South Africa

South Africa a land of contrasts, and home to countless birds, plants and animal species, and people of diverse cultures and languages. Africa's current preferred hunting grounds, South Africa boasts the largest number of animal species available for hunting on the African continent.

Mkhamba Safaris can make your African hunting safari experience a memorable one. Contact Us

Facts on the following topics can be found here. Click on the topic which interests you:

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Geographical Features

With an area of 1 227 200 sq.km (472 359 sq.miles), South Africa is situated at the southern most tip of Africa. It's West coast borders the Atlantic Ocean and the Eastern coastline runs along the Indian Ocean. In the North, it borders Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe and in the Northeast, Mozambique and Swaziland.

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Provinces

South Africa is divided into nine provinces: Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Limpopo Province (Northern), North West and Western Cape.

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Climate

Generally, the climate allows for a sunny holiday at any time of the year. However, your dress requirements will vary according to your destination, and the time of the year you are visiting, so rather be prepared! If your visit is to occur in summer, the use of a hat and sunscreen is recommended. In the summer, lightweight cotton clothing is advised because daytime temperatures generally hover around 25-40 degrees Celsius.

Midwinter occurs in June and July, midsummer in December and January. The climate types range from Mediterranean in the Cape Peninsula to sub-tropical on the KwaZulu-Natal coast and in the North Eastern interior, and temperate conditions prevail on the Highveld (around Johannesburg).

For the brief period of January until Mid-March, temperatures in some places reach up to 45 degrees celsius. During this period, the nights might be just as hot. Further inland there is often afternoon or evening thunderstorms. The rain in the summer months may become quite heavy, so a raincoat is advisable.

In the winter months (May to October) the sun shines almost every day. Daytime temperatures hover around 17 to 22 degrees Celsius. The evenings can get very cold. Temperatures can plummet to below zero in most parts of the country. The greater parts experience semi-arid temperatures, which consist of hot days with cooler (summer), to very cold (winter) nights. Very few places have central heating as most South Africans are prepared for the heat.

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Altitude

Most overseas visitors land at Johannesburg International Aiport first before moving on to their next destination. Johannesburg is quite high, sitting at an altitude of 1800 metres above sea level.

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Currency

The currency is the South African Rand (R) and the international symbol is ZAR. R1 = 100 cents. Bank note denominations are R200, R100, R50, R20, and R10.

The best system is always to have some cash South African Rands on your person using credit cards where you can. Normal banking hours are 08.30-15.30 weekdays and 08.30-12.00 on Saturdays, depending on the town. Banks will cash traveler's cheques or give cash advances on credit cards, though the clearance required for a cash advance may take 30 minutes or so. Prompt replacement of travellers cheques are issued if they are stolen. In the remote rural areas cash is essential. Wherever you are, petrol stations (gas stations) always require cash. Credit cards cannot be used at petrol stations (gas stations).

Banks in the cities will cash any travelers' cheques, but Visa and Mastercard are accepted almost everywhere, and American Express and Diners are also accepted in the larger towns/cities.

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Foreign Exchange

Travellers cheques and foreign currency notes of all major currencies can be exchanged at airports, commercial banks as well as at major hotels. Fluctuations in foreign exchange markets are reflected in rates quoted on a daily basis.

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Credit Cards

Most credit cards as well as travellers cheques are accepted. Fuel cannot be paid for with standard credit cards.

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Value Added Tax (VAT)

Value added tax (VAT) is included in the price of most goods and services. Visitors are required to pay VAT on purchased goods. VAT refunds may be claimed at airports, harbours and customs offices on items taken out of the country where the total value exceeds R250. Please note that Mkhamba Safaris is NOT VAT registered, therefore we do not charge VAT and no VAT can be claimed.

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Documentation Needed

All visitors must have a passport, which is valid for at least six months after they are due to leave, and an onward ticket of some sort. Travelers from certain countries need a visa. Hunters bringing their weapons into South Africa, even if it is in transit need to complete other documentation. For more information CLICK HERE

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Electricity

The electricity supply in South Africa is 220/230 volts AC 50 Hz. Appliances of lesser voltage require a transformer. Adapters are obtainable locally.

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Water

South African tap water, found in the main urban areas, is extremely palatable and perfectly safe to drink. Bottled water is also available in most retail outlets.

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Languages

There are 11 official languages. English is the official language and is taught throughout the education system. The two major Black languages are Zulu and Xhosa, though Afrikaans is still the lingua franca amongst many of the people. English is spoken and understood by most of the people. The main ethnic languages fall into the Bantu and Khoisan language groups.

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Greetings

African societies are rarely as rushed as Western ones. In most African cultures it is a sign of disrespect for the local person to greet first. They wait politely for you to extend the greeting, then reply.

You should always greet the person first before making enquiries. Friendly handshakes are expected in the more rural areas.

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Clothing

Your clothing is an area that can easily give offence. Skimpy, revealing clothing is frowned upon by most many South African cultures, especially when worn by women. Shorts are fine for the bush or the beach, but dress conservatively and avoid short shorts, especially in the more rural areas. Respectable locals will wear long trousers (men) or longer skirts (women).

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Immunization

No immunization is needed when entering the country except when entering it within six days after leaving a yellow-fever infected area.

Please note that there are Malaria Areas within South Africa. If you are visiting a Malaria area, you must visit with your family doctor and ask for prophylaxis treatment for CHLOROQUINE RESISTANT malaria strains.

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Medical Services

For visitors with health insurance, there are several first-class private hospitals and a Rescue company (Medi Rescue), which provides emergency air evacuations from the rural areas.

Visitors to South Africa should always take out a comprehensive medical insurance policy to cover them for emergencies, including the cost of evacuation to bigger cities and towns within the region, if they are travelling through rural areas. Such policies come with an emergency number (often on a reverse-charge/call collect basis). You would be wise to memorise this, or record it in as many places as possible on your baggage.

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