When you see South Africa on the TV, you can’t help but think ‘I have to go’! The cities, the customs and the natural surroundings all look amazing, not to mention Africa is a wondrous and mysterious place. On the face of it, there is not a single reason you wouldn’t consider traveling South Africa. However, before you head online and start booking flights on a whim, you need to research the area first. Before every intrepid traveler hits the road, research is essential to keep you safe and aware. Luckily, you can find everything you need know below.
Is It Safe?
South Africa is very safe in most regions. There are places that you need to avoid, but travelling is mostly secure. To find out more about safety and current affairs, read the latest South African newspapers. There is no better way to research a country than to read and watch their news broadcasts.
Do I Need A Visa?
On average, most people do not need a visa for South Africa if you are only going for a short period. But, it all depends on the relationship between your home country and South Africa. If they have a ‘special relationship’, the odds are that you won’t need a visa. However, if they don’t get on then you will need to pay for a visa, or you may not even be allowed to travel to the country. It is unlikely, but it is a possibility.
How Long Can I Travel For Without A Visa?
The longest that you can travel without a visa is 90 days. After that, you will need to apply for a special visa that allows you to stay in the country for longer. Mostly, these are only issued if you are planning on living in the country and if you have a job. South Africa doesn’t tend to hand out visas to people who are not going to add to the fabric of the country.
Are There Are Passport Requirements?
Yes. Firstly, your passport expiration date needs to be thirty days after your return date. So, if only have a couple of months left on your passport, it is a good idea to get a new one before you travel. Also, you need a blank page in your passport for the visa when you arrive at customs, but two blank pages are a good idea. You never know when you will come into contact with a customs officer who hates their job!
What’s The Local Currency
The local currency is the Rand, and it is only used in South Africa, so you will need to change money before your visit. Or, you can decide to take money out of the cash machine when you are in the country. South Africa is the most advanced of the African countries, and there are lots of cash machines dotted around the major cities. One extra tip: if you are going on a safari, take money out beforehand. Safaris, obviously, are in rural areas so there might not be any cash outlets in the vicinity.
How Do You Get Around?
There are plenty of ways to travel around South Africa. Lots of people book coach tour holidays that take them around the country by bus, visiting the best sights and attractions. But, if that doesn’t sound too exciting, you can hire a car and go on a road trip. Just be aware that they drive on the left-hand side of the road, which might be hard to get used to for some people. Alternatively, there are good public transport links such as buses and trains.