South Africa has a lovely temperate climate with plenty of sunny, dry days. The main factors influencing conditions are altitude and the surrounding oceans. Temperatures drop by about 6°C for every 1000m you climb (or 3.5°F per 1000ft). The east coast is on the Indian Ocean, which has a warm current. The west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with a cold current. South Africa experiences winter and summer in opposite times as Europe and North America and they correspond to the dry and wet season in most of the country, except for the Western Cape.
English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, Southern Sotho, Tswana, Northern Sotho, Venda, Tsonga, Swati, Ndebele
South African Society & Culture
The Rainbow NationSouth Africa is one of the most multicultural countries in the world. In urban areas many different ethnic groups will make up the population. In addition to the indigenous black peoples of South Africa colonialism and immigration have brought in white Europeans, Indians, Indo-Malays, Chinese and many more.
There are several greeting styles in South Africa depending upon the ethnic heritage of the person you are meeting. When dealing with foreigners, most South Africans shake hands while maintaining eye contact and smiling. Some women do not shake hands and merely nod their head, so it is best to wait for a woman to extend her hand.
Men may kiss a woman they know well on the cheek in place of a handshake.Greetings are leisurely and include time for social discussion and exchanging pleasantries.
Gift Giving Etiquette
In general, South Africans give gifts for birthdays and Christmas. Two birthdays – 21 and 40 – are often celebrated with a large party in which a lavish gift is given. It is common for several friends to contribute to this gift to help defray the cost. If you are invited to a South African’s home, bring flowers, good quality chocolates, or a bottle of good South African wine to the hostess. Wrapping a gift nicely shows extra effort. Gifts are opened when received.
When introduced expect to shake hands. Once a relationship is established, men may embrace and pat each other on the shoulder. Female friends kiss each other on both cheeks, starting with the left. People are often referred to as Don or Dona and their first name when in formal occasion as a general rule.
Many men use a two-handed shake where the left hand is placed on the right forearm of the other person.
If you are invited to a South African’s house: Arrive on time if invited to dinner. Contact the hostess ahead of time to see if she would like you to bring a dish. Wear casual clothes. This may include jeans or pressed shorts. It is a good idea to check with the hosts in advance. In Johannesburg, casual is dressier than in other parts of the country. Do not wear jeans or shorts unless you have spoken to the hosts. Offer to help the hostess with the preparation or clearing up after a meal is served.
Business attire is becoming more informal in many companies. However, for the first meeting, it is best to dress more conservatively. Men should wear dark coloured conservative business suits. Women should wear elegant business suits or dresses.
|FAMOUS FOOD OF SOUTH AFRICA||FAMOUS INDIAN CUISINE IN SOUTH AFRICA|
|This jerky-type air-dried meat (usually beef) is savored nearly everywhere by nearly everyone.||Coachmans Crossing Centre, Peter Place Road | Peter Place, Johannesburg,|
|Grilled game||011-706 9826/9412|
|The animals are usually farm raised. The rest are legally hunted, or less likely, poached. Local favorites include ostrich, crocodile, and antelope (the eland and springbok are gourmet treasures).||Spiceburg|
|Sosaties||Shop No: 01, Greenside Quarter, 10 Gleneagles Road, Greenside | Cnr. Gleneagles and Greenway, Johannesburg 2193|
|Marinated, cubed meat (usually lamb) is skewered and barbecued shish-kebab style.||114862255|
|It’s like the British shepherd’s pie, but the minced meat is curried – and the topping is frothy custard instead of mashed potatoes. It has a Cape Malay heritage.||Shop 117, Nelson Mandela Square, 8 Maude Street, Sandown, Sandton|
|Literally, farmer’s sausage. It’s made with seasoned beef or pork.||Thava Indian Restaurant|
|Mealie||44 The Avenue & Grove Road | Norwood,Johannesburg 2192|
|Name means maize (corn). Frequently served on-the-cob, or made into a beer. Mealie is also a widely used ingredient in bread or porridge – the basic diet of the poor South African.||011 728 2826|
|Date||Day||Number of Days||Holiday|
|3-Jan||Saturday||1||Milad Un Nabi (The Prophet’s Birthday)|
|7-Jan||Wednesday||1||Coptic Christmas Day|
|14-Jan||Wednesday||1||Coptic New Year|
|13-Apr||Monday||1||Sham el Nessim|
|25-Apr||Saturday||1||Sinai Liberation Day|
|18-Jul||Saturday||3||Eid Al Fitr|
|23-Sep||Wednesday||4||Eid Al Adha|
|6-Oct||Tuesday||1||Armed Forces Day|
|13-Oct||Tuesday||1||Al Hijra (Islamic New Year)|
|Garden City Hospital Tel: +27 11 495 5000|
|Life Rose Acres Hospital Tel : +27 11 842 7500|
|Astrid Hospital Tel: +27 12 440 0701|
|Greenacres Hospital Tel:+27 41 363 1515|
|Life St Georges Hospital Tel: +27 41 392 6111|
Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park is the largest game reserve on the continent and one the main tourist attractions in South Africa. The park boasts more species of mammals than any other African game reserve which includes the Big Five, cheetahs, giraffes and more. Unlike most other safari parks, Kruger is a self-drive destination with an excellent infrastructure and many places to stay inside the park, from tented camps to luxury lodges.
Situated within a national park, reaching the pinnacle of the Table Mountain is an thrilling experience that offers phenomenal, birds-eye views overlooking the city of Cape Town, Robben Island to the north, and the Atlantic seaboard to the west and south. Peaking at 1,086 meters (3,563 ft), reaching the top is simple via an ingenuous cableway, and each Rotair car features revolving floors allowing passengers to enjoy 360-degree views during the trek to the top.
Cape Town & Cape Peninsula
Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula up to Cape Point, are famous for scenic beauty; celebrity beaches; Table Mountain; whale-watching; world-class shopping, nightlife, food & wine; and a laid-back atmosphere.
The island’s most famous prisoner, Nelson Mandela, has turned this institute of brutality into a symbol of the triumph of the human spirit over enormous hardship.
The fertile valleys of the Cape Winelands are surrounded by majestic mountains, sleepy villages, brilliant monuments, fruitful orchards and some of the lushest scenery in South Africa. Visitors can follow the Wine Routes of the Cape to visit the vineyards of the country’s finest winemakers, whose sherries, ports, brandies and intriguing whites and reds are world famous for their delicate flavors and savory palatability.
Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve
Most famous for God’s Window, the panoramic splendour of the Blyde River Canyon makes it ideal for scenic drives and hiking trails.
For those with fun and sun on their minds, SA’s sunshine city has something for the whole family – golden beaches, surfing and a marine park.
India is 3 hours and 30 minutes ahead of South Africa
Official Currency ” South African Rand”
That depends on what you want to do. The flowers are obviously best in August and September. Winter is a good time for game watching, as the veld is not as lush as in summer and the lack of rain means animals are more likely to congregate around water holes and rivers. The southern right whales hang around off our coasts from about mid-June to the end of October. The diving is best in most of the country outside of summer (ie, from April through September), and so is the surfing – but that certainly doesn’t limit either activity to those times.
River rafting is better in the Cape at the end of winter, and in KwaZulu-Natal in the height of summer (late November to mid-February). In Mpumalanga and Limpopo, it’s less time dependent. The “shoulder” seasons – spring and autumn – are best for hiking, as summer can be hot over most of the country. In the Drakensberg, summer thunderstorms are dangerous, while there is a good chance of snow in winter. In the Cape, the winters are wet, so it’s not necessarily the best time for hikes.
If you’re a birder, the palaeoarctic migrants arrive around November and the intra- African migrants usually by mid-October. Of course, if you want to lounge around on the beaches, mid-summer is the best time – though everyone else will be there too. And – big bonus – the beaches of northern KwaZulu-Natal are warm and sunny even in midwinter.
When packing consider the time of year and where you will be visiting. Johannesburg is hot October through March and mild the rest of the year. Cape Town is also hot during South African summer months but can be very windy and cold at night. Cape Town winters are cold and rainy.
Tap water is potable. However, ensure that you take bottled water with you when travelling to remote rural areas and the bush. South Africa is a dry country. Use water sparingly.
Be social and get to know the people in South Africa. Learn a few words of the local languages and use them.
Be respectful of people’s privacy,on a township tour ask permission before you take a photo.
Souvenirs are cheap in South Africa. Try not to bargain to a too low a price, sellers need to earn a living too
The minimum tip for good service is 10%. You can choose not to tip for bad service, but let them know why.
Understand that we have a different concept of time. Be patient.
We really do have different thought patterns from you. Try to understand before you judge.
Buy local , hire local guides and stay in locally owned lodges. The money you spend stays in the community.
The dress code in South Africa is relaxed, but in Swaziland women are advised not to show too much leg.
Carry your camera unobtrusively in a bag, rather than slung over your shoulder. Hold your bag close to your body and beware of pickpockets and other confidence tricksters on the streets and in crowded stores. Be aware of ATM theft—never be distracted by a stranger asking for assistance at an ATM!
Switch off lights and air-conditioning when you go out. South Africa has recently had electricity supply issues.
Don’t litter. South Africans do enough of that already.
Remove excess packaging before going into rural areas. Disposing waste can be is difficult.
Re-use your plastic bags. You have to pay for these anyway. Many backpacker hostels recycle waste. Collect all your waste and dispose of it in their recycling facilities.
Never feed, touch or harass wild animals. If you insist on touching a lion cub, first ask where the cub came from where its mother is? and what will happen to the cub when it gets too big and threatening? A responsible operator is not in any way linked to the canned hunting industry.
Do not support activities where animals are trained to do things that have no basis in their natural behaviour. Do not interact with dangerous wild animals they may look cute, but they’re still unpredictable. Stay on trails and don’t drive into protected and prohibited areas.
It is illegal for foreigners to buy ivory in South Africa.
Think twice about buying products made with rare trees.
Don’t encourage guides to move so close to wildlife that your presence disturbs it. If an animal is feeling threatened or alarmed by your presence, leave it alone. This applies to both game viewing and boat-based whale and dolphin watching.
When out walking anywhere, avoid wearing flashy, expensive watches and jewelry and carrying large amounts of cash. Walk purposefully as if you know where you are going and are not a “lost tourist.
If driving in a car, keep the doors locked at all times in city traffic. Do not drive with the windows down. Disregard any stranger who tries to confront you at a red traffic light or stop street.
Never walk around any city at night, even if you are part of a group. If you need to go anywhere after dark, ask your hotel or guesthouse to order a reliable taxi for you. Do not just hail any passing taxi on the street!
Always carry on you at all times the essential numbers of your travel and health insurance and important local phone numbers to call in case of emergency.
South Africa Travel Dont’s
Do not ever use ‘negro’ or ‘black’ which is banned in Africa, as it’s thought reflecting black slaves and their descendants who were trafficked to the United States.
Do not call African indigenous ‘African’, as in Africa, the so-called African refers only to a specific group of people, the Republic of South Africa Netherlands Hispanic whites.
Do not call Afrikaners “Dutchmen” and Do not call Afrikaans “Kitchen Dutch.” Afrikaners Do not consider themselves Dutch.
Do not take photos of government/military buildings or police stations, nor pick dirty, poor cluster areas to film, which hurts local people’s self-esteem and is considered as bad behaviour.
Do not leave food on your plate when you have finished eating. But in western Nigeria, do not eat all up, as it’s for The Holy Spirit.
Do not touch someone’s arm or stand too close to someone.
For female tourists, Do not walk in the street alone, and better wear white and the cloak, as in Algeria, women alone in public are prohibited, except visiting the store for shopping, and wear white and the cloak are chastity, will be unimpeded without danger.
South Africa Travel Do’s
Do raise right hand, palm toward each other when greeting, as it symbolises “No weapons” in ancient times, and is widely used as symbol of friendship nowadays.
Do give a strong handshake as in Africa, feeble handshake was described as “ill-manners” and no sincerity, and strong handshake is a gesture of goodwill.
Do ask for permission before taking photograph, as Africans generally believe that the camera can absorb and exhaust the ‘essence’ of people, houses and livestock.
Do wear what you normally would wear when in urban parts, but dress nicely. In South African urban cultures, people usually wear typical Western attire.
Do put your napkin on your lap upon being seated, cross your knife and fork on your plate to indicate that you are still eating, and place your knife and fork together to indicate that you have finished eating.
Do tip 10-20% at a restaurant, and in a private vehicle, tip $20 per guest each day.
Do use either both hands or your right hand to give or receive a present, and open your gift immediately. Give gifts such as cigars, whiskey, wine, a souvenir from your hometown, or flowers. There are no taboos in terms of giving flowers, although carnations are sometimes associated with funerals.