Malaria is not present throughout the whole of South Africa, but areas where prophylaxis should be taken include KwaZulu-Natal, areas of the north coast, Kruger National Park and the Botswana & Mozambique border areas. Your doctor can advise you on the best type for the area of travel and your personal requirements. However, taking prophylaxis will not guarantee that you will not contract malaria! The best way to avoid malaria is to avoid being bitten by the mosquitoes that carry the parasite. Only the females of one species of mosquito (Anopheles) carry the tiny parasite, and the greatest incidence of malaria is in areas of high population where there are many people for the mosquito to bite and pass the parasite between.
Mosquitoes usually bite between sunset and sunrise, so make sure that you are covered up during this time! Wear loose fitting, long sleeved shirts and trousers, use a good insect repellent and sleep underneath a mosquito net or in a tent/ room sealed with netting.
If you do develop flu-like symptoms, or feel at all unwell, during your holiday or after your return home, you must make sure that your doctor knows that you have recently travelled in a malaria area. Malaria is not a serious problem provided people take adequate precautions and seek advice and treatment immediately if they feel unwell.
Hospital treatment in large cities of South Africa is good but can be expensive. Medical facilities in rural areas can be basic. In remote areas, air evacuation is sometimes the only option for medical emergencies. For this reason you must make sure that comprehensive travel insurance is taken out before you travel, this insurance should cover any medical expenses, air evacuation and repatriation if necessary.
The water is safe to drink throughout most of South Africa. In the remote areas, purification tablets or bottled mineral water should be used. Plenty of water must be drunk to prevent dehydration. We recommend 2-3 litres minimum, excluding beverages such as tea, coffee, juice and alcohol. Dehydration can cause very serious problems, it is totally avoidable, so don't let this spoil your holiday!
Rainy season: Late November to late March in most of the country. The Western Cape has more of a temperate climate with rain all year round and a cooler average temperature than the tropical regions of the north and east coast.
Summer: October to March with a high of 30° C and a low of 17° C.
Winter: June to September with a high of 20° C and a low of 5° C.
There is no "best time" to visit South Africa as the different seasons all offer completely different experiences! However, you may like to consider the following when planning your trip:
Pros: Lush green landscape, quieter tourism except for Christmas & Easter.
Cons: Wildlife is more spread out, very warm temperatures in the tropical areas, activities may be interrupted by rain.
Pros: Higher chances of excellent game viewing, cooler, few mosquitoes, great spring wildflowers in September, whale watching at the coast.
Cons: Busiest tourism period, especially in the SA school holidays of July & August, cold mornings and evenings, drier environment.
Our personal preference would be for either March - April, except Easter, or September - October as these times are neither too hot nor too cool and the tourist areas are generally quieter. In March-April the game viewing is usually excellent and in September the spring flowers are riotously beautiful, whale sightings are at their best off the coast and the rains have not usually begun.
Bring plenty of memory cards and a spare camera battery as these items may not be available in some of the more remote areas of Namibia.
A good zoom lens (minimum 200 mm) is essential for wildlife photography.
Neutral, muted colours such as khaki, dark green or beige ensure as little disturbance to wildlife as possible whilst on game drives or walks. White or bright colours are not advised, neither are army camouflage uniforms or army hats. Normal beach wear such a shorts & T-shirts are useful for the coast, as are sarongs and hats as the sun is very strong.
Neutral coloured casual clothing (shorts/shirts) for everyday wear, stout shoes (with soles thick enough to protect against thorns and for walking), light waterproof jacket for the rainy season, warm jumper/ fleece for winter or for the more temperate regions, warm long trousers for winter, two sets of good casual clothes for evening dining where appropriate, towel, broad brimmed hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, camera, plenty of film & spare battery, binoculars, reliable torch, sleeping bag if camping.
It is also worth noting that if you are travelling by light aircraft or as part of a guided safari, you should carry no more than 10-15kg of luggage in a soft bag for ease of packing.
The South African Rand is split into 100 cents. US$ can be easily exchanged throughout the country, as can Euro and pounds sterling. Traveller’s cheques can also be changed in banks and most hotels, lodges & shops accept credit cards, mainly Visa or Mastercard. You may only carry ZAR 5,000.00 cash on your person, when entering South Africa.
Your passport must be valid for no less than 30 days after your intended departure from South Africa and you must have at least two blank pages in your passport. Visitors from most British Commonwealth countries and some others can obtain tourist visas for up to 3 months at the border. Please contact us for details regarding your personal visa requirements
Destination:Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana
Destination:South Africa, Mozambique
Destination:Indian Ocean Islands, South Africa
Destination:Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana
Destination:South Africa, Mozambique
Destination:Namibia, South Africa
Style:3-4*, Wildlife, Active
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