South Africa Trade Partner Hub
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Essential Information – Know Before You Go!
When to Visit
South Africa is a year-round destination with the climate varying all over the country. Summer runs from November to March, making the south west hot and dry, while the winter brings mild, dry temperatures to the tropical north east coast.
Other Essential Information
Entry requirements: British and Irish citizens don’t need to obtain a visa for stays of up to 90 days. See requirements for children travelling through South African ports of entry here.
Time zone: GMT+1 (UK & Ireland Summer), GMT+2 (UK & Ireland Winter).
Currency: The Pound remains strong against the Rand (local currency). See the latest conversion here. South Africa is the second cheapest long-haul destination for Brits according Post Office Holiday Money Report 2021. I.e: A glass of wine costs around £2.99, a coffee £1.57 and for a dinner with wine for two you would pay £35.
Languages: South Africa has 11 official languages. English is widely spoken throughout the country.
Tipping: South Africa is similar to the UK, with 10-15% customary in restaurants and for tour guides.
Driving: As in the UK, South Africans drive on the left-hand side of the road. Hiring a vehicle is one of the most affordable options for getting around and also one of the best ways to experience the nation’s breathtaking scenery.
Transfers: Pre-booked transfers offer a relaxing way of seeing the country.
Taxis: Metered taxies are widely available throughout the country, especially in urban areas. Popular taxi apps — such as Uber — are great for getting around cities.
FAQs: Your Most Frequently Asked Questions
How far from Cape Town International Airport to downtown?
The distance from Cape Town International Airport to downtown Cape Town is approximately 20 kilometers (about 12.5 miles) when traveling by road. The travel time can vary depending on traffic conditions, but it usually takes around 20 to 30 minutes by car.
How long is the flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg?
The flight duration between Cape Town and Johannesburg (often referred to as “Joburg”) varies based on factors such as the airline, specific flight route, and weather conditions. On average, a direct flight between Cape Town International Airport (CPT) and OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg takes approximately 2 to 2.5 hours.
Is Johannesburg worth a visit for clients?
Johannesburg is indeed worth a visit for its rich cultural experiences. Avoid booking clients solely at the airport hotel; encourage exploration beyond, allowing them to immerse themselves in the city’s culture.
What is the best way to experience the Garden Route?
Recommend booking clients at the same place for 3 nights along the Garden Route to provide stability and reduce unnecessary travel. This allows for a more relaxed and thorough exploration of the region.
What is the difference between game reserves and national parks?
Game reserves are generally privately owned, while national parks are publicly owned. In national parks, visitors can self-drive, whereas game reserves offer more intimate and guided experiences. Also, mention that game reserves generally have fewer vehicles at animal sightings.
Tips for self-driving in South Africa?
Caution against driving at night due to poor road lighting and potential dangers with people and animals on the roads. Encourage daytime travel as well a clear route, note that Google Maps isn’t always reliable and always check with your final destination for their instructions.
When is the best time to arrive in South Africa?
Flying overnight maximises the time in the country due to the lack of time difference. If clients are arriving in to Suth Africa early in the morning, suggest booking the hotel for the night before to allow for immediate rest and preparation for the day.
Best time to visit Kruger?
Recommend the dry season for optimal wildlife viewing in Kruger National Park. Less vegetation provides better visibility, and animals gather around water sources, making them easier to spot. However, for avid bird watchers, the rainy season is going to offer a richer experience.
How to get around Cape Town?
Encourage clients to use Uber for affordable, safe, and convenient transportation around Cape Town, we would recommend this as well as tours to experience the city – if clients are self driving, arrange for the car to be delivered to their hotel on the day of departure to avoid too much city driving – the traffic can be bad!
Is there parking at game reserves?
Assure clients that there is parking available at game reserves, making it convenient for those who choose to drive themselves.
The Africa Hub
The Africa Hub is a free, accessible and authoritative resource for all things Africa. Often described as “a world in one country” South Africa indeed boasts more than its fair share of the finer things to be found on this planet. Its natural assets lend itself both to classic ‘big five’ (African buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhinoceros) safari and to either breath-taking, remote coastal experiences or an evolved, cool beach scene. Historically, its exceptional climate and stunning topography led to the development of graceful winelands as well as one of the most beautiful urban settings to be found in the world.
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Training Request Form
Would you and your team like training on South Africa? South Africa Tourism can tailor to your needs, from a beginners guide to an in-depth deep dive into the lesser-known areas of the country. Please fill in your details via this form and one of the trade team will be in touch to understand the requirements and arrange a time.