With 11 official languages, the most diverse range of animals, climatic changes, landscapes and cultures, South Africa is quite a tourist-friendly country. Whether you're into beach-bumming in luxurious surroundings, surfing in warm waters, prospecting for diamonds or into more extreme sports, South Africa does not disappoint. To get under the skin of South Africa read, Nelson Mandela's autobiography, 'Long Walk to Freedom', watch Richard Attenborough's 'Cry Freedom' and listen to the South African national anthem, which is in four different languages.
Best time to visit: February and March. The average temperature in South Africa is 16.6°C. The highest average temperature is 26°C in January and February, while the lowest average temperature is 7°C in July.
Seafood is staple in South African diet, as are fruits and vegetables. Hake is the most common fish, while rock lobster, mussels, octopus, and cod are also popular. Potatoes, cabbage, corn, sunflower, peppers, and green beans are as common as bananas, pineapples, and mangoes.
Zulu bead work, jewellery, colorful cloth, wooden and leather crafts, carved animals, traditional handicrafts, musical instruments, gold, diamonds, paintings, Amarula liqueur.
The best and easiest way to see the highlights is on an escorted tour, where all your travel, accommodation and sightseeing arrangements are well taken care of. A knowledgeable local guide brings history and culture to life as you travel in the comfort of your deluxe coach.
Travelling to South Africa is easy and convenient. Numerous international carriers service the country, flying direct to its 3 international airports. Self-drive visitors on overland safaris in neighboring countries can access South Africa through its many border posts, some of which are open 24 hours a day.
Kenya Airways, Emirates, Air Seychelles, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways provide good connections out of India.
Be aware that you need to carry your driver's license on you at all times, the wearing of seatbelts is compulsory and national roads are tolled.
Taxis: Taxi services are restricted to private, metered taxis that have to be specifically called for service. Ask your hotel to assist with any necessary bookings.
South African taxis also include minibus taxis, but use these services with caution as vehicles are often unroadworthy and drivers a little careless. For an authentic South African taxi experience, take a short minibus ride with an experienced guide or local.
Rental / Car Hire: If travelling through South Africa on a self-drive journey, hire a car, 4x4, campervan or motorhome for your trip. There are car rental agencies at all airports and in major centers across the country, offering a complete range of vehicles. If you plan to go off-roading, hire a 4x4 through a specialist agency.
Buses / Coaches: South Africa boasts several coach operators that cover routes across the country. You can book a seat on the luxury coaches provided by Intercape, Greyhound and Autopax (Translux). These operators also travel into surrounding African countries, making cross-country adventures easy.
For an ultra-luxurious ride, secure a compartment on the renowned Blue Train, with its opulent décor and exquisite cuisine. Steam enthusiasts can also enjoy day and overnight trips on restored steam trains.
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