a time to avoid unless you have a specific reason for travelling.

Winter Wonderland festival is a family friendly event held this month with music, markets and a whole lot of merriment.

July

We’re in the middle of winter so this may be a time to avoid unless you have a specific reason for travelling.

The Cape Town Funny Festival is held this month and is a comedy highlight. Some of the best local and international acts will be in attendance.

July & August is peak whale watching season.

August

We’re coming towards the end of winter but this still may be a time to avoid unless you have a specific reason for travelling.

The Clanwillian Wildflower Show displays more than 400 species of wildflower, many of which can only be grown here and all under one roof if you’re visiting this time of year.

July & August is peak whale watching season.

September

The shoulder season has arrived and it’s officially the start of spring.. The rain will ease and conditions warm up. A good time to visit with crowds relatively low and prices acceptable if you’re looking for a bargain.

Sample some of the Cape’s finest wines in a festive, scenic setting at Franschhoek Uncorked this month.

Cape Town Fringe Festival celebrates some of the best art, music and theatre that the country has to offer.

Head to Hermanus this month for the annual Whale Festival as this will be your best bet at getting up close with these majestic mammals.

October

The weather will continue to warm up as we build towards the peak months but as we’re not there yet, you may be able to secure a great deal. Expect blooms taking over the vast fields and mountains with splashes of colour as a time famous for wildflowers.

November

This is the time when Cape Town begins to come to life again. Long balmy days with many events and festivals to check out.

The Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts begin this month and take place every Sunday between November-April. International acts as well as local bands take the stage in the shade of Table Mountain.

December

Summer begins with temperatures up to 28 degrees and hardly any rain. Prices are likely increase based on demand but if you travel earlier in the month, you may avoid the peak crowds of later in the month along with January and February.

Our Ratings

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Where to book


Trust Classic Collection for ATOL & ABTA protected Worldwide luxury holidays. Travel expertise and personal service combine to create the perfect holiday. UK airport lounge passes, up to 23kg of hold luggage, private resort transfers and 24-hour concierge included as standard.

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CroisiEurope Cruises has been pioneering worldwide river cruising for over four decades and they now offer fly-cruise packages from the UK. Experience an unforgettable journey through Europe and see for yourself why CroisiEurope is the ultimate choice for travellers.

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East Cape Tours create unforgettable holidays, tailored just for you. Explore, experience, and make priceless memories like never before. As tour operator and ground handlers, they’ve been curating dream holidays for 25 years. Tailor-made specialists that you can trust, they’re passionate about Southern Africa with first-hand experience in the destinations they offer.

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Encounters Travel is a UK based adventure tour operator with a wide selection of cultural and adventurous tours around the world, all designed to help you get the most out of the country you’re visiting. They range from small group tours to shoestring, overland, family, escorted and tailor-made holidays.

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eShores specialises in tailor-made multi-centre holidays, seamlessly blending multiple destinations into one trip. Explore the beauty of Thailand, island-hop the Greek islands, or embark on an epic American road trip – anything is possible. With consultants averaging 15 years’ experience, your dream holiday is in expert hands, so you can relax and enjoy the adventure!

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“At Expat Explore we are passionate about making travel possible, affordable & fun. We offer jam-packed & fast-paced coach tour itineraries & the services of our expert tour leaders, to ensure you see the most of each destination. We guarantee an adventure of a lifetime!”

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Explore is a global adventure travel company with 40 years’ experience in providing exciting and authentic travel experiences. With over 350 trips in around 100 countries, Explore’s expertly crafted itineraries combined with award-winning tour leaders, small group sizes and a commitment to responsible travel ensure unforgettable travel experiences in extraordinary destinations.

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At Freedom Destinations, we take the trouble out of travel. We offer everything you need in one place; a great range of hotels, tours and activities, coupled with first-class service from dedicated specialists who work with you to create your perfect itinerary. With FREEDOM you can….

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“At Just You, we’ve been crafting worldwide touring holidays specifically for solo travellers for over 20 years. There’s so much included in our tours: flights, accommodation (own rooms are guaranteed) and all breakfasts. We pack in amazing experiences, as well as free time to relax and explore. With expert Holiday Directors, we’re there for you throughout your trip.”

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Oasis Overland Adventure Travel has been providing a unique travel experience for over 20 years – very different to that of a normal package holiday. Without the worry of organising your complex trip, sit back and immerse yourself in cultures of the regions you pass though whilst making friends within the group.

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Paramount Cruises are a boutique, independent cruise specialist based in London. They endeavour to put together great value, tailor-made cruise packages which will leave you with lasting memories. Their staff our experts in cruise with years of knowledge and first hand experience in cruising, giving you the best, first hand advice and options to make your cruise holiday one to remember.

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Riviera Travel is the UK’s leading luxury river cruise & tour company with over 38 years’ experience in crafting worldwide tours, luxury river cruises, rail holidays and UK tours. Their commitment to quality & thoughtfulness has earned them a coveted Which? recommendation.

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For more than 60 years, Travelsphere has been crafting amazing itineraries to destinations around the world. They take care of all the details so you don’t have to. From flights, hotels, the services of an expert Holiday Director, and a range of incredible experiences, each tour is designed to immerse you in local culture, cuisine and take you to explore all the very best sights.

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Tropical Sky offers luxury tailor-made tours and holidays specialising in providing expert travel advice and exceptional unhurried customer service. With a wealth of experience we will find the perfect trip for you.

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Visions of Africa will guide you through discovering your dream holiday. The team have vast experience in creating the most perfect safaris and self drive trips tailored to your specific requirements. Speak with their experts about beginning your journey to this amazingly diverse continent.

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“We’re not your ordinary travel agency. We’re a community of travellers.
WeRoad was born to connect people, cultures and stories through that magical activity that we call ‘travelling’. We group people together and send them to live incredible adventures around the globe.”

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Have you considered...

Helicopter Tours

Don’t just visit Cape Town, let it take your breath away. Create a custom HELICOPTER TOUR around Cape Town, or select one of NAC Helicopters carefully curated helicopter charters: including the Cape winelands, golf courses, private game reserves and much more.

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Hotels

  • Best of the Best
  • Life of Luxury
  • Unique & Fabulous
  • Creature Comforts
  • Basics covered

4* Lord Charles Hotel

Located just 25 minutes from Cape Town International Airport, at the foothills of the Helderberg Mountains on 22 acres of idyllic landscaping, the iconic Lord Charles Hotel is perfectly situated in the Cape Winelands.

This newly refurbished Hotel maintains it’s classic flair, but with a contemporary twist.  Guests can enjoy traditional luxury in the newly appointed rooms and resort style amenities featuring tennis courts, swimming pools, Spa & Hair Salon, fitness facilities, a revitalized feature dam and mouth-watering cuisine in different dining options.

For those travellers looking to explore beyond the gates, the property’s unique location caters to an eclectic range of interests.  From white sand beaches and world-renowned golf courses, to wine tasting at  local wine farms or retail therapy at Somerset Mall or the well-known V & A Waterfront in Cape Town, the Lord Charles Hotel makes an ideal base for the ultimate stay.

Our Rating: Creature Comforts

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5* Fairlawns Hotel & Spa

Set among lush acres of landscaped gardens you’ll find Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa, an urban sanctuary right in the heart of Johannesburg. With close attention to detail and exceptional service, Fairlawns creates an intimate atmosphere where some of the globe’s most vibrant personalities converge. The chic, upscale suites are individually decorated in varying themes ranging from Eastern influence to French provincial, each featuring every desired modern amenity. The hotel also caters to a variety of culinary tastes with an array of elegant dining experiences to choose from.

Our Rating: Best of the Best

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5* Fancourt

Fancourt, South Africa’s premier lifestyle resort, is nestled in the heart of South Africa’s Garden Route in George. The resort lies on 613 hectares of pristine countryside sheltered by the Outeniqua Mountains, offering luxurious rooms and suites for those looking a warm relaxed and entertaining Garden Route Retreat.
For keen golfers, Fancourt needs no introduction. There are three Gary Player designed golf courses as well as a Golf Academy. Discover Fancourt’s many leisure activities including The Spa with an indoor heated Roman Bath and world class wellness treatments. The Leisure Centre offers an array of facilities and activities to keep guests of all ages and interests entertained. The Centre houses the popular Kidz Club, teen lounge, gymnasium, cinema, indoor heated and outdoor swimming pool. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy tennis, running and walking trails, bird watching and fishing. Four top restaurants each offer a distinctive dining experience to appeal to every palate.

Our Rating: Life of Luxury

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5* Gorah Elephant Camp, Eastern Cape

Experience the adventure and romantic mystique of the authentic African safari of centuries past. Gorah Elephant Camp is a luxurious tented camp, with a gracious manor house overlooking a waterhole teaming with game in the heart of the Addo National Park.
Gorah is the only private concession and Camp situated in the middle of the famous Addo Elephant National Park, home to the densest population of elephants on earth. Gorah is malaria-free and has the Big 5.

Our Rating: Unique & Fabulous

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5* Hunter's Country House, Garden Route

Hunters Country House combines gracious elegance with sheer comfort and impeccable service with warm hospitality. Far from the madding crowd, yet conveniently close to a wide variety of leisure activities.
Ideally situated between the coastal towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape, Hunter’s Country House is a wonderful location from which to explore the beauty of the celebrated Garden Route, or just to spend time relaxing at the peaceful lodge.

Our Rating: Unique & Fabulous

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5* Lanzerac

Steeped in history dating back to 1692, Lanzerac is synonymous with old-world charm and rich Cape Heritage. Gatekeeper to the majestic Jonkershoek Valley, Lanzerac is the ultimate getaway to relax your senses. This iconic property hosts an elegant five-star premium boutique hotel, offering 53 exquisitely styled rooms, acclaimed bars, restaurants, a remarkable Tasting Room & Deli, and a chic day spa.

Our Rating: Unique & Fabulous

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5* Last Word Constantia

Last Word Constantia is a serene sanctuary tucked away in the verdant, storied Constantia valley, origin of South Africa’s most acclaimed viticulture.

Nine beautiful guest rooms and suites are all en-suite and appointed with fine linens and sumptuous furnishings. The elegant décor offers a restful backdrop to our world-class hospitality. Superior Rooms and three suite categories namely Elegant, Family and Pool Suites catering to the discerning taste of the well-heeled traveller. The latter, features a private plunge pool and dedicated garden, offers ultimate privacy.

Our Rating: Unique & Fabulous

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5* Last Word Franschhoek

Last Word Franschhoek is situated in the heart of the village, South Africa’s gourmet capital, just minutes walk from cafes, boutique shops and, of course, its most in-demand restaurants. Wines and farms are easily accessible by car, the popular wine tram or by using our in-house driver and vehicle. There are ten inordinately large rooms on two floors including two pool suites each with its own semi-private plunge pool. With the help of their cheerful and generous team, let managers Conrad and Franklin help plan your perfect Franschhoek experience by suggesting dining options and activities. After a long day of wine tasting, return to the oasis and relax around the pool or regenerate in the well-appointed comfort of your suite before heading back out to the local restaurants and succumb to their temptations. More indulgences with complimentary unlimited Wi-Fi, lavish breakfasts, all beverages including select wines and premium spirits and nightly turndowns.

Our Rating: Life of Luxury

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5* Last Word Kitara

Last Word Kitara is in the 60000ha Klaserie Private Nature reserve which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park, home to the largest and most diverse concentration of wild animals in the world, including the Big Five. Kitara is a real bush retreat in the more remote regions of the Klaserie, where game viewing is very exclusive. It’s the ultimate safari. Guests will have nature virtually to themselves. Six luxury suites are perched on the banks overlooking the Klaserie river where big game can be seen regularly. Day or night guests will be accompanied on game drives and walking safaris in small personal groups. The cuisine is discerning and the drinks most agreeable. Link your safari to visits to The Last Word’s other Intimate Hotels in Constantia, Franschhoek or Long Beach, Kommetjie. All meals and Wi-Fi are complimentary, as are select beverages, wines and premium spirits.

Our Rating: Life of Luxury

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5* Last Word Long Beach

Located on the beach in the small fishing village of Kommetjie fronted by eight kilometres of pristine white sand. The majestic Table Mountain backdrop perfectly complements uninterrupted views of the sea from the hotel including every one of the six rooms. Décor by Jim Thompson and Kravet and custom artwork by Gabrielle Raath reflect the beach house style. There is no better place in Cape Town to hideaway, relax, unwind and enjoy the surf, sun and sand than in your own five-star beach suite. With the help of their warm and characterful team, hosts Kim and Fanie will assist with daily arrangements and desires. Our three course dinners are a seafood speciality and include such guest favourites as snoek pâté, Patagonian calamari, Thai mussels and grilled linefish. It’s also complimentary. Also included unlimited Wi-Fi, breakfasts, all beverages including select wines and premium spirits and nightly turndowns.

Our Rating: Life of Luxury

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5* Mhondoro Safari Lodge & Villa

Mhondoro Safari Lodge & Villa is a luxurious, five-star private safari lodge and villa situated within the malaria-free Welgevonden Game Reserve in the Waterberg District of the Limpopo Province in South Africa. In an under three-hour drive or a one hour flight from Johannesburg, you can escape into this ideal safari destination to experience the magic of the Big 5 at home here in the African bush.

Our Rating: Best of the Best

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5* Saseka Tented Camp

Saseka feels very much like a shining jewel in the Thornybush crown with a strikingly unique layout that finds a superb balance between cutting-edge design, classical style and feeling connected to the outside environment.
The nine luxurious tented suites combine stylish interiors, sweeping decks and private pools with uninterrupted views of the seasonal Monwana riverbed and world-class game viewing in this Big 5 reserve.

Our Rating: Life of Luxury

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5* Shamwari Private Game Reserve

Situated in the heart of the Eastern Cape of Southern Africa. Home to vast plains and valleys of pristine wilderness where an abundance of wildlife roam. Shamwari boasts several lodges, each tailored to meet specific needs, from a family friendly haven to a tented paradise.

Our Rating: Life of Luxury

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5* Simbambili Game Lodge

Set in the famous Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Simbambili has world-class game viewing opportunities. The nine spacious suites face the riverbed and woodlands, each with its own private plunge pool, sala bed on the deck and a free-standing bath.
Guests are made to feel at home through the personal touches and calming nature of the setting, with many an hour spent on the main deck keeping an eye on the large waterhole and its ever-changing visitors just below.

Our Rating: Life of Luxury

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5* The Manor House at Fancourt

With the elegance of yesteryear and the exclusivity of a serene country retreat, The Manor House at Fancourt epitomises understated sophistication and a tradition that spans over a century.
As the former home of Henry Fancourt White, built in the 1850s by the British engineer in the style of a Cotswold mansion, this exquisite boutique country hotel retains all its stately charm, with original features and an air of historic importance and modern comfort that leaves guests relaxed and pampered throughout their stay.

Our Rating: Unique & Fabulous

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5* The Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa

The 5-star Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa is situated on Thesen Islands in Knysna. The intuitive architecture pays homage to the old power station it once was. The Turbine Spa has a wide range of treatments for hotel guests and the hotel’s very own adventure centre – the Turbine Water Club – arranges a variety of water and land-based activities such as lagoon cruises, forest walks and bicycle hire.

Our Rating: Unique & Fabulous

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5* The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa

Perched above the ocean in the shadow of South Africa’s most famous mountain range is The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa. The perfect place to watch the sun set into the Atlantic, dine on fine international cuisine, luxuriate in the hotel’s award-winning spa, or relax and enjoy the warm, first-class service.

Our Rating: Best of the Best

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5* Tsala Treetop Lodge, Garden Route

Tsala exudes a mysticism that makes it a destination people wish to explore and experience – it is like no other found in Africa. It has a legendary rhythm and ambience that emulates from its spectacular architecture and history. Ideally situated to explore the beautiful Garden Route or just to spend time relaxing at the peaceful lodge.

Our Rating: Unique & Fabulous

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5* Walkersons Hotel & Spa

The rolling highland hills surround this stately country hotel, a short 10km scenic drive from Dullstroom. Superb rainbow trout fishing, horse riding, panoramic walks, a treatment at the wellness centre are amongst some of the activities available to discerning guests. Each meal is a carefully crafted journey of the senses and is presented in the dining room or out on the patio. Luxurious suites warmed by log fires feature an array of facilities before settling down for a peaceful nights rest.

Our Rating: Best of the Best

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Top Holiday Offers

We’ve hand-picked a range of enticing offers to incredible destinations. If you want value for money on your next trip, start by reviewing our dedicated Top Holiday Offers page.

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