Useful information for planning your trip to South Africa

There are many sources of tourist information and assistance spread throughout the Southern African region. Your local book shop should have travel literature on South Africa or you can source such books via Kalahari.net. However your personal guide will have access to a wealth of information at his/her finger tips whenever you need it. Whether it be Southern African history and folk lore, interpretation of wild life or general knowledge.
About South Africa

We are situated at the Southern Tip of the African continent. Nine provinces combine to make up the Republic of South Africa, which is bordered by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland. The cold Atlantic Ocean lies on the left (West) and the warm Indian Ocean extends along the Eastern and Southern sides. South Africa is 1.22million sq. km in area and has a population of 47,4 million.

Getting to South Africa
South African Airways (SAA) as well as many of the major "World" airlines fly daily from most of the major airports of the World. Please enquire from your local travel agents. SAA are frequently scheduled connecting flights to all major South African airports.

Safety and Security
n any country in the world where there are less privileged people in numbers, tourists are highly visible and often seen as easy targets and a source of wealth. Be vigilant with all hand luggage and valuables at all times. When using A T M's don't allow yourself to be disturbed and shield the key pad from possible on lookers.
One of the attractions of this Sub Region is that you can experience almost every climatic condition possible. Generally the days are filled with sunshine, and evenings are cool and crisp. Afternoon thunder showers are common in South Africa before sunset after which the African sky opens up to a spectacular sunset.
Visa Requirements
You will need a valid passport. Visa requirements vary from country to country. It is always best to contact the South African Embassy. Citizens of the USA and Commonwealth Countries generally do not require a visas.

The People
South Africa has 11 official languages. English is by far the most common understood language throughout and you will have no problem in communicating with other people. Language can be a bit of a problem at some of the rural roadside craft stalls. Your guides are fluent in English and Afrikaans and have a reasonable grasp of Zulu and will be able to communicate on your behalf.


The unit of currency in South Africa is the RAND. $1 US generally buys you R7.50. Current international exchange rates are very much in the favour of the visitor. Prices are generally considered inexpensive for food and wine compared with anywhere else in the world. The Namibian Dollar and the Swazi Emalangeni are pegged at a par with the S A Rand. The Botswana Pula currently gets you SAR1.20.

SINCE JULY 2009 CREDIT CARDS ARE ACCEPTED FOR FUEL PURCHASES AT FILLING STATIONS. However it is recommended that you first enquire from service station fuel attendants as whether they are able to accept credit cards for fuel payments. (A conversion process is underway)
A Value Added Tax (VAT) of 14% is charged on most goods and services in RSA.  You will be required to pay VAT on anything purchased, but refunds are available at the airport as you leave. (In most cases prices
include VAT) Keep all original invoices (till slips etc) for these goods, which must be presented to customs together with the goods themselves.