For those adventurous enough to seek it out, South Africa is a place of endless enchantments. It offers you the beauty of its vast and various unspoiled landscapes, the warm welcome of its diverse people, and the excitement of its huge, sophisticated, and ever-evolving cities.
Flights to South Africa
Each major city in South Africa hosts a large international airport, O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB), just outside of Johannesburg, is the busiest airport on the continent, handling 19 million passengers each year. Cape Town International Airport (CPT) is the second busiest, and is located just 12 miles from the city center. King Shaka International Airport (DUR) is a new, modern airport, opened in 2010, which serves the city of Durban.
Whichever destination you choose for your flights to South Africa, it’s important to plan your ground transportation in advance. Shuttles and taxis are available at all airports, but security is an issue. Check with your hotel for suggestions of official, metered taxi operators.
What to do in South Africa
The main draw of South Africa is the once-in-a-lifetime safari experience. Tours rage from the rugged to the ultra-luxurious, but all of them offer a priceless opportunity to see some of the world’s most iconic wildlife roaming free. Before or after your close encounter with the big game, South Africa invites you to explore the many other treasures it has in store. In a country constantly reinventing itself after the pain and glory of Nelson Mandela’s peaceful revolution, the influences of the past merge with a rush of forward progress, creating an energy of exploration that’s hard to resist.
Lose yourself in the legend, culture, and history of the country in Johannesburg’s many moving museums, before entering into the joyful chaos of its surging street markets. Spend a few days in the cosmopolitan jewel of Cape Town, then ramble through the nearby Winelands, tasting some of the world’s most vibrant vintages.
Advice to Tourists Visiting South Africa
You will need an up-to-date passport to visit South Africa. Citizens of the US, Canada, the UK, the EU, and many other countries will not need a visa for stays of up to 90 days. South Africa has 11 official languages. Afrikaans is most widely spoken, though many South Africans speak English as a second language. The currency here is the Rand. International ATMs are widespread in urban centers and major credit cards are widely accepted.
The climate in this enormous country ranges from desert to sub-tropical, and the country is divided into “summer rainfall” and “winter rainfall.” The best time to visit will depend entirely on your destination and your planned activities. If you’re hoping for glimpses of big game, June through September brings cool temperatures and a thinning of obstructive vegetation. For a beach holiday on the coast, try December through March, when the South African Use our free hotel price comparison tool to find accommodations for your trip to South Africa.
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