South Africa :: Free State
Category: Places :: Country
Travel Region: Richtersveld (Northern Cape)
Travel Region: Namaqwaland (Northern Cape)
Travel Region: Cedarberg (Western Cape)
Travel Region: West Coast (Northern Cape)
Travel Region: Garden Route (Western Cape)
Travel Region: Great Karoo (Western Cape)
Travel Region: Klein Karoo (Western Cape)
Travel Region: Northern Cape
Travel Region: Winelands (Western Cape)
Travel Region: Limpopo
Travel Region: East Griqualand (Eastern Cape)
Travel Region: Eastern Cape
Travel Region: Free State
Travel Region: Mpumalanga
Travel Region: North West
Travel Region: Gauteng
Travel Region: Peninsula (Western Cape)
TOP ATTRACTION: Addo Elephant National Park
TOP ATTRACTION: Apartheid Museum
TOP ATTRACTION: Augrabies Falls
TOP ATTRACTION: Blood River Museum
TOP ATTRACTION: Boulders Penguin Colony
TOP ATTRACTION: Bourke's Luck Potholes
TOP ATTRACTION: Cango Caves
TOP ATTRACTION: Cape Of Good Hope
TOP ATTRACTION: Cape Point
TOP ATTRACTION: The Cradle Of Humankind
TOP ATTRACTION: Garden Of Eden
TOP ATTRACTION: God's Window
TOP ATTRACTION: Golden Gate Highlands National Park
TOP ATTRACTION: Karoo National Park
TOP ATTRACTION: Kimberley Big Hole Museum
TOP ATTRACTION: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
TOP ATTRACTION: Kruger National Park
TOP ATTRACTION: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
TOP ATTRACTION: Mandela House
TOP ATTRACTION: Namaqua National Park
TOP ATTRACTION: Nelson Mandela Museum
TOP ATTRACTION: Robben Island
TOP ATTRACTION: Table Mountain Aerial Cableway
TOP ATTRACTION: Three Rondavels
TOP ATTRACTION: V&A Waterfront
TOP ATTRACTION: Vredefort Dome Conservancy
TOP ATTRACTION: Wonderwerk Cave
TOP ATTRACTION: West Coast National Park
TOP ATTRACTION: Cederberg Wilderness Area
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.
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CHILDREN TRAVELLING TO AND FROM SOUTH AFRICA - SAFETY REQUIREMENTS:
Apart from a valid passport, all children must travel with a copy of their birth certificate or equivalent document or passport containing the details of the parent or parents of the child. If a child is accompanied by one parent only, a copy of the passport or identity document and contact details of the absent parent must be presented together with a letter of consent from the absent parent. Where applicable a copy of a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child must be presented. If only one parent is alive, a copy of a death certificate of the deceased parent must be presented.
If a child is travelling with a person who is not his/her biological parent or guardian, a parental letter(s) of consent must accompany the above required documents.
DRIVING IN SOUTH AFRICA:
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.
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.
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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