is South Afrlca's fastest growing Industry and contributes about
4,9% of gross domestlc product. Total annual foreign arrivals to
South Africa increased significantly between 1994 and 2001. In 2001,
arrivals from outside the continent continued to grow by 2,7%
desplte the global slowdown. Much of this growth is the result of
marketing campaigns in the Netherlands, France, the United States
the Unlted Kingdom (UK) and Germany. In June 2002, the Minister of
Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Mr Valli Moosa, announced that
foreign tourist arrivals to South Africa had grown by 76% in the
flrst four months of 2002 — as compared to the same period in
2001 — to 2,1 million. The total overseas arrivals to South
Africa from January to April 2002 grew by 13,4% (69 428) to 589 168
while arrivals from Africa for the same period increased to 1,4 million
(up 5,3% on the same period in 2001). Tourism employs an
estimated 7% of South Africa's work-force, and is regarded as
potentially the largest provider of jobs and earner of foreign
exchange. It is projected that in 2010 the South African tourism
economy will employ more than 1,2 million people (directly and
indirectly). Tourism is the fourth-largest industry in South Africa,
supporting some 700 hotels, 2 800 guest-houses and bed-and-breakfast
establishments, and 10 000 restaurants. There are some major
strengths operating in South Africa's favour which can facilitate
further tourism growth, including:
national tourism assets of incomparable
in certain segments
a diversity of tourism products, especially adventure, ecotourism
and cultural attractions
for money relative
to key competitors, partly owing
to foreign exchange rates
positive global perceptions of peaceful political transition in
fastest growing segment of tourlsm in South Africa
is ecological tourism (ecotourism), which includes nature
photography, bird-watching, botanical studies, snorkelling, hiking
and mountaineering national and provincial parks in South Africa, as
well as private game reserves, involve local communities in the
conservation and management of natural resources. These communities
are not only benefiting financially from ecotourism, but also
becoming aware of their responsibility to the environment. The
high foreign exchange value of ecotourism enables significant economic
values to be assigned to ecological resources, in this way helping
to promote their conservation. Community tourism is becoming increasingly popular, with
tourists wanting to experience South
the many rural villages and townships across the country.
information on Tourism can be accessed by consulting
African Yearbook 2002/2003
(chapter 21 on Tourism) at :
A TO Z GUIDE TO SOUTH AFRICA
is a wide range of types of accommodation in South Africa, from five
star hotels to lodges, guest houses, bed & breakfast
establishments, self-catering properties and youth hostels. You can
stay with international
hotel groups such as Inter-Continental, Global Resorts, Holiday Inn,
Legacy Hotels & Resorts, Orient Express Hotels, Protea Hotels,
Sun, Sun International, Three Cities Hotels, as well as Relais &
and many others. The Portfolio Collection has three accommodation
guides, covering bed & breakfast, country retreats, and luxury
Country Places. The AA Accommodation Guides provide the most
lists of hotels, chalets, game reserves, caravan routes, bed &
breakfast and self-catering establishments.
and backpackers accommodation is also available. Contact:
South African Tourism for a Factsheet.
cases of emergency dial 10177
Domestic Airlines/ International Scheduled Airlines below.
major commercial banks offer foreign exchange services and are found
in every large town. Some are able to provide foreign exchange using
your bank or credit cards. Rand traveller's cheques are now available.
Visitors can also obtain cash using their bank cards from many of the
automatic teller machines (ATMs) outside banks. Check the symbols
on the machines with those on your card — and remember your
number! Most commercial banks are open from 09.00 - 15.30, Mondays
to Fridays; from 08.30-11.00 on Saturdays.
Africa boasts a 3,000 km coastline, stretching from the Atlantic in
the west to the Indian Ocean in the east. Along it's length is
a seemingly endless range of beautiful beaches which are great
for a relaxing stop-over on a tour or, with their wealth of nearby
attractions, are superb venues for a sun, sea and sand holiday.
Most are ideal for families, swimming
safe and hygienic. Tests have shown that the seawater off South
Africa's beaches is among the cleanest in the world. There are a host
of activities to enjoy — from surfing and windsurfing to sailing
and deep sea
Africa has one of the widest diversities of bird types in the world,
boasting more than 870 different species. The Kruger National Park and
Kalahari Gemsbok National Park are amongst the last strongholds of the
large raptors, such as vultures and eagles. Reserves such as Ndumo,
Mkuzi, Lake Sibaya and St. Lucia in northern KwaZulu-Natal are highly
recommended for bird enthusiasts, as they are breeding grounds for migrating
flocks of pelicans and flamingos. An
impressive range of birds inhabit the fynbos reserves of the Western
Cape and the Langebaan Lagoon is populated in the summer by over
50,000 birds including enormous numbers of curlew and sandpipers. In
the Free State, the goldfield pans and Seekoeivlei, support large bird
populations. Inland regions such as Nylsvlei and Barberspan in the
Northern Province are fine locations for birdwatching. Birds peculiar
to the bushveld are found in great numbers, especially at
who wish to travel from South Africa to neighbouring countries
should contact the Department of Home Affairs website for details of
the opening and closing times of the relevant border posts
number of international and local car hire companies offer a range of
good-quality vehicles to suit all needs and budgets, like Avis
Rent-a-Car, Budget-Rent-a-Car, Cape Car Hire, Car-Tel, Felix
Unite, Europcar, Hertz, Imperial, Tempest and others. A credit card is
required — and drivers must be at least 23 years old.
interest are the spectacular Cango Caves at Oudtshoorn, the famous
archeological site at the Sterkfontein Caves near Krugersdorp, the
Sudwala and Echo caves in Mpumalanga and the Wonderwerk Cave in the
Northern Cape which houses fascinating San rock paintings dating back
Africa has a wonderful climate with warm sunshine all the year round.
Because the country lies in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are
the reverse of those in Europe, making it an ideal destination for
escaping the winter blues. For seeing the wildlife, the bright, dry
days of the South African winter are best — when the more sparse
vegetation makes it easier to see the animals. Cape
Town and the southernmost part of Western Cape has a
Mediterranean-type climate, with hot summers and warm winters, while
Durban and the KwaZulu-Natal coast is sub-tropical, with plenty of
sunshine year round.
- DISTANCE AND TEMPERATURES
throughout South Africa are given in kilometres. One mile is
equivalent to 1.62 kilometres. For a quick conversion of kilometres
into miles divide by eight and multiply by five. Temperatures are
given in degrees Celsius (Centigrade). Ten degrees Celsius is
equivalent to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, 20'C = 68'F, 30'C = 86'F.
holiday spending money goes a long way in South Africa. Thanks to an
extremely advantageous exchange rate costs are considerably lower than
in Europe or the USA.
Major international credit cards such as American
Express, Bank of America, Diners, MasterCard, Standard Bank Card, Visa
and their affiliates are accepted. However use may be restricted
in small towns and country areas and in some retail shops. Automatic
teller machines (ATMs) are situated outside most banks in towns and
cities and operate 24 hours a day.
For those who are in no hurry, the following cruise and
cargo ships offer passenger accommodation on services to South Africa:
Andrew Weir Shipping/RMS St. Helena, Cunard, Mediterranean Shipping,
PRO Nedloyd, Pathfinder (Safmarine), Strand Travel and Voyages.
The currency is the Rand, which is divided into 100
cents. The amount of cash brought in as South African currency is
restricted to SAR 5,000.
cigarettes, 250 grams of tobacco and 50 cigars, one litre of spirit,
litres of wine, 50ml of perfume and 250ml of toilet water. Also tufts,
souvenirs and all other goods to the value of R500. No person under 18
is entitled to the alcohol or tobacco allowance. Duty is levied at 20%
There are facilities in South Africa for people with disabilities,
although they are limited. It is best to check with hotels precisely
what's available. The Association for the Physically Disabled
can provide information about facilities and outdoor activities to
those with disabilities, Tel: +27 (0) 11 646 8331. SAA provides
passenger aid units at all major airports. Many hotels offer
facilities for the disabled as do most rest camps in the Kruger
National Park. The larger car hire companies can provide vehicles for
hand controls. A directory of services for the visually handicapped is
available from the SA National Council for the Blind (Tel: +27 (0)12
are opportunities for diving along much of South Africa's coastline, from
the Cape to KwaZulu-Natal. Around Cape Town there are huge kelp
forests to explore as well as sunken wrecks. Sodwana Bay, on KwaZulu-Natal's
north coast, is ideal for tropical reef diving while off the
province's South Coast there's the chance to go shark diving. The
infrastructure for diving is well developed — so South Africa is
a good place to learn to dive.
water is safe to drink.
licences with integral photos as well as the signature of the holder
are required by law in South Africa. Driving is on the left and speed
limits are in kilometres and are 120 km/h on the highways and 60 km/h
areas. Cash is required to pay for fuel — credit cards are not
goods can be purchased at Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban
is 220/240 volts at 50 cycles per second. A three-point round-pin
adapter plug is required for razors and hairdryers and travel irons
— these adapters can be purchased in South Africa.
10111 for the police and 10177 for an ambulance.
Africa enjoys a lively nightlife, with discos and night clubs open until
the early hours. Entertainment ranges from ballet and opera
performances through to pop concerts. Some venues, such as Sun City in
North West Province, attract world famous stars. Check the local
newspaper for entertainment details. Most main centres have their own
museums and art galleries. There are also craft centres showing the
skills of South African artists.
South African Tourism has
produced a series of Fact Sheets on activities and special interest
topics including; Accommodation, Adventure, Backpacker Holidays,
Camping, Fishing, Game Reserves, Geography, Golf, Hiking, Hunting,
Incentives, Restaurants, Self-Drive Day Tours, Surfing, The Classic
Tour, The People of South Africa, Transport, Useful Websites and Wine
Routes. For further information contact the South African Tourism
is one of South Africa's most popular sports. Many game reserves have
dams, rivers or a stretch of coastline where fishing is enjoyed. There
are about 250 species of freshwater fish in southern Africa and some
1,500 sea-water species along its coastline. A fishing licence is
required. Contact the International Game Fishing Association on its
than 24,000 plant species are to be found in South Africa, nearly 10
of all the flowering species found on earth. The Garden Route along
the Western and Eastern Cape is so named because of the lushness
the vegetation there.
cities have their own botanical gardens. Some tours from overseas
based around a floral theme, visiting Namaqualand, for instance, when
this semi-desert area bursts into flower in August or September
the amount of rainfall during June/July.
the National Botanical Institute of South Africa on www.kirstenbosch.corn
flying time to Johannesburg is only about 10 hours 30 minutes from London,
11 hours 30 minutes from Frankfurt, 12 hours 30 minutes from New York
and 14 hours 20 minutes from Sydney.
South Africa boasts a wide
range of golf courses often in spectacular locations. Durban Country
Club course looks out over the Indian Ocean while some of those in
Cape Town have Table Mountain for a backdrop. The bunkers on the 13th
hole on the course at the Lost City at Sun City are home to crocodiles,
while the golf course in Skukuza (Kruger National Park) is unfenced! In
November 2002, South Africa hosts the prestigious Presidents Cup and
the Million Dollar Challenge at Sun City. Contact the South African
Golf Association Tel: +27 (0)11 442 3723, E-mail: email@example.com
vaccination certificates are required from visitors coming from
visitors from a yellow fever zone must have a valid certificate.
Visitors to the eastern lowveld of Mpumalanga and Province, the
Kruger National Park and the game reserves in KwaZulu-Natal should
a course of anti-malaria tablets. Consult your doctor.
In a malaria region, avoid wearing perfume
or after-shave and wear long sleeves
and long trousers at night. Some game reserves are malaria free.
The bilharzia parasite is present in streams,
rivers, lakes and dams in some of
the northern and eastern parts of the country, so visitors should not
drink from or bathe in these waters. The Eastern Cape is bilharzia
free. Tap water is safe, and health regulations control street food
South Africa boasts excellent medical facilities, visitors
ensure they take out insurance to cover the cost of treatment should
arise. Most hotels have a list of doctors, whose names
also be found in the 'medical' section of telephone directories.
is a popular pastime in South Africa and there are hiking trails
throughout the country, some gentle, some more demanding. A number of
specialist operators have put together packages enabling the visitor
to explore some of the most beautiful parts of the country on foot.
trails and safaris are offered by a number of specialist operators in
South Africa. From horse back, riders can discover the grandeur of the
Drakensberg Mountains or explore the lovely scenery of the Winelands.
Day trails and overnight trails are available — some even
involving game viewing.
information offices are located at international airports and at main
centres throughout South Africa.
Africa's main airport, the Johannesburg International Airport, is 30
from Johannesburg and 60 km from Pretoria. Airport buses to
the SAA terminal run every 30 minutes and there are also services to
and from Pretoria. Several hotels provide courtesy buses, taxis are
plentiful and comparatively inexpensive although check the meter is
running at the start of the journey. There are also international
airports at Cape Town (about 2O km from the city) and Durban ~ (16
km). Buses and taxis are also available.
50 international airlines now fly to South Africa so getting there is
easy. Contact your local travel agent for details.
of the relatively small time change (see local time below) -
travellers from Europe do not suffer from jet lag, despite the
are 11 official languages in South Africa. English is language
of administration and is widely spoken. Other languages are: Afrikaans,
Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda,
Xhosa and Zulu.
+ two hours.
are luggage storage facilities at railway stations and airports.
standard of medical care throughout South Africa is excellent, comparing
favourably with that provided in Europe. Bear in mind though
all medical treatment must be paid for so take out adequate
health insurance before you go.
are about 500 museums in South Africa with various specialities such
as geology, natural history, archeology, history, art and much more.
more under "about south africa" - national symbols subpage.
Africa's national flower is the protea, named after the Greek God,
Proteus, who could change his shape at will. The springbok gazelle is
the national animal, while the endangered blue crane is
the national bird.
more under "consular services" - general visa requirements.
of full EU passports do not currently require visas for a holiday
visit. It is advisable to check with the South African Embassy, or
High Commission, before departure. Passports must be valid for six
months after the intended date of return from South Africa. Visitors
must have a return ticket.
sunny weather of South Africa makes it a photographer's paradise. The
brilliant light gives gorgeous saturated colours and the skies are
ever changing with amazing cloud formations.
with their deep red, ochre and purple hues, are unforgettable. Add an
ever-changing variety of landscapes, a wealth of wildlife and vibrant
cultural ceremonies and you have a country 'that must be remembered on
South African Art Galleries regularly schedule photographic exhibits
while the Bensusan Museum of Photography in Museum Africa, Johannesburg,
the Durban Centre for Photography, BAT Complex, Durban, the
Duggan-Cronin Gallery, McGregor Museum, Kimberley and the Hugh Exton
Museum of Photography, Pietersburg are dedicated to the art of the
As South Africa settles down to a peaceful democracy the names of
are being changed to reflect the new spirit of reconciliation. While
every effort has been made to up-date these names in this publication,
we cannot guarantee that all changes have been included.
130,000 well-trained officers, South African Police Service, is
dedicated to the prevention of crime by high visibility policing in
the main centres of tourism — with special help provided for
international visitors. To find out general information contact SAPS
on +27 (0)800 130800. In emergencies dial 10111.
1 (New Year' s Day), March 21 (Human Rights Day), March 29
Friday), April 1 (Family Day), April 27 (Freedom Day),
1 (Workers' Day), June 16 (Youth Day), August 9 (National Woman's Day),
September 24 (Heritage Day), December 16 (Day of Reconciliation),
December 25 (Christmas Day), December 26 (Day of Goodwill). If any of
these public holidays falls on a Sunday the public holiday falls on
the following Monday.
operates a rail network connecting main centres such as Johannesburg,
Cape Town, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein and
Pretoria. The Main Line Passenger Services has a new African name,
Shosholoza Meyl and a number of improvements have been made. A new
Premier Classe service has been introduced between Pretoria and Cape
Town. Central Reservations +27 (0)86 000 888 or contact the www.spoornet.co.za
denominations are represented. Churches, mosques, temples and
synagogues are located in most major cities. Consult your hotel
are road tolls on certain main highways and N roads. Drivers should
therefore have a supply of small denomination notes and coins.
Africa is basically a safe place for
tourists. Nevertheless you can reduce the risk of crime by taking a
few sensible precautions
such as you would in
any other country, or indeed in your own home town.
Do not draw
attention to yourself by flaunting large amounts of cash or jewellery.
A camera round your neck identifies you as a tourist — carry it
in a shoulder-bag
Park in well lit areas, ensure car doors are
kept locked and do not leave packages or personal items on the seat of the car,
put them in the boot. Plan your route in advance, use maps
when in doubt as to the safety of specific areas or which route to
take - contact the
door securely when you are in
room. Put valuables in the hotel safety deposit boxes.
not needlessly display guest room keys in public.
and taxi-drivers should recover 10% of the bill, unless a service
charge is levied. Five Rand per bag is recommended for porters.
South African craftwork, such as bowls, clay pots, beadwork, carvings,
tapestries and paintings are good value and make interesting souvenirs.
Jewellery is also worth looking out for — after all, South
Africa is the home of gold and diamonds. Clothing, brightly coloured
ethnic wear, safari suits for both men and women, and t-shirts with
African designs provide practical reminders of a memorable holiday.
Because of the advantageous exchange rate, all clothing and footwear
is comparatively inexpensive. Shops open from 08.00 to 16.30 Mondays
to Fridays and
08.30 — 12.30 on Saturdays, although in the main centres,
opening hours are likely to be longer. Hours may vary from province to
Africa is a sporting nation where excelence on the field is highy
prized. There are rugby and football stadiums in all main centres and matches
are well-supported by local fans.
The atmosphere will easily infect visiting
sports enthusiasts. Cricket is also
popular. Many South African sporting
teams are keen to host matches with
Africa is one of the few
countries where steam
are still used on a significant
scale, so, not surprisingly, it is
popular with enthusiasts. They range
from the luxury "Pride of Africa"
Rovos Rail to narrow gauge railways like
the Midmar Steam Railway
operates "Golden Thread"
safaris from Cape Town. For
looking for a scenic ride, the
Outeniqua Choo Tjoe runs between
George and Knysna.
hotels now have direct international dialing from the phone in your room
or you can be connected via the switchboard.
Public phones in South Africa are either coin or card operated. Only
green public telephones use telephone cards. The cards come in amounts
ranging from R10 to R200 and can be bought at various hotels, post
offices, airports, bookshops and supermarkets. Local calls made from a
'phone box cost approximately 40 cents for three minutes. Trunk calls
vary with the distance between exchanges.
phones, known as cell phones in South Africa, are widely
international code for South Africa is 27, which should be preceded by
your international prefix. When dialing from outside South Africa the
'0' at the front of the local area code should be omitted, but it
when dialling within the country. When dialling international
numbers Rom within South Africa the international dialling code should
be prefixed with 09.
tours are now available to African Township, like Soweto. There`s the
opportunity to discover more about urban African culture, perhaps
meeting the locals in bars known as shebeens.
currently at the rate of 14%, is levied on most items and services,
including hotel accomodation, goods, transport and tours. VAT can be
re-claimed at the point of international departure on showing the
goods. Please refer the VAT shop at the international airport.
African's MTN Whale Route stretches 2,OOO km from Strandfontein
on the Atlantic West Coast to Durban on the Indian Ocean. At least 37
species of whales and dolphins can be seen. The whales season runs
from June to December. The resort of Hermanus, in the Western Cape,
employs a Whale Crier to patrol the streets, blowing a horn to alert
visitors to sightings!
camera or camcorder is essential. Batteries and film are generally
in main centres, but it is a good idea to stock up before
going into more remote areas and into the game parks, although some
private reserves have well-stocked shops. Before going into the game
reserves take a can of insect repellent to ward off mosquitoes.
Binoculars will considerably improve the game viewing, while a torch
is a good idea for seeing the way around the camp after dark.
WHAT TO WEAR
the South African summer, lightweight clothing is the norm; in
a jacket, jumper or coat may be needed, particularly in the
some establishments require jacket and tie, or cocktail dresses for
evening, many stipulate "smart casual" — a
collared-shirt and slacks or a blouse and skirt. On the beach, topless
sunbathing is becoming more accepted. At game reserves, neutral
colours, such as browns, beiges and khakis are preferred on game
drives. Bright colours or white may disturb
animals. Pack a sweater, it can be chilly in the early morning
and after dusk. Wear a hat to avoid sun-stroke and don't forget
swimsuits for sitting
the pool during the day.
sensible shoes — there may be the opportunity to go on a walking
are game parks and reserves throughout South Africa where
can be seen in its natural habitat. Best time for game viewing is
during the drier period from April to September, when the vegetation
is more sparse and the game congregates at the waterholes. Conducted
game trails are offered by most parks. Key contacts:
Board, consumer bookings,Tel: +27-(0)12 343 1991, Fax: +27-(0) 343
trade booking, Tel: +27-(0)12 426 5025, Fax: +27-(0)12 343 2006.
Wildlife, consumer bookings, Tel: +27-(0)33 845 1000, Fax: +27-(0)33
bookings, Tel: +27-(0) 33 845 1058, Fax: +27-(0)27 33 845 1004,
Africa`s coastline and its many lakes created by dams make it a
favourite destination for yachtsmen and women. The Cape to Rio Yacht
race takes place every third year, the next starts from Cape Town on
January 11, 2003.