South Africans generally dress very casually and it is rare for restaurants to expect one to dress for dinner. The exception is should you be booked on Rovos Rail or the Blue Train where it is expected to dress in cocktail gear/ jackets and tie for dinner. Otherwise shorts and t shirts/ dresses in summer and jeans/ long pants with long sleeve tops in winter. Don’t forget good walking shoes for the bush and it is recommended to dress in neutral colours if out on game drives. Topless swimming and sunbathing in public areas is not allowed, although this norm is disregarded on some beaches. Smoking is banned in public buildings, aircraft, buses and trains, and allowed only in designated areas in restaurants.
What to pack
Sunglasses, Sunscreen – factor 40+, Sun hat, Good walking shoes & Lip salve
Travelling with children
All minors (children under 18 years) are required to produce, in addition to their passport, an Unabridged Birth Certificate which shows the details of both parents for all international travel to and from South Africa. Should the child be travelling with one parent only or without either of their parents, additional documentation is required For more detailed information view the document below
Dietary requirements and Allergies
Should you have specific dietary requirements or allergies the properties will do their best to accommodate you, but please advise us at least two weeks prior to travel, especially when travel to remote places.
Immunizations and Malaria
South Africa does not require any immunizations, however certain parts of South Africa are malaria areas and it is recommended to consult your local clinic for malaria prophylactics.
It is essential to have good travel insurance before you depart to cover you for medical, medical evacuation and cancellation. Please ask us for a quote.
Keeping in touch
We usually recommend getting a South Africa SIM card at the airport which enables you to make a few local calls if you need to and buys you data. The two largest networks available in South Africa are currently Vodacom and MTN. We will always stay in touch with you throughout your journey on either WhatsApp or Facebook messenger and will therefore ask you for a cell number or Facebook account before you travel.
Safety and medical information
As in most countries, common sense should be used. Visitors should avoid walking alone in deserted areas, particularly at night, and use hotel safe-deposit facilities for valuables. They should also be on the alert for petty thieves in busy streets and markets, and avoid wearing ostentatious jewellery in these places. Items such as cameras and rucksacks should be secured with a strap and not carelessly dangled by the hand. A money-belt for cash, passports etc is particularly useful. We are aware of which areas are not suitable to send tourists and always organise each travel itinerary with client safety in mind. South Africa has an excellent health care infrastructure and in many disciplines it is ranked amongst the best in the world. Private medical facilities in cities and larger towns are world-class, but clinics and hospitals in rural areas offer far more basic service. In very remote areas evacuation may be required.
South Africa’s public transport is not very well organised and not recommended. The exception here is the Gautrain in Johannesburg which connects OR Tambo airport with Pretoria, Sandton and Rosebank. This runs like clockwork, is very safe and a highly recommended way to travel from the airport to the business hub to avoid the traffic. For purposes of touring, we would therefore recommend either hiring a car or joining either a scheduled tour or a private tour which we are able to organise for you. Uber works very well in South Africa and is a reliable and inexpensive way to travel to restaurants in the evening or taxi to various places.
Some guidelines: Restaurants - 10% of the bill for good service, Porterage – R10 per bag, Taxi drivers - 10% of the fare, Petrol attendants – Between R5 and R10, Guides : Game rangers R 150 per person per day | Tour guides : R100 per day | Driver : R 50 per day
MasterCard and Visa are commonly accepted throughout Southern Africa. Many establishments do not accept Amex and Diners Club.
In South Africa the power sockets are of type C, D and M. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.
African Spiral specialises in showing you all the highlights of Southern Africa with its many unique features, both the well-known tourist attractions as well as the lesser-known secrets. We are proud of our heritage, the magnificent natural beauty in which we live and the eclectic mix of cultures.
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