9 things you should know before you go

  • Posted by Rebecca Winter
  • January 24, 2014 6:52 PM EET
1. Weather and Seasons
The best time for Game viewing is in the dry season of June to October, but naturally this is also high season for safaris. You will find summer (Nov-March) to be hot with heavy rainfall and can expect thunderstorms. The best time to visit is probably between autumn and winter (May to August) for bearable daytime temperatures and low rainfall.

2. Health
Depending on where you want to visit in Southern Africa you may need to consider anti malaria measures. South Africa generally is not a Malaria hot zone but if you are visiting Angola, Zimbabwe or in-between speak to a trained medical professional before departure. Other things to consider are to remain hydrated and not to over expose on the sun.

3. Local Culture
Immerse yourself in the broadness of local cultures, variations in tribal traditions and the development of civilization. Learn of the birth place of the first tools used by mankind and meet the people only too happy to tell you their proud histories.
4. The diversity of things to see and do
You’ll be spoilt for choice on things to see and do in South and Southern Africa, plan to tick off your bucket list with close encounters of African wildlife, awesome adventures by land, sea and air. Fascinating cultural histories and stories that you will share forever more.


5. Getting around

In remote areas in South Africa public transport is scarce, except if you are in Johannesburg where public transport is more common, because of this car hire is a common option. What you may find a little unusual is when you go to the petrol station they actually fill your car up and you give them the money and they pay, at which a tip is appreciated here.


6. Local food

Trying out the local food on your travels is something that really makes you feel as though you are getting to grips with the local culture. Here are a few dishes which are a must try...biltong which is a jerky air-dried meat, sosaties are marinated lamb that is skewered and barbecued, boerewors is a farmers sausage and is made with beef or pork.


7. Staying safe

It is best to know about the emergency services and numbers before you go just in case you did need it. The nationwide emergency telephone number is 10111. Emergency services are run by the province concerned, however there are private companies who offer emergency vehicles, the largest of the companies is Netcare and the number is 082 911.


8. Currency  

South Africa’s local currency is the Rand. The paper notes are R10 notes, R20 notes, R50 notes, R100 notes, R200 notes. The coins are 1c, 2 c, 5c, 10c, 20c and 50c. Although they are still 1 and 2 cent coins circulating, they are actually no longer legal tender and won’t be accepted, however being a tourist you might find people will give you some in your change! All notes are different colours and sizes too.


9. Communication

South Africa has four mobile service providers which are; Cell C, MTN, Vodacom and Virgin Mobile. You are able to rent mobiles, which are referred to as “cell phones” as you arrive at the airport. If you want to access the internet then internet cafes are in towns and even small remote towns too.