Best time to visit
Unsure when to visit South Africa? Our travel experts at First Class share the best times to go depending on your interests.
Where to go
There's so much to see in South Africa. From Kruger National Park, viewing Big 5 game, to Table Mountain.
Be inspired by our range of itineraries in our South Africa brochure. We can personalise any element of your trip to how you want it.
Whatever you choose to do in South Africa, expect to be blown away. South Africa is a melting pot of diverse cultures, stunning scenery, rich flora and fauna, adventure and activities, vibrant cities and much more. Nearly half a million visitors from the UK are drawn to South Africa each year, lured by iconic attractions such as Soweto, which is the largest township in Africa; Mvezo, the birthplace of Nelson Mandela; Table Mountain – one of the New7Wonders of Nature; the Western Cape’s world-famous wine region, and the equally famous Kruger National Park.
Passports & Visas:
- You do need a passport or an equivalent travel document in order to enter South Africa.
- For detailed information on entry requirements visit the government's official website regarding entry requirements.
- If you’re visiting South Africa for tourism or business purposes for a period of up to 90 days, you don’t need a visa.
- If you wish to visit Eswatini when visiting South Africa, please click here for the correct entry requirements.
- It is recommended that travellers check country-specific health advise 8 weeks before travel here. Further information including advice on vacations and a malaria risk map can be found here.
Language & Culture:
- English is a widely spoken language so you will not struggle to communicate anywhere in South Africa. However, South Africa is home to 11 official languages, including English, Afrikaans, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu.
Food & Drink in South Africa:
- South Africa has its own type of barbecue known as the braai, which is a national favorite with many people in the country.In addition, the country has a steady supply of fresh fish and seafood thanks to the many fish that abound in its long coastline. South Africa also has a thriving wine industry, especially inland in the cape wine lands. Cape Town has a fruity and sweet Cape Malay cuisine. There is also a strong Indian influence mixed into Durban’s delicious curries.
- Tipping is not compulsory, but very welcome: 10-15% of the overall bill is generally customary
Money and Expenses:
- The currency used in South Africa is the rand (ZAR). There is a series of coins (10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2, R5), and notes in denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200. Banking hours are 09h00 to 15h30 on weekdays and Saturday from 09h00 to 11h00, although it is much quicker and simpler to use ATMs, which are open 24/7 and readily available countrywide. Major credit cards are accepted throughout the country, but it is advisable to have cash (including some smaller denominations) when doing roadside shopping, or when in a small village or rural area.
- Foreign tourists visiting South Africa can have their value-added tax (VAT) refunded provided the value of the items purchased exceeds R250. VAT is refunded on departure at the point of departure. VAT of 14% is levied on nearly all goods and services.
Government Travel Advice for South Africa:
- For the latest information on the country's safety, visit the official government website here
All regions (GMT +1:00)
From 10hr45 mins hours to 16 hours
South African Rand (R)
South African Airlines