South Africa, enjoy culture and nature

South Africa is almost 30 times the size of the Netherlands. A large part of the population is a member of a Christian church. There are also quite a few Jews and Muslims in the country.

  • General information
  • Towns
  • Nature reserves
  • Best travel period
  • Summers and winters
  • Passport for South Africa
  • Vaccinations and malaria
  • South African Rand
  • Official languages in South Africa
  • Traditions

 

General information

  • Continent: Africa
  • Original name: South Africa
  • Languages: English, Afrikaans, Ndebele, Xhosa, Zulu, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Tswana, Swati, Venda, Tsonga
  • Currency: South African Rand

 

Towns

Cape Town

The most famous city in South Africa is Cape Town, nearby is Somonstown, where penguins live. This is the legislative capital of South Africa.

Pretoria

Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa and is also the financial heart of the country. Pretoria is approximately 50 kilometers from Johannesburg. The city is known all over the world thanks to Nelson Mandela. The city has also grown a lot as a result. In the city you will find many buildings in the Victorian style. There are many attractions in the city, such as in the city center itself on Church Square. Here you will find a statue of Paul Kruger, the first president of South Africa. Also interesting is the Union Building, which is built on a hill. The city has more than 70,000 Jacaranda trees, all of which bloom around October.

Johannesburg

Johannesburg is the largest city in the country and is also the economic center. The city used to be known for its gold, but now many companies are located there. Johannesburg is also known as a city with a high crime rate. Nevertheless, Johannesburg is a city that is definitely worth a visit. If you want a view of the entire city, it is best to go to The Carlton Panorama, a building where you can take the elevator to a height of 202 meters. Little Kinshasa is a special building with a round shape, where immigrants from Congo settled. In Johannesburg you will also find many museums that you can visit. There are also many eateries and cafes. You can take the children to Gold Reef City, an amusement park and open-air museum in one.
The city of Bloemfontein is also definitely worth a visit. Another well-known tourist city is Durban. This is a real seaside resort where people like to come. It is definitely worth a visit here.

Nature reserves

South Africa is known for its nature reserves, such as Kruger National Park, Addo Elephant National Park and Drakensberg Mountains. A great diversity of nature can be seen here. There are savannas, desert-like areas and mountains. There are also many different plants and trees. And of course there are many different animal species living in South Africa. You can see elephants, buffalos, rhinos and kudu. There are also many different bird species both on land and in water, making the nature reserves ideal for bird watchers.

Best travel period

South Africa is great to visit all year round. In general, however, the months of April, May, October and November are considered the best travel period. Do you want to see whales? Then it is best to go to the city of Hermanus in the months of June to November. The best travel period for the Tsitsikamma National Park is from September to November.

Summers and winters

Summers and winters in South Africa are the opposite of ours. The warmest month is therefore January and the coldest is July. The winters are mild, but in some places it can still reach 20 degrees. In summer the average temperature is between 25 and 35 degrees, but it can also reach an even higher temperature. There is no clear rainy period in South Africa. Every season therefore has its own charms to visit the country.

Passport for South Africa

You do not need a visa to visit South Africa. You do need a valid passport that is still valid for at least three months after your return. Always keep your passport with you so that you do not lose it during the trip. If necessary, also make sure you have an extra copy somewhere else in your luggage. Safety in South Africa is reasonable, but there are still many pickpockets in various places.

Vaccinations and malaria

It is recommended to take at least the vaccinations against DTP and hepatitis A. Always consult the GGD or your GP for any additional vaccinations. They are always aware of the latest news. Also make sure you have malaria tablets, as the malaria mosquito lives in South Africa. You can also take an anti-mosquito product with you, as well as a mosquito net. At some locations it is best to wear long clothes, as there can be a lot of mosquitoes.

South African Rand

In South Africa payment is made with the South African Rand. Debit card payment is possible in all major towns and also in some smaller villages. Traveler’s checks are accepted everywhere, but this is often time-consuming work. In addition, many banks have an afternoon closure, so you cannot always cash the checks. The credit card is accepted everywhere. Try to get small notes of money. In many places in South Africa, change is not available.

Official languages in South Africa

South Africa has a total of 11 official languages. These are English, Afrikaans, Ndebele, Xhosa, Zulu, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Tswana, Swati, Venda and Tsonga. Most of these are the Bantu languages recognized by the state today. English is mainly used in South Africa for official and commercial occasions. As a tourist you can usually communicate well with the residents in English. The residents also really appreciate it if you show an interest in the other official languages that are spoken there.

Traditions

South Africa often seems very Western, due to colonialization in the last century. Yet there are still many people who live according to traditions. These traditions can differ per region and sometimes even per village. Always be alert to these cultural differences, which can be very large, especially in rural areas. The population likes it when you show interest in their traditions. Sometimes they even let tourists participate in special traditions. This can be a very unique experience, both for locals and tourists.

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