Note: Travel to any
destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited)
to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and
culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination,
check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice
about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.
When to go:
Possible to dive all year round depending on the dive site. Some sites are not accessible during certain periods due to poor visibility or rough
conditions. Check with the local dive centers.
Marine Life Seasons:
Ragged-tooth sharks from June through November; tiger sharks and hammerhead sharks in summer months; sea turtles nest in December and January. The sardine
run occurs during June and July.
When to Get the Best Deals
May to July.
What to Pack:
7 mm wetsuit, hood, gloves, insect repellent, sunscreen, sturdy hiking shoes and good socks for big game safaris, rain jacket, proper attire for the more
upscale nightlife of Johannesburg and Cape Town; DAN card.
Seasonal averages: 10°C/50°F in winter and 14°C/57°F in summer, though this varies from north to south, with somewhat warmer water in the north.
Seasonal averages: 10°C/50°F in winter and 25°C/78°F in summer.
Rand; Credit cards are widely accepted.
Valid passport; check with local immigration office for visa requirements.
Included in your airfare.
None required, but the CDC recommends an anti-malarial and a yellow fever vaccination. A hepatitis vaccination may also be prudent. Check with your doctor.
What to Eat:
It’s a big country with a wide variety of cuisine. Many traditional dishes revolve around meat, such as the famous biltong – strips of dried meat that come
in various flavors – or barbequing meat, such as throwing some sosaties (skewered meat) or boerewors (spicy farmer’s sausage) on the fire. You’ll also find
game on many menus, such as impala, springbok, warthog and sometimes crocodile – most of which is farm raised. Mieliepap, a stiff corn meal mix, is a
staple and served with most meals. Try melktert (milktart) for dessert.
What to Drink:
Beer is big in South Africa and Castle is the most popular, although there are nearly 40 microbreweries producing wonderful products.
However, it’s South Africa’s vineyards that are producing world-class wines that are not to be missed. Go through wine country and you’ll find lots of
distinctly South African places to drink.
A big game safari in Kruger National Park is a must.
Customs and Culture:
A multi-racial culture steeped in both African and European roots.
Cape Town Jazz Fest, March; Cape Town Minstrels Carnival, January; National Arts Festival, June.
Electricity and Internet:
220V/50Hz; Internet is available in the larger cities.
Drink the water?
Bottled water is recommended.
Although there are 11 official languages, you’ll hear Afrikaans and English spoken in the larger cites.