South Africa is the southernmost country in Africa and at the same time one of the richest and most developed. In comparison with the rest of the mainland countries, the Republic of South Africa is considered very modern and safe for tourists. Here, travelers can both get acquainted with local exoticism and history, and admire large cities with skyscrapers and historical monuments.
At first glance, it seems to many that South Africa is a very remote part of Europe. East London, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, Cape Town and Johannesburg are African cities, but create a European atmosphere that many travelers like. Such a republic became thanks to the colonizers from Great Britain, who found these lands in the XIX century.
The country, rich in diamonds, beautiful landscapes and beaches, now attracts tourists from different countries, but the cost of vouchers to South Africa is high. But those who have managed to visit southern Africa say that traveling to this country is worth any money. Expensive tours and air tickets pay off in full with what a guest of South Africa can meet in this country: the Cape of Good Hope, the Dragon Mountains, dozens of reserves, crocodiles, antelopes, hundreds of other species of animals and even penguins!
Main holiday destinations in South Africa
The country is divided into 9 regions, and each of them is considered a full-fledged destination for a good rest, because any of the provinces is unique. Northwest Province, Hauteng, Limpopo, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Free State is a complete list of Provinces of South Africa. They differ from each other in climate, size, landscape and ethnic groups inhabiting the regions.
One of the most popular entertainments of travelers to the Republic of South Africa and locals is hunting. There is so much game here that the authorities spend a lot of money on the development of hunting infrastructure and allow hunting in public and private lands.
The capital of the country is Pretoria, or Tswane. The above cities are included in the list of the most touristy, but most of the travelers fly to the Republic of South Africa for the sake of reserves and national parks.
How to get to the country
South Africa has several international airports, located in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. From Moscow, every day there is a flight to Johannesburg with a transfer in Paris, Frankfurt, London or Zurich - depends on the chosen airline. Aeroflot, for example, can make a connection in each of the 4 cities. The flight from St. Petersburg will take place with a transfer in London or Frankfurt. The average flight duration is 14-15 hours, excluding the time spent on connections.
Before the flight, travelers are advised to take out health insurance, since there are many diseases in Africa that can be life-threatening.
South African customs is quite loyal, so guests can import and export from the country any amount of foreign currency in any form. However, local South African rands can be exported in an amount of up to 500 units - 1 rand costs a little more than 4 rubles. It is forbidden to import into the territory of the country any weapon, except for hunting, for which a license is required - it can be obtained at the border crossing point. In addition, border guards will not let drugs, fresh vegetables and fruits into South Africa.
Rough diamonds are not allowed to be exported from the State. To bring home local jewelry made of precious metals and precious stones, as well as wild animal skins, permits and certificates from state authorities will be required.
Moving around an African country
Air traffic between the cities of the republic is well developed, so you can travel by plane between cities remote from each other.
More people prefer to travel long distances by train, and for tourists there are special tourist routes from Pretoria to Cape Town and from Cape Town to Kruger Park. Fans of bus travel can buy a ticket to almost any city in the country and go on the road on a good luxury transport with air conditioning and wide seats. Buses travel regularly, but in small towns their quality is lower, and travelers recommend renting a personal car or riding a taxi, which is more expensive.
To rent a car, the driver must be over 23 years old and have an international driver's license - driving experience can be anything. The rental price includes insurance and a deposit for a full tank of gasoline. If the driver returns the car refueled, he will receive his 400 rand back. A person who rented a car in one city and returned it in another must pay an additional fee of 250 rand. Road maps and country atlas are provided free of charge.
Traveller safety and hotels
Although the Republic of South Africa is considered one of the best countries in Africa, crime is not uncommon here. Guests of South Africa are not recommended to walk the streets at night and carry with them a lot of money, expensive jewelry and clothes. All valuables should be hidden in the safe of the hotel room. A walk or a trip alone at night is also not welcome, as locals may consider such tourists easy prey.
The southern country has a very high level of solar radiation, so tourists are better off going outside in sunglasses, wearing hats and light clothing that will cover their hands and feet. Bottled drinking water is safe, so you can drink it at any store.
The country does not require any vaccinations with one exception - before traveling to South Africa, you should be vaccinated against yellow fever. There is a low risk of contracting malaria, but you can catch the disease only at the border with Mozambique.
Good hotels in South Africa in terms of quality of service are not inferior to European ones. There are budget hotels, and chic hotels with 5 stars, and on the territory of national parks you can rent bungalows, chalets, campsites, lodges and indoor huts. The interior of such apartments is colorful: animal skins, furniture made of wood, greenery.