Discovered by Bartolomeu Dias, more specifically finding the southernmost part of Africa which is known today as the Cape of Good Hope, it was Dr. David Livingstone who indeed explored Southern Africa. A country and continent with a history as colourful as its modern-day cultures and societies, a biodiversity ranging from desert to grassland and forests to fynbos, with the Big Five and 11 official languages South Africa is truly a rainbow nation!
As the cradle of mankind South Africa is rich in historical heritage and today we have a population of nearly 50 million adding to the diversity of our country. Being a developing country and being the most advanced country in Africa, we have an economy and infrastructure that will match any first world country.
South Africa can be visited at any time of the year. Your decision will be influenced by the type of activities that you want to enjoy as some activities other than photography, are seasonal. Sunny South Africa is a warm country because of a subtropical location being bounded by oceans on three sides of the country and due to the altitude of the interior plateau. It is also a dry country with an average rainfall of about 464mm per year. The south-western parts of the country are the only areas receiving winter rainfall, with the majority of the country getting rain in the summer months. Rainfall varies greatly throughout the country with the summer rainfall areas getting as much as 800mm or more per year, however some parts of the winter rainfall areas can receive less than a 100mm per annum.
The South African currency is Rand and offers great value to international visitors. Foreign currency can be exchanged at most local banks or Bureaux de Change. ATM’s are widely available. MasterCard or Visa is accepted in most places but can not be used at filling stations to pay for fuel.
Confirm your insurance policies and credit card coverage. You might find that you are already covered for lost luggage, medical expenses or other issues. None the less, you don’t want to be caught by surprise when visiting a foreign country and it is wise to take out complete travel insurance.
Medical facilities are top quality but visitors are required to pay cash for services rendered. It is strongly advised to make use of private hospitals instead of public hospitals, should an emergency arise. The majority of South Africa is malaria free with the exception of the Kruger National Park, the northern parts of Kwazulu Natal, Limpopo and the lowveld in Mpumalanga. These areas are mainly affected in the summer months. Do extra research on the areas that you will be visiting and always consult a professional health practitioner long before your departure.
thombe SAFARI would like to encourage you to extend your stay and explore more of our fantastic country on your own. For more questions regarding your visit to South Africa and other queries on travel related topics, feel free to join the forum discussions for advice.