Location: South Africa is the southernmost sovereign state in Africa. On the south of the country is nearly 2800 kilometers of coastline of South Atlantic and Indian Ocean. On the other sides, South Africa shares land borders with six countries – Namibia, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, and Botswana.
Climate: South Africa is a subtropical region and is surrounded by ocean on two sides. The climate is influenced by this and by the altitude of the interior plateau. The climate of South Africa in general is thus warm and temperate with plenty of sunshine.
It is a relatively dry country, with an average annual rainfall of about 464mm. Western Cape gets most of its rainfall in winter, the rest of the country is generally a summer-rainfall region.
South Africa’s coastal regions have striking contrast between temperatures on two different coasts, a result of the warm eastern Agulhas current and cold western Benguela current that sweep the coastlines. Summer lasts from mid-October to mid- February and is characterised by hot, sunny weather, often accompanies with afternoon thunderstorms.
Currency: The currency of South Africa is called Rand and currency code is ZAR.
$1 = ZAR15.26
ZAR 1 = Rs4.37 (Indian Rupee)
Cuisine: South African cuisines include the cusines of different groups which constitute the entire population of the country. Thus South African cuisines include the Cookery practiced by indigenous people of Africa such as the Sotho- and Nguni-speaking people, and cookery practices of the people coming into country from several waves of colonization and immigration introduced during the colonial period by white European people of Dutch (since 1652), German, French, Italian, Greek and British (1805-1820).
These Europeans came along with their Indo-Asian slaves and with them came their cuisines in the country. These people included Cape Malay people whose cooking style was similar to Indonesian cooking. They also brought cooking styles from neighboring colonial cultures such as Portuguese Mozambique. Later, Indians settling in South Africa also brought their cuisines.
Indigenous cuisines of South Africa use a variety of items like fruits, nuts, bulbs, leaves and other products gathered from different plants. Meat of different animals is also important in South African indigenous cuisine. Southern Africans love barbecue. Rice and beans are also very popular.
Things to Do: Enjoy a safari in the the Hluhluwe & Imfolozi National Park, the oldest Game Reserve in South Africa, known for its white and black rhino population. Enjoy horse Safari in the iSimangaliso Wetlands. There are other parks and game reserves to have fun in South Africa. These include the famous Kruger national Park and Tsitsikamma National Park where one can enjoy waterfalls, hiking and river rafting also.
South Africa has a number of museums and places reminiscent of the days of Apartheid period. Apartheid Museum is one of the must see places. One must visit Robben Island, an island site of Mandela’s imprisonment.
Nature has endowed South Africa with some awesome beaches and some marvelous mountains. Table Mountain is one famous place to explore. Cape of Good Hope is also a nice scenic spot to visit. There are canyons to visit as well. Blyde River Canyon is one of those.
South Africa also has beautiful cities with cosmopolitan cultures. Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban are well known cities to explore. Mahatma Gandhi started his political career with struggle against apartheid in South Africa. Visit the places where he carried his struggle.
Visa: For a tourist visa to South Africa applicants should have the following documents
• Duly filled in visa application form
• Two recently taken colored photographs (2 inches X 2 inches) with a white background of the applicant
• Covering letter mentioning the purpose of visit
• Return confirm ticket
• Hotel Confirmation and Tour itinerary Day by Day
• Passport valid for minimum period of six months from date of expiry which is stated on the passport
• Original Bank statements for previous six months
• Income Tax returns of previous three years
Flights: There are flights to South Africa from all major Indian international airports through Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Seychelles, Addis Ababa and Nairobi.