25 Ağustos 2011 Perşembe

Southern African Map and Travel Information

The map of South Africa shows that it is a large country covering 1,221,000 square kilometres, twice the size of France, and the 1997 census recorded a population of over 40 million people composed of 10 different ethnic groups. However the South Africa map does not show that it offers a variety of landscapes, of climates, of cultures and of flora and fauna that few other places on this earth can rival and so choosing where to go on your holidays is not always an easy process. South Africa truly is “a world in one country.”

Although South Africa falls under a subtropical location it displays many climate characteristics.

Summer in South Africa is from November through to February and most of the country, except the Cape, experiences summer rain.

In the following table:
Tx: Average Daily Max. Temp (Celsius)

Tn: Average Daily Min. Temp (Celsius)

R: Average Monthly Rainfall (mm)

The dry winter season is generally the best time for game viewing and visiting the eastern half of the country. However the Cape is at its best from November through to the end of March.
Distances & Driving:

Although there are long distances involved when travelling in South Africa the road network is generally well maintained and well signposted. It is therefore possible to cover long distances while on holiday.
In South Africa we drive on the left and signposts are printed in English, safety belts must be used at all times and the use of hand-held cellphones when driving is prohibited.

Cars, minibuses and 4×4 vehicles can be hired at all major towns.

South Africa’s currency is the ‘Rand,’ and each Rand is further divided into 100 cents. At time of publishing the exchange rate was approximately 1 Euro = R8.8 US$ = R7 .9 and 1 GBP = R12.5 .Foreign currency travellers cheques can be exchanged at most banks. Major credit cards are accepted in most lodges, hotels, restaurants, shops and airlines.

VAT is charged at 14% on many goods and commodities but can be reclaimed by non residents on departure at the international airports.

Malaria is present in the north and eastern areas of South Africa and we strongly recommend you seek medical advice before visiting these areas. Bilharzia is endemic in the east and so swimming in untreated water can be dangerous. Tick bite fever can be a problem when walking in grass and travellers should be aware that the incidence of AIDS is high throughout Southern Africa.

Private medical services in South Africa are of very high standard. However the availability of the services is restricted to the main towns and emergency evacuation from remote areas may attract high costs. An insurance service for tourists is available from rescue companies providing coverage for emergency transport.

Tap water is 100% purified ad safe to drink in major cities, towns and in most game reserves.

220 / 230 volts AC.

Visitors from the EU, most Commonwealth countries and the USA do not require visas. Visitors from other countries should check with their local South African consulate.
Local Time:

GMT + 2 hours

South Africa has a widespread and reliable network for both mobile phones and landlines, though some lodges may be beyond the range of the network. The international dialling code is +27 followed by the regional code and the desired number.

E-mail is used extensively and is available in many hotels and lodges; there are internet cafes in all the major towns.

Cape Town:
Nestled beneath the mighty Table Mountain and bordered by 2 oceans, the ‘ Mother City’ has a huge amount to offer any visitor to the area. Its reputation precedes it.

Highlights include:
Table Mountain, Robben Island (where Mandela was imprisoned), Cape Point, Clifton’s white sandy beaches, Kirstenbosch botanical gardens, museums and historic buildings, shopping in the V&A Waterfront, the penguin colony at Simon’s Town, many fine restaurants and nightlife.
Best time to visit: October to April.

The Winelands:

Scenically beautiful, culturally rich and offering great food along with the excellent, locally produced, wine. The winelands are a must for all visitors to the area.

Highlights include:

Wine tasting along one of the many wine routes, beautiful mountain scenery, Stellenbosch – South Africa’s second oldest town, Cape Dutch Homesteads dating from the late 17th Century, good food and wine in the tranquil setting of the Franschhoek valley.

Best time to visit: October to April.

The West Coast:
Those who like to get off the beaten track will find this area rewarding and conveniently close to Cape Town.

Highlights include:
A beautiful, stark coastline, local fishing villages, the spectacular flower season (August / September), working wheat and sheep farm accommodation, the Cedarberg Mountains to the east, peace and quiet.


Best time to visit: August to November & March to May.

The Overberg:
Home of the majestic Blue Crane, this area not only links Cape Town to the Garden Route but is also a popular tourist destination in its own right, especially in whale season.

Highlights include:
Whale watching (August to November) at Hermanus, beach, de Hoop nature reserve, Swellendam – South Africa’s 3rd oldest town, and Cape Agulhas the southern most tip of Africa.
Best time to visit: September to April

The Garden Route:
Stretching from George to Tsitsikamma, the Garden Route is one of South Africa’s premier tourist destinations offering something for everyone.

Highlights include:
Spectacular variety and quality of scenery (from lake to forest to mountain to coast), sandy beaches, walking & hiking, boat cruises & dolphin spotting, Tsitsikamma National Park, Knysna Elephant Park, the Knysna oyster festival, birding, vibrant holiday towns as well as peace and quiet.

Best time to visit: Throughout the year.

The arid and harsh landscape surrounding the ostrich capital of Africa contrasts nicely with the greenness of the nearby Garden Route.

Highlights include: Mountain and Karoo scenery, ostrich farm visits, the limestone formations of the Cango caves and one of the most scenic mountain passes in South Africa – the Swartberg Pass.
Best time to visit: Throughout the year.

The Great Karoo:
A vast semi-desert area of distant horizons, dolerite Koppies (hills) and an indescribable atmosphere that will never be forgotten. A destination to feed the soul.

Highlights include:
Karoo scenery and vegetation, fossils in the Karoo National Park, walks and hikes, the geological formations of the Valley of Desolation, the 19th Century towns of Graaff-Reinet and Nieu-Bethesda and game viewing in the Mountain Zebra National Park.

Best time to visit: March to October.

Port Elizabeth & the Eastern Cape Game Reserves:
HThe closest big game area to Cape Town and a natural extension of the Garden Route, this area not only boasts quality game viewing and interesting vegetation but is also a malaria free zone.

Highlights include:

Luxurious bush accommodation and big 5 game viewing in the private game reserves, excellent elephant viewing in the Addo Elephant National Park, Port Elizabeth is a convenient end point to a holiday along the Garden Route.
Best time to visit: Throughout the year.

The Wild Coast:
Located in the former homeland of the Transkei, the Wild Coast offers spectacular coastal scenery and beaches along with undulating hills and true African tribal living. For those who want to see tribal Africa and don’t mind roughing it.

Highlights include: Spectacular coastal and rural African scenery, deserted beaches, African Xhosa culture, walks and hiking trails.
Best time to visit: April to September.

This mountain kingdom is the country with the world’s highest lowest point! A poor and undeveloped country, which combines magnificent mountain scenery and a strong local African culture.

Highlights include: Magnificent mountain scenery, horse trails, local Basotho villages and culture, spring wild flowers, the Sani Pass – the highest mountain pass in South Africa.
Best time to visit: Throughout the year, with possible snow in winter and extreme heat in summer.

Drakensberg Mountains:
About 200 kms of magnificent mountains, the foothills of which are peppered by Zulu traditional villages. A paradise for mountain hikes and scenery.
Highlights include: Mountain scenery, walks and hikes, horse trails, San rock art, trout fishing, birding and spring flowers.

Best time to visit: Throughout the year, with possible snow in winter and extreme heat in Summer.
A seaside holiday resort town and commercial port on the Indian Ocean as well as a convenient gateway to the many splendours of KwaZulu-Natal.

Highlights include: Golden beaches and warm water, the sea front promenade and the Indian market.
Best time to visit: April to October.

KwaZulu-Natal Midlands:
An area of tranquil rolling hills coupled with a fascinating military history.

Highlights include:
Guided tours of the Anglo-Zulu and Anglo-Boer war battlefields, relaxing country scenery, Zulu culture, local arts and crafts and trout fishing.
Best time to visit: Throughout the year.

Zululand Game Reserves:
The game reserves in this area offer a great density of game along with magnificent scenery, making game viewing very rewarding – especially if rhino is a priority.

Highlights include:
“Big 5″ game viewing amongst the rolling hills of Hluhluwe-Umfolozi the reserve that all but saved the rhino from extinction, the hides and water holes of Mkuze game reserve, game walks, birding in Ndumo amongst the fever trees, the elephants of Tembe Elephant Park and the numerous luxurious private game reserves in the area.
Best time to visit: June to October
Coastal Maputaland:
Warm tropical water and 220 kms of unspoilt white beach stretching from St. Lucia to the Mozambique border, almost all of which falls under protected areas.

Highlights include:
White unspoilt beaches, the warm Indian Ocean, birding, game viewing and dune forest walking trails in the St Lucia Wetland Park, the hippo’s and crocodiles of the St Lucia estuary, leatherback turtle breeding season (Oct to Feb.), angling and game fishing, coral reefs, snorkelling and diving at Sodwana or Rocktail bay.
Best time to visit: Throughout the year.

country has plenty to offer the adventurous traveller, scenery, game reserves and vibrant markets as well as plenty of friendly people.

Highlights include:
Game viewing, including the “Big 5,” the yearly Reed Festival (October) where the king chooses his wives, the market place in Mbabane, local craft markets, a visit to the Swazi candle and Ngwenya glassworks and the scenic Piggs Peak drive.
Best time to visit: April to October.

Kruger National Park:
Covering an area the size of Israel the Kruger offers the ultimate wildlife experience and for those looking for that little bit more the neighbouring private game reserves combine luxurious accommodation with exceptional game viewing.

Highlights include:
“Big 5″ game viewing, wilderness trails and walks, birding, flora, the exclusive private reserves of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve and the Timbavati Game Reserve.
Best time to visit: Throughout the year.

The Overberg:
Home of the majestic Blue Crane, this area not only links Cape Town to the Garden Route but is also a popular tourist destination in its own right, especially in whale season.

Highlights include:
Whale watching (August to November) at Hermanus, beach, de Hoop nature reserve, Swellendam – South Africa’s 3rd oldest town, and Cape Agulhas the southern most tip of Africa.
Best time to visit: Throughout the year.

The Escarpment:
The 140 km summit route boasts some of South Africa’s most spectacular scenery and combines perfectly with any visit to the Kruger National Park.

Highlights include:
Spectacular scenery: the Long Tom Pass, Gods Window, the 3 Rondavels and Burke’s Luck Potholes, walks and hikes in the Blyde River Canyon, the many waterfalls of the Waterfall Route, Pilgrim’s Rest and other relics of the gold mining era dating from as early as the 19th Century.
Best time to visit: Throughout the year.

The Waterberg:
Offering the eco-tourist rugged bushveld scenery and a wide variety of wildlife in a malaria free area, the Waterberg is known for its horseback safaris.

Highlights include:
Game viewing including the ‘Big 5′, diverse bird life, spectacular bushveld scenery, horse-back safaris and walking.
Best time to visit: All year round.

Johannesburg & Pretoria:
The economic and administrative centre of South Africa as well as the heart of the gold mining area, Johannesburg is the gateway to the bushveld and its famous game reserves.

Highlights include:
Soweto township tours, gold Reef City, Lesedi Cultural Village, a visit to the Madiba (Mandela) Freedom Museum, the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria, the neighbouring mountainous Witwatersrand as well as the Sterkfontein Caves and the “Cradle of Humankind”.
Best time to visit: All year round.

Sun City / Pilanesberg:
The opulence of the Sun City / Lost City complex contrasts with the scenic tranquillity of game viewing in the neighbouring Pilanesberg or Madikwe National Parks.

Highlights include: Casinos, Garry Player golf course, the Valley of the Waves, the botanical dream world of the Gardens of the Lost City, balloon flights over the Pilanesberg National Park, “Big 5″ game viewing, ancient volcanic geology and birding in a non malaria area.

Best time to visit: May to September.

The Kalahari:
A visit to the harsh, arid world of the Kalahari where nature has been forced to adapt to its environment and where the regal black maned lion walks on the red Kalahari sands is always a fascinating experience.

Highlights include:
Game viewing (especially the big cats), birding, the Kalahari dune scenery and interesting plant life as well as the spectacular falls and the Jurassic style landscape of the Augrabies National Park.
Best time to visit: March to October.