South Africa Travel Information
South Africa lies almost wholly within the southern temperate zone, and its
climate is more equable than that of corresponding northern latitudes because
of its surrounding waters. Cape Town and the southernmost part of Western Cape
has a Mediterranean-type climate and is warmer than some areas further north
that are affected by the cold Benguela Current on the west coast of Southern
Africa. The winter months are mild and changeable, this is also the time when
most the rainfall occurs. The Durban and Kwa-Zulu-Natal coastline is affected
by the warm Mozambique current and enjoys a sub-tropical climate, with plenty
of sunshine throughout the year, but the summer months can become very hot and
humid. Throughout the country, however, the mean annual temperature is just
below 15.6°C (60°F). On the high veld there are sharp differences of
temperature between day and night; but there is less daily fluctuation nearer
the coast. Rainfall is unpredictable in large parts of the country, and prolonged
droughts are a serious restriction on farming in such areas. While the mean
annual rainfall is 18.6 inches, nearly 30% of the country receives less than
10 inches and 65% receives less than 20 inches. Much of South Africa gets its
rain in the summer months, but the western coastal belt is a winter rain area.
Along the Cape south coast, rain falls during both seasons. Generally the winter
months are between April and August with summer being from September to March.
VISAS & IMMIGRATION
Entry permits are issued on arrival to holiday visitors from most British Commonwealth
countries and to holders of Japanese, Irish, Swiss and German passports. Currently
holders of Scandinavian and Finnish passports do not require visa but this situation
could change and it is advisable to check with your nearest South African Embassy/Consular.
South Africa has at least consular representation in most countries. It is possible
that, on entry into South Africa, you will be asked to show sufficient funds
to support your stay or have an onward ticket. Visa extensions are expensive
and can be difficult to obtain because of the recent influx of illegal immigrants.
International Flights KLM
Flights from Europe to Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Congo (Dem. Rep), Ivory Coast,
Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia,
Nigeria, Rwana, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda
You can get to all the major cities by air but may need
to book in advance, especially during school holidays.
Southern Africa by Rail available from Maps Worldwide. The railway
system is South Africa is well established and mostly privately run. All the
major towns are connected. There is a Metro service in and around several cities.
The Blue Train, which runs between Pretoria and Cape Town, is famous for its
sheer luxury, people come to South Africa just for the experience. If the whole
trip is out of your budget you can take just a section of it. The train is very
popular and bookings will need to be made in advance. The train recently started
a new service "Zimbabwe Spectacular" where two nights are spent on
board. You can also experience a steam train tour, including "Apple Express"
from Port Elizabeth, the "Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe between Knysna and George
the "Banana Express" along KwaZulu Natal South Coast and "Magaliesberg
Express" from Johannesburg to Magaliesberg. If you are train enthusiast
then South Africa offers you an experience not found elsewhere.
A number of coach operators operate an inter city service. Translux
Express offers very flexible passes, enabling visitors to make up their own
itineraries to explore the country. It is advisable to book in advance.
South Africa Travel Information Reservation Form