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Country South Africa

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Located in South Africa :: Free State  :: Bloemfontein
Category: Places :: Country


South Africa is truly diverse, not only as a rainbow nation with different cultures, but also in terms of landscape, fauna and flora. The country is geared for tourism and offers a lot in terms of natural beauty, wildlife and historical attractions.

National parks like Kruger and Kgalagadi, as well as private game reserves, offer some of the finest game viewing in Africa. The Western Cape is renowned for its beautiful capital, Cape Town (aka the Mother City), splendid beaches, lush winelands and historical towns.

The Garden Route stretches for about 200 kilometres along the southeast coast and offers some of the most breath-taking scenery, charming towns and a plethora of tourist attractions. This is one of the most popular routes in South Africa.

Another top destination in South Africa is the Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal. This spectacular mountain range offers the country’s highest peaks, cliffs, buttresses, waterfalls and crystal-clear streams. In winter the dramatic peaks are often covered in snow.

An amazing stop between Johannesburg and Kruger National Park is Blyde River, the second largest canyon in Africa and the nearby awe-inspiring panoramic viewpoints, Three Rondavels and God’s Window.

South Africa is in essence a first world country and so is easy to travel. Virtually every town has all basic services and distances between towns are generally small. If you don’t find what you need in one town, chances are good that the next will have it. People are friendly but you should always be safety conscious.

Address :  South Africa

Travelling Information

When you’re travelling across African borders in a vehicle, certain documents will be required by all countries:
A valid passport, with at least six months remaining validity before expiry. (Double check that it’s stamped with the correct date of entry at immigration when entering the country).

A certified copy of the vehicle registration papers in the name of the driver. It is advisable to have extra copies.

A letter of authority from the registered owner if the driver is not the owner of the vehicle.
If the vehicle is still being financed, carry a letter of authority from the bank (must include dates of travel) together with the vehicle registration papers.

A yellow fever certificate. Some countries in Africa are endemic yellow fever countries. You will need a yellow fever certificate if you’ve come from such a country.
Also check which vaccinations are required for the countries you intend to visit and carry proof of these.

If you plan an extended trip through Southern Africa, it will be worth your while to get a Carnet de Passage. If you don’t have a Carnet you will need to obtain a Temporary Import Permit (TIP) on arrival at each border post. There usually is a fee payable. Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland only require a Carnet for vehicles entering from outside the Southern African Common Customs Area. However, upon entering South Africa, drivers of vehicles registered in neighbouring countries (Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique) can register their vehicles with customs and get a permit free of charge which allows them access for six months.
Although only Namibia, South Africa and Zambia require proof of vehicle insurance, it’s best to travel fully insured. Double check that your insurance will cover you in all the countries you intend visiting.

All vehicles must display their international licence plate country code (bold block letters in uppercase on a small white oval plate or sticker) near the number plate on the rear of the vehicle.
Some countries like Botswana, require additional documentation:

All children travelling into or out of South Africa must have an unabridged birth certificate (UBC) as well as a valid passport. To combat child trafficking all minors now require the consent of their parents when travelling into or out of South Africa. When only one parent is travelling with a child (or the person who is travelling with a child is not his or her biological parent), the accompanying person/parent must have a Parental Consent Affidavit from the non-travelling parent/s, whose details are recorded on the UBC.

Third-party Insurance: South Africa the cost of Third Party Insurance is included in the fuel price whereas in countries like Namibia it’s included in your cross-border charge.
Customs: Border post officials have the right to search or inspect your vehicle for illegal imports, contraband or imported items which exceed allowable limits. While this right is not often exercised, you should remember that they’re perfectly entitled to perform such searches; getting angry or indignant about it isn’t going to make things better.

Have a list of all your valuable electronic equipment (with serial numbers) available and declare them
Foreigners have to declare all valuables such as cameras, electronic and camping equipment (e.g. rooftop tent) when they enter South Africa.

Travelling with pets is challenging. Some countries require an import permit for your cat/dog and all countries require a veterinary health certificate, issued at your point of origin. How long this certificate is valid for varies from country to country, and some might require your pet to undergo a period of quarantine when entering. Such quarantine facilities are not available at border posts, usually only at airports, so it is best to check before travelling.

Prohibited goods: Counterfeit money and goods. Pornographic material. Any form of narcotics, habit-forming drugs and related substances. Military firearms, ammunition, explosives and dangerous weapons. Endangered species of plant, live animals and their products are prohibited under CITES. Plants and plant materials. Meat of swine and by-products of swine origin from South Africa. Live poultry and hatching eggs originated from Asian and European countries. Live cloven-hoofed animals (bovine animals, sheep, goats, swine, buffaloes, antelopes, etc) and animal products thereof, originating from the State of Mato Grosso in Brazil and its neighbouring states. Distilled beverages containing essences or recognized harmful products as absinthe, or ether-derived products. Select items of cultural heritage. Fireworks. Poison and other toxic substances. Unlawful reproductions of any works subject to copyright. Penitentiary or prison-made goods.
South African nationals are banned from bringing alcohol into Lesotho.

South African citizens who return to SA are not allowed to bring fuel in containers through the border without paying import duty. Even though officials don’t always check, it’s best to empty the fuel containers into your vehicle’s tank before crossing the border. There is no issue with the fuel carried in built-in long-range fuel tanks.

Restricted goods:
Certain goods may only be imported if you are in possession of the necessary permit:
Firearms/weapons; Gold coins; Unprocessed minerals (e.g. gold, diamonds, etc); Animals, plants and their products (e.g. animal skins, dairy products, honey); Medicine (you’re allowed sufficient quantities for own treatment for three months so long as this is accompanied by a letter or certified prescription from a registered physician); Herbal products (Department of Health permit required).

A special note on meat, fruit and vegetables: The importation regulations on meat, animal products, fruit and vegetables change frequently because they’re reactive to disease outbreaks in the southern Africa region. Visitors have to declare all plants/plant products and animals/animal products upon entering Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
When in doubt, abstain from taking any firewood, meat, milk, fruit or vegetables into these countries as these products might be confiscated at the border.

Drones: The use of drones for recreational purposes has become increasingly popular in recent years. What an amazing way to record your trip and share it with others! However, you can’t just pack your drone and go filming as you wish.
If you want to use your footage commercially, you have to obtain a permit in advance. Some countries require permits for recreational drone use as well. These have to be acquired at least 30 days before you enter the country.

Rand. (ZAR).

Drive on the left-hand side of the road and adhere to British driving rules. The road infrastructure is mostly excellent with national roads maintained by the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL). Many of the national roads between the major centres are toll roads. Check the toll fees before you leave, and make sure that you have either a credit card or cash.

While national roads are tarred and in good condition, secondary roads in rural areas can be poorly surfaced and potholed. In remoter areas like the Transkei, roads are mostly unpaved and can be challenging after heavy rains.

The general speed limit on national highways, urban freeways and other major routes is 120 km/h. On secondary (rural) roads it is 100 km/h and in built-up areas it is usually 60 km/h unless otherwise indicated.

All occupants of a vehicle are required to wear seatbelts and the use of mobile phones while driving is against the law. You are not allowed to drive on beaches, other than with a permit for a specifically designated area.

When you ask directions, you may be surprised to get a response like ‘turn left at the next robot’. The robot in question is the South African term for a traffic light. 4-Way stops (indicated by a red STOP sign with the number 4 below it) are commonly found at the quieter intersections; the first vehicle to arrive has priority. At roundabouts, give way to the right and proceed with caution.

If there is an accident, you should clear the road of the vehicles as soon as possible, if nobody is hurt. Report the accident as soon as possible to the police. If somebody is seriously injured or dead you are not allowed to move anything on the accident scene until the police and emergency services arrived.

Minibus taxis in South Africa are notorious for bad driving. Be on the lookout for them and drive extra cautiously as they can be very unpredictable. Always maintain a safe following distance and switch headlights on when visibility is poor, ensuring that you are visible to all road users.

Be aware that the roads in many rural areas are not fenced, so you could find dogs, chickens, sheep and even horses or cows on the road, therefore it may be dangerous to drive at night. Large antelope crossing the road can also be a hazard in certain areas; watch out for the road signs depicting a leaping antelope, and take it slowly, especially towards evening and after dark.

11 official languages, English is the most commonly spoken language.

59.6 million.

GMT+2 Central Africa Time.

Visas are not issued at South African ports of entry; visitors have to apply in advance at their nearest consulate.

Nationals of the following countries don’t require visas for stays of up to 30 days:
Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Gabon, Guyana, Hong Kong, Hungary, Jordan, Lesotho, Macau, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Peru, Poland, South Korea, Swaziland, Thailand and Turkey.

Nationals of the following countries don’t require visas for stays of up to 90 days:
Andorra, Angola, Anguilla, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Falkland Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jersey, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Monaco, Montserrat, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Pitcairn Islands, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Islands, St Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, São Tomé and Príncipe, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turks and Caicos Islands, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, British Virgin Islands, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

 Travel Tip!

You are not allowed to bring fuel through the border post in containers without paying import duty. Even though officials don’t always check, it is best to empty loose fuel containers into your vehicle’s tank before crossing the border. There is no problem with the fuel in long-range fuel tanks.

Visitors are advised to take the following safety precautions:
Always drive with your doors locked and keep windows up when stopping at traffic lights.
Don't pick up hitchhikers, however innocent, lost or appealing they look. If you are seriously worried about someone's plight, stop at the next town and report it to the police.
Do not leave anything valuable in view when you leave your car unattended. Always lock it and try to park in a busy, well-lit area.
Take advice from your hosts about what areas are safe to visit and which are not.
Do not confront aggressive or abusive road users.
Thieves have been known to employ various methods to make a vehicle stop, enabling them to rob the occupants. One such method is to place large stones in the middle of the road. In these circumstances it is prudent to carefully drive around the stones or obstacle without stopping.

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