A valid passport is required to enter and depart the country. U.S./Canada/UK/Australia citizens must have a passport that’s valid for at least three months after the end of their trip. Your passport must have at least two blank pages for the entry stamp. This cannot include the ‘endorsement’ page at the back. Please make a photocopy of your passport’s identification page and keep it separate from the original. It’s also a good idea to leave a digital copy with someone at home. This may speed up the replacement process should you lose your passport. Please ensure that the name on your passport matches all travel documents we have issued. If this is not the case, please contact us immediately.
To comply with regulation 2(1) (a) of the Immigration Regulations 2014; only Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRTDs) will be accepted to enter South Africa. Please note that extended passports will no longer be accepted. Travellers are advised to check their travel documents.
A visa is not required for stays of up to 90 days for business and tourist purposes. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of South Africa for the most up-to-date visa information.
For all vaccinations and health requirements for your travels, please speak to your doctor, your local travel clinic, or refer to the recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO): http://www.who.int or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): http://www.cdc.gov
Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended. You may also want to take special precautions against tetanus, diphtheria, Hepatitis A, rabies and typhoid after consulting with your doctor or travel health clinic.
Yellow Fever: A vaccination certificate for yellow fever is only required from travelers over one year of age who are arriving from infected areas. Yellow fever shots are NOT required for visitors from US/Canada/UK/EU traveling nonstop to South Africa but are required if you will be traveling from a Yellow Fever infected country. A yellow fever vaccination must be obtained at least 10 days prior to arrival in South Africa. Yellow fever certificate is not required for transit between South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe or Botswana.
Malaria: Risks do exist though it is extremely rare. The risk is less at higher elevations or in cooler locations (below 68°F or 20°C). Remember that the best precaution is the preventative kind. Wearing long sleeves is a good idea. Avoid mosquitoes to reduce the risk of contracting yellow fever, dengue fever and malaria by applying mosquito repellent that contains DEET to your skin and clothes and wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers/slacks especially during the evening. We recommend Malaria pills if you're in a malaria zone.
If there are any medical items essential to your health, such as prescription drugs or corrective eye wear, bring duplicates and divide them between your checked bags and hand luggage. While non-prescription drugs such as aspirin are generally available, it is difficult to replace prescription items.
South Africa’s climate is seasonal.
Spring (mid-Aug to Nov) is spectacular in the Cape provinces. The inland and Kruger areas still have chilly mornings, but days are glorious and warm to hot. Animals are more active during the cooler times of the day. Generally, animal activity subsides towards October as temperatures rise.
Summer (mid-Oct to Feb) is characterized by hot, sunny weather with frequent tropical rainstorms or afternoon thunderstorms that clear quickly and cool down the temperatures. KwaZulu-Natal and Kruger National Park can be humid. Along the east coast (Port Elizabeth to Mozambique), particularly in Oct/Nov, strong winds can cause choppy seas.
Autumn (mid-Feb to May) in southern Africa often offers the best weather. Very little rain falls over the whole country. It is warm but not too hot. Summer winds have died down and the east coast experiences sea conditions that are flat and clear, great for diving and beach stays. In Cape Town, autumn is fantastic, with hot sunny days and warm, balmy nights.
Winter (mid-May to Aug) in the higher-lying areas of the interior plateau is generally dry and sunny, with crisp days, cold nights and early mornings. It’s a good idea to bring warm clothes.
For up-to-date details, visit: www.weather.com
Electricity: Electricity in South Africa is 220/230 volts except for Pretoria (230 V) and Port Elizabeth (200/250V) and 50HZ. Round two-pin plugs are used.
Phone: If you have a “Smart Phone,” your cell phone will work in most areas while on safari. However, roaming charges can be quite expensive so we do strongly recommend that you pre-purchase a data and roaming plan with your carrier before travel. Or simply opt to use phones on-site at your accommodations, purchase minutes or ask to use your driver’s phone for any immediately required phone calls.
Internet: Local connections are exceptionally slow and can be costly (as much as $10 per half hour). Smartphones such as a BlackBerry or iPhone will actually download data much faster than computers. Again, roaming and data charges can be exceptionally high, so please talk to your phone provider to pre-purchase a data plan for when you are on safari. Please note that wi-fi and internet service provided in properties is at the discretion of each establishment and Kensington Tours has no control over this. Please feel free to check with your Sales Consultant before travel if you’d like to know internet set up at each of your properties or contact the properties directly so you are aware of their internet policy if this is important to you. You may like to speak to your internet provider prior to travel to arrange a roaming package.
Generally speaking, we advise bringing R320-480 Rand per day, per person, for spending money. Be sure to bring lots of small bills for porters, wait staff and housekeeping (not obligatory and based on your satisfaction). Make sure to check as rates fluctuate.
Exchange Rates are published daily in the newspapers and online at xe.com.
Credit Cards and Travelers Checks: MasterCard and Visa credit cards are generally accepted throughout Southern Africa. American Express and Diners Club are also widely accepted. ATMs are available in all towns, cities and shopping malls. It is recommended that you contact your credit card company and your bank to advise them when and where you will be traveling in order to avoid what may be picked up as suspicious activity, and thereby cancellation of the card by your credit card provider. Travelers Checks can be changed at banks and post offices.
Capital: South Africa has three capitals. Cape Town, the seat of Parliament; Pretoria, the seat of the President and Cabinet; and Bloemfontein, capital of the Free State and site of the Supreme Court
Language: English and Afrikaans are official languages. Eleven other languages such as IsiZulu are spoken. English is the official language of business.
Currency: South African Rand (R). One rand is made up of 100 cents.
Religion: About 79 percent of the population is Christian although Judaism, Hinduism and Islam are also practised
Time Zone: GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) +2 hours, Central Africa Time
Electricity: 230 volts, 50 HZ
Telephone: Country code for calling South Africa is 27
Mobile Telephone: To call North America, call 011 + area code and 7-digit phone telephone number
Emergency Numbers: Police emergency assistance is 10111 from land line; Ambulance: 082 911; Fire: 10177