South Africa

Spectacular scenery, natural wonders hiding around every corner, infinite opportunities for outdoor adventures and vibrant cities waiting to be discovered. This is South Africa – a unique destination that celebrates life and mesmerises the senses.

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South Africa
South Africa Travel Guide

The Rainbow Nation

From bustling, dynamic cities to adrenaline-filled adventures amid nature, and from lush mountains boasting impressive floral kingdoms to pristine beaches, there is no wonder South Africa is one of the most sought-after destinations for travellers, attracting more than six million visitors per year.

A country of astounding diversity, both in nature and culture, South Africa is also known as the Rainbow Nation for its multiculturalism, with the country blossoming into a multi-ethnic society steeped in history.

While South Africa’s cities are known for their rich heritage and vibrant energy, it’s the country’s awe-inspiring landscape and natural wonders that attract most people. Creating an epic backdrop, the diverse scenery of South Africa will see you conquering the summit of Cape Town’s majestic Table Mountain, driving right into the wilderness at Kruger National Park to admire the Big Five up close, sipping wines in the Cape Winelands surrounded by magnificent mountains, and wandering around the colourful sea of flowers of Namaqualand.

Like a never-ending source of adventure blessed with staggering natural beauty, South Africa is sure to gain a very special place in your heart.

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Best Time To Visit South Africa

Thanks to its diverse landscapes and various regional climates, South Africa is a year-round destination – with something special to share during every season. Your interests, budget and bucket-list activities will influence the time of year you visit.

Dry Season: Winter

Advantages: This is considered low season, with fewer crowds and plenty of chances to spot wildlife in the national parks as well as whales crossing the waters of the Cape.

Winter corresponds with the peak of whale watching season: the best time to witness majestic animals swimming along the coast of the Western Cape is between July and November. If you are looking to catch a glimpse of the Big Five, this is also the best time to visit all the national parks: winter is considered the dry season, and animals can be found congregating around waterholes and rivers between May and September.

Disadvantages: Some days in winter can be cold and rainy, with temperature falling to a chilly 15 degrees during the day. During the month of August, the cable car for Table Mountain is closed for annual maintenance and there might be occasional heavy rain falls.

Wet Season: Summer

Things definitely heat up during the summertime in South Africa! This is the high season for tourism and coincides with South Africa’s school holidays. The crowds are buzzing in this period and accommodation prices soar.

Advantages: Between the months of November and February, the sun shines in South Africa and the weather is hot and dry - making it the perfect destination for a beach holiday. The wet season is also a great time for bird watching, and to witness the scenery turning green and flowery. If you love waves, this is a good time to surf off Muizenberg, Cape Town’s iconic break.

Disadvantages: Wildlife viewing can be trickier during the summer months, since the bush is thicker and greener.

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Attractions & Things to Do

A world of opportunities awaits in South Africa: from catching epic waves at Cape Town’s iconic surf breaks to encounters with the Big Five, there’s so much to see and do in this amazing country. Nature lovers can experience thrilling once-in-a-lifetime animal encounters or explore South Africa’s most beautiful natural wonders; foodies can try out the world’s best eatery, thrill seekers can sandboard at Atlantis Dunes and history lovers can look inside Nelson Mandela’s prison cell at Robben Island.

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Best Restaurants & Places to Eat

With world-renowned restaurants and award-winning wineries, you will be spoilt for choices when it comes to dining in South Africa.

Cape Town is a must for any gourmand who wants to experience an eclectic mix of international and South African cuisines: foodies can embark on a culinary adventure through the city, trying out these six, unique restaurants, sure to impress your taste buds.

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Visa: Do I Need One?

When travelling internationally, a visa may be required to the destination you are visiting. It is each travellers responsibility to ensure they are holding a current visa. Please take the time to visit our preferred vendor website Visa’s Direct to assist you with any visa application requirements and processes.

Australian passport holders visiting South Africa for 90 days or less do not require a visa, however you must have a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining.

Passport

Please ensure that you have a current passport before travelling. Your passport needs an accurate photo and should be valid for at least six months after you are scheduled to return home. It should also have at least two blank pages left for passport stamps.

Allow plenty of time if you need to send your passport to the Passport Office for renewal, particularly prior to peak travel periods.

All travellers, especially honeymooners, should ensure that names in passports are those given out on the booking form. Airline tickets must be booked in the same name that appears on your passport.

It is useful to carry photo ID with you at all times, so get several good quality photocopies. This also makes replacing a lost passport easier.

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Government Travel Advice

The safety of our travellers is the utmost importance. With your safety in mind, we monitor world events very closely, however we recommend visiting the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Smart Traveller website to stay informed.