South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa, is a country located at the southern tip of Africa. It has 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline that stretches along the South Atlantic and Indian oceans. To the north lie the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe; to the east are Mozambique and Swaziland; within it lies Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South African territory. South Africa is the 25th-largest country in the world by land area, and with close to 53 million people, is the worlds 24th-most populous nation.
When to go:
As South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere their seasons are opposite to the UK, although it is a year round destination, October to April are the most popular times to visit.
Average monthly temperature (°C)
English and Afrikaans.
South African Rand.
Dates for the diary:
May to October is the whale watching season in Hermanus, near Cape Town.
Visas for British passport holders are free on arrival for stays of up to 90 days; passports should be valid for at least six months from your date of return. Before travelling you should ensure that you are up to date with the standard vaccinations such as Diphtheria, Tetanus, Meningitis, Typhoid and anti-Malarial protection is essential for Kruger National Park. Always consult your GP for up to date vaccination requirements for the country and area you are visiting. For further information please contact the South Africa Tourist Board on 0870 1550 044 for up to date information.
The South African cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg can be reached on direct services with South African Airways, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Average journey times are 11 hours. Both cities are now also served by Emirates via Dubai or on KLM via Amsterdam.
For the latest update-to-date South Africa travel advice, click here.
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