Our Beautiful South Africa

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Our Beautiful South Africa2022-05-09T17:09:24+02:00

Our beautiful country is one of the most culturally and geographically diverse places on earth.

Fondly know by locals as the “RAINBOW NATION”, we have 11 official languages and our multicultural inhabitants are influenced by a fascinating mix of cultures.  You will discover gourmet restaurants, an impressive art scene, vibrant nightlife and the beautiful beaches of Cape Town.  We love to braai (barbeques) and the Winelands offers the finest wines at myriad wine estates an hour out of Cape Town.

Our historical attractions include the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town.  We also have the impressive Table Mountain and Cape Point Nature Reserve where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet.  South Africa also offers remarkable untamed wilderness with its astonishing range of wildlife roaming freely across massive unfenced game reserves such as the world-famous Kruger National Park.

Banking

Most of our banks offer foreign exchange services – cash, debit & credit cards as well as travellers’ cheques (checks).  Cash can also be withdrawn from our ATMS (automatic teller machines).   Several international banks have branches in most of the main centres.

Don’t forget to advise your bank that you are travelling outside of the country as they might block international purchases

Banking and Currency – Our currency is the South African Rand

Travelling around South Africa is easy by air, road and rail.

Facilitating travel around South Africa are 10 airports managed by the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA).  In addition, there are 90 regional airports – Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Nelspruit and the Skukuza Airport, offering access to the Kruger National Park.

We have an extensive road system which makes travelling in South Africa by vehicle convenient and easy.  There are gravel roads in the rural areas though.

Please note for self-driving in South Africa the following applies:

  • A Valid International driver’s licence is required
  • We drive on the left-hand side of the road
  • Wearing seat belts is compulsory and cell phones can only be used “hands free” but we recommend NOT using your cell phone while driving.
  • Speed limits are set at 120Km on the freeways, 100km on secondary roads and 60km in the urban areas
  • Toll fees apply on national roads
  • Petrol stations are widespread
  • Most global car hire firms have branches in South Africa

Metered taxis must be ordered by telephone

Uber is very popular – it is recommended to download the app

We have hop-on-hop-off buses in Cape Town and Johannesburg

Our hygiene standards are high in hotels, restaurants, pubs and nightspots.  Tap water is safe to drink and cook with in urban areas.  When in the rural areas we cannot guarantee the safety of the water.

Restaurants are subject to South Africa’s food safety control legislation, which is implement and monitored by our local government.  Regulations include certification and regular inspections by health inspectors to ensure hygienic standards are maintained.

Vendors selling traditional snacks and meals can be found in city centres and townships.  Food safety in such instances cannot always be guaranteed.

South African temperatures, which are measured in centigrade, averages at highs of 28*C to average lows of 8*C in the summer months while winter temperatures range from 1*C at night to around 18*C in the day.  We have an average of 8.5 hours of sunshine per day.

 

Summer

Bring clothes that are cool, light and comfortable, because summer temperatures can get well into the 30 to 40* C range in some areas.  Don’t forget to pack your swimming costume.

Winter

Winters are generally mild, comparing favourably with European summers.   Pack in jerseys and jackets for the chilly nights and rain gear.

General

Always bring a hat, sunglasses and sunblock as the sun can be strong even in the winter months.

Walking shoes are a good idea all year-round, with warm socks in the winter.

When on safari bring a few neutral-toned items and a good pair of walking shoes.

 

Current is 220/240 volts at 50 cycles per second.  A three-point round-pin adapter plug should be brought for your electrical appliances although most Hotels, Bed & Breakfast and Lodges do have plugs available should you forget yours.

Some of South Africa’s unique words and there meaning:

AIKONA Not on your life
AG or SIS Exclamation of disgust
BABBELAS Hangover
BILTONG Dried meat
BOEREWORS Traditional sausage
BOTTLE STORE Shop that sells alcohol/liquor
BRAAI Barbeque
BRU or CHOMMIE Friend
BUNDU Wild remote country
BUSHVELD Lowveld, usually Mpumalanga or northern Province
CAPE DOCTOR South East wind – Cape Region
CAPE DUTCH Architecture of the early Western cape
CHOW To eat
EINA Ouch
EISH Oh No
FUNDI Expert
GOGGA Insect
HAMBA KAHLE Farewell or goodbye
HOEZIT/HOWZIT Greeting
JOZI Johannesburg
KAAPSTAD Cape Town
KOPPIE Small hill
LEKKA Really Nice
LEKKER Nice or Pleasant
LIFT Elevator
MEALIE Corn on the Cob
MSANSI/MZANZI Common name for South Africa
MUTI African medicine
NOW, NOW Will be done soon and JUST NOW means will be done later
ROBOT Traffic Light
ROOIBOS Herbal tea
SAFARI Bush tour
SAMOOSA Malay triangular curry delicacy
SANGOMA Witchdoctor
SAWUBONA Hello-a universal South African greeting
SHAME Your poor thing or I feel sorry for you
SMS Text
SPOOR The track or footprint of man or animal
STOEP Verandah of a house
TORCH Flash light
TOYI, TOYI Picketing, Protest, A protest dance
VELD South African countryside