Our destination experts are happy to South Africa travel advice for your tour of this vibrant nation.


South Africa has eleven official languages – English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, Setswana, South Sotho, North Sotho, Tsonga, SiSwati, Venda and Ndebele. There is also a special slang language called “funigalore” – which is a mixture of many of the above-mentioned languages.

South Africa Travel Advice
South African people are friendly and helpful, and many speak English.

Cash & Credit

All leading credit cards are accepted in most hotels, shops, restaurants and airlines, but not at rural souvenir markets. Certain banks have recently imposed a limit on the use of debit cards abroad. Some debit cards can no longer be used for making purchases or drawing money in non-European countries. Others are limited by a very low daily limit. ATMs are easily found in every city and town, usually open 24/7. In remote areas, it will be difficult to find ATM machines that accept foreign cards.


  • Use or convert back any local currency before leaving, as it will be difficult to change once you are overseas.
  • Notify your credit card company that you will be travelling and using your card abroad.
  • Make sure you know your Credit Card PIN as you will need this for credit card payments and for withdrawing money from ATMs.
  • Check with your bank about the charges for withdrawing from ATMs abroad.

Communications & Internet

It can be expensive to make calls in South Africa. The phone network is spread across most parts of South Africa and offers similar comfort to European networks. In rural areas, telephones can be few and far in between. To make calls in South Africa, we recommend you use of a telephone card. These can be purchased in telephone shops or in one of the many supermarkets, post offices, filling stations and at the airport, for ZAR 20-200. Booths for telephone cards are recognizable by their green color, pay phones by their blue color.

Mobile phones are easy to use and popular in South Africa. In the countryside, connection can occasionally be disrupted but coverage is usually no problem in major cities. Mobile networks are well equipped for mobile internet surfing, with often good internet speed. We advise the purchase of a prepaid card of a local provider if you want to make cheap calls within South Africa. A SIM card can be purchased for a few ZAR in many supermarkets or telephone shops. Charges are about ZAR 2-3 per minute. Please bring your passport and address of accommodation.

You can use Skype WIFI in WLAN hotspots to receive online access, and is billed per minute via Skype airtime. Most hotels have an automatic dial exchange in rooms. Remember to dial your country code and leave out the 0 of the area code, e.g. +44 20 1122334.

Most hotels and increasingly also safari lodges offer internet and/or WIFI services to guests (usually subject to a charge). Many airports, restaurants, cafés and shopping centers offer WIFI; e.g. the entire waterfront in Cape Town has free access. There is also WIFI in the subway. Internet cafés are found throughout the country and South Africa boasts an almost 100% GPS coverage. Broadband internet is slower than in Europe.

South Africa Travel Advice on Getting Around

Taxis cannot be hailed in the street as they have designated stopping areas (usually in front of the major hotels) but they can be ordered by telephone. The major car rental companies are represented throughout most of South Africa. In line with stipulations as set out by car rental companies when renting a vehicle, you must, in addition to a fuel deposit also guarantee a stipulated amount in lieu of insurance with your credit card. The insurance included in the rental only covers 90%. For this you will need a valid driving license.

South Africa Travel Advice

Safety & Security

Crime in South Africa, like in many other places in today’s world, can be a problem, but all you really need to do is take the usual sensible precautions and follow some basic safety rules.

  • Know where you are going before you set off, particularly at night and always check beforehand if the areas you plan to visit are safe. Like anywhere, there are some areas of the major cities that are known to be more risky than others. It is easy to avoid these and still have a good time.
  • Please deposit all your valuables in the hotel safe and do not leave valuables in your room, not even in a locked suitcase.
  • If you cannot avoid such areas, then avoid wearing visible jewelry or carrying cameras and bags over your shoulder and carry minimum cash as many citizens in South Africa live in poverty and unfortunately consider visitors as a “source of income”.
  • Keep mobile phones and wallets tucked away where no one can see them.
  • Do not hitchhike, or accept or carry items from strangers.
  • It is not advisable to wander around deserted streets, especially after dark.

Health Information

South Africa requires a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate from all visitors over one year of age, who are arriving from any country with risk of yellow fever. This also applies to travelers on transit via Johannesburg irrespective of their duration of stay. Yellow fever vaccination must be obtained at least 10 days before your trip. If you are coming directly from Europe or the Middle East to East Africa and you do not pass through any country with risk of yellow fever, you do not require a Yellow Fever Vaccination.

Visitors should take the necessary Malaria prophylaxis if they are visiting Kruger National Park. For entry to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe), Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique a malaria prophylactic, as prescribed by your doctor, is highly recommended.

Medical facilities in cities and larger towns are world-class, but you will find that clinics and hospitals in rural areas tend to deal with primary health need, and therefore do not offer the range of medical care that the large metropolitan hospitals do. Medical practitioners in government as well as in private hospitals in South Africa boast international standards of qualification and are deployed round the country, so help is never far away. You can also purchase medication in pharmacies, which can be found in shopping malls.

Best time to travel

A sprawling nation, the climate in South Africa varies greatly between regions. In general, travel to South Africa is possible at any time of the year however, the best time to travel depends entirely on the region you plan to visit. Your travel consultant is happy to offer detailed South Africa travel advice on the best time to travel. You can also follow this link for more information on when to visit South Africa.BEST TIME TO TRAVEL TO SOUTH AFRICA


South African wines are world class! We recommend the dry white wines such as: Buitenverwachting Blanc de Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc, Hamilton Russell Chardonnay, Thelema Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc. Some great reds are: Zandvliet Shiraz, Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon, Meerlust Merlot, Beyerskloof Pinotage. We recommend all wine connoisseurs and lovers to purchase the John Platter Wine Guide on arrival as it classifies, rates and describes each South African wine in details.

South Africa Travel Advice


Tipping is at your own discretion depending on your satisfaction with the services offered. Most safari lodges have a central tipping box where you can leave a tip. The tips are then equally divided among all the hotel staff, except for the guide who is tipped separately. Tips on safaris are usually higher than when you stay in a city or beach hotel.


You will be pleasantly surprised at the prices and good quality of the goods, thus enhancing the buying power of your own currency. South Africa is popular for woodcarvings, handmade articles, ostrich leather goods, paintings and pottery and a wide, diverse selection exists from area to area. Antiques such as furniture, copper and silverware – from the 18th and 19th centuries – are freely available throughout the country. South African wines and spirits, which are very well priced, are also popular. Clothing, shoes, jewelry and semi-precious stones are bargains in South Africa. Sports gear and safari-style clothing are also good buys.

Most animal and plant products are not allowed to be exported from South Africa according to the Washington Conservation Convention – i.e. leopard and other pelts, ivory, crocodile bags, snakeskin products, mounted butterflies, cacti, cicadas and orchids. Most shops are open from 8:30am – 7pm, Monday to Friday and from 8:30am – 3pm on Saturdays.

Insider South Africa Travel Advice

Our destination experts are happy to share more South Africa travel advice and help you plan your tour according to your interests and preferences. Contact us for your tailor-made and obligation-free itinerary.


Excellent / 4.9 out of 5
from the blog
Winter in South Africa - Enchanting Travels South Africa Tours Addo elephant national park,eastern cape
By: Jo Kromberg
9 min

Winter in South Africa – the superb, secret season!

Winter in South Africa offers unique experiences far from the madding crowds. From African safaris to Cape Town, wine tours in South Africa and adventure, learn why.you should visit in winter.


Kruger: The Best South Africa Safari Adventures
By: Mouli
5 min

Kruger: The Best South Africa Safari Adventures

Kruger National Park is one of the most popular destination for safari thanks to the hundreds of species of animals and birds that call it home. Here's your lowdown.


Südafrika Rundreisen: Die Winelands sind ein Traum für Feinschmecker
By: Jen
4 min

A Taste Of Vine & Wine Experiences in South Africa

Planning a South Africa vacation? Discover traditional secrets and the bond between the terroir and tipple.


POPULAR TRIPS TO south africa

Namibia and South Africa: Highlights of the South

13 Days: $ 12,035 / person
Discover dramatic landscapes from the air and overland, from the towering dunes of Sossusvlei to the ancient rock formations of Damaraland, soak in the cosmopolitan vibe of cities such as Windhoek and Cape Town, and enjoy unique game drives in Etosha and Big Five safaris at Kruger.
Details Inquire
South Africa trip

South Africa: Western Cape and Kruger

9 Days: $ 4,390 / person
Discover the highlights of South Africa on your private tour. From the quintessential African metropolis of Cape Town, let your journey lead you to the stunning Winelands where delicious vintage and some of the world’s best gastronomic delights await.
Details Inquire

South Africa: Winelands, Garden Route and Eastern Cape

13 Days: $ 5,390 / person
This tour offers the best of South Africa – from fine wine and cuisine, to cosmopolitan culture, historic towns and wildlife safaris. Begin your South Africa tour is Cape Town, the cosmopolitan heart of the country.
Details Inquire
Load More

Authentic Experiences

Our award-winning, licensed expert guides providing local insights and insider tips. Their passion is enchanting our guests.

Freedom & Flexibility

Fully customized private trips based on your interests and preferences made possible through deep destination expertise.

Safety & Security

We work exclusively with licensed chauffeurs tested for skill and the highest standards of safety. All vehicles are sefety-tested.

100% Financial Protection

We are bonded members and license holders of all leading travel organizations. Your booking is completely secure.

Quality & Comfort

Personally tested accommodation and restaurant recommendations. We select comfortable, high-quality vehicles.

Never Feel Stranded

Your dedicated, destination-based trip coordinator is reachable 24/7 and we offer mobile phone access during travel.


Enchanting Travels custom-designed our African Adventure to include all the specific locations and activities we were interested in. We did not have to worry about any details and were free to enjoy the most extraordinary adventure that was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our first visit to Africa, including activities at Victoria Falls, safari adventures with great guides, and all the accommodations were fantastic.

Rating 5/5

Judith MoranUSA

We were recommended by friends to use Enchanting travel to help plan our Africa Experience. From first contact to the conclusion of the trip Enchanting travel supported our every need and looked after every detail. Our trip was absolutely flawless and an experience of a life time. I would be happy to discuss our trip with any potential customers as we feel our agenda gave us the perfect overview of sights, culture and safari activities. We came home and feel we missed nothing.

Rating 5/5

Jonas WilliamsUSA

This was truly an “Enchanting” adventure! The value and service was beyond excellent! The entire team ensured every detail was taken care of and went out of their way to welcome us! And every hotel and excursion was amazing, and we were greeted with welcoming open arms every where we stayed! Nothing was left to chance…and we felt so secure knowing Enchanting Travels had everything lined up for us! Even our lodges said Enchanting Travels was a top-notch company!

Rating 5/5

David FeitlerUSA

Do you have a vacation in mind? Personalize your itinerary with our Trip Builder.