Traveling Luck for South Africa
South Africa is located in Southern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa.
Land in South Africa is vast interior plateau rimmed by rugged hills and narrow coastal plain.
South African land covers an area of 1219912 square kilometers which is slightly less than twice the size of Texas
As for the South African climate; mostly semiarid; subtropical along east coast; sunny days, cool nights.
South African(s) speak IsiZulu 23.8%, IsiXhosa 17.6%, Afrikaans 13.3%, Sepedi 9.4%, English 8.2%, Setswana 8.2%, Sesotho 7.9%, Xitsonga 4.4%, other 7.2% (2001 census).
Places of note in South Africa
- Cape Town
- Port Elizabeth
- Richards Bay
- Somerset West
South African National Map
Regions of South Africa
After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (the Boers) trekked north to found their own republics. The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Boers resisted British encroachments, but were defeated in the Boer War (1899-1902). The resulting Union of South Africa operated under a policy of apartheid - the separate development of the races. The 1990s brought an end to apartheid politically and ushered in black majority rule.
South Africa is a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources; well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors; a stock exchange that ranks among the 10 largest in the world; and a modern infrastructure supporting an efficient distribution of goods to major urban centers throughout the region. However, growth has not been strong enough to lower South Africa's high unemployment rate, and daunting economic problems remain from the apartheid era - especially poverty and lack of economic empowerment among the disadvantaged groups. South African economic policy is fiscally conservative, but pragmatic, focusing on targeting inflation and liberalizing trade as means to increase job growth and household income.
South African natural resources include gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt, natural gas
South Africa completely surrounds Lesotho and almost completely surrounds Swaziland
South African religion is Zion Christian 11.1%, Pentecostal/Charismatic 8.2%, Catholic 7.1%, Methodist 6.8%, Dutch Reformed 6.7%, Anglican 3.8%, other Christian 36%, Islam 1.5%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, none 15.1% (2001 census).
Natural hazards in South Africa include prolonged droughts.
- There is a high level of crime, but most occurs in townships and isolated areas away from tourist destinations.
- The standard of driving is variable, and there are many fatal accidents.
- You should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
- More than 460,000 Britons visit South Africa every year. Most visits are trouble-free. The main type of incident for which British nationals require consular assistance in South Africa is for replacing lost or stolen passports. Passport theft is usually opportunist and non-violent (and increasingly often occurs at airports on arrival or departure), although some passports are taken during muggings. You should keep photocopies of your passport with you in a separate place to your passport.
- We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake. Please see: Travel Insurance.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Keep large amounts of money, expensive jewellery, cameras and cell phones out of sight. Do not change large sums of money in busy public areas.
Flash flooding has damaged some roads in the Cape Provinces. Seek local advice on which routes are best avoided.
LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS
South Africa and the sub-Saharan region of Africa have a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS. South Africa actively promotes an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign, but given the high level of HIV/AIDS, you should seek immediate medical advice if you are sexually assaulted or otherwise injured.
Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis is present in all parts of South Africa.
Malaria is prevalent in parts of Mpumalanga, Limpopo province and KwaZulu-Natal (particularly the Wetlands area around St Lucia). Before travelling to these areas, including Kruger Park, you should seek medical advice on suitable anti-malarial medication and take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. More than three-quarters of British travellers who contracted malaria in 2005 did not take preventive measures, such as malaria prevention tablets. However, malaria can occur despite appropriate prevention, and therefore you should promptly seek medical care in the event of a fever or flu-like illness in country or in the first year following your return from travelling to a malaria risk country. Before travelling you should seek medical advice about the malaria risk in South Africa.
There are periodic outbreaks of cholera in the poor communities of rural South Africa, especially in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo provinces. Cholera is a highly contagious disease. You are advised to maintain a high level of personal hygiene and drink only bottled water if travelling in these areas.
Measles outbreaks occur from time to time in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces.
Rabies is endemic in most African countries, although only a few human cases are reported annually in South Africa. The rabies virus is transmitted through the saliva of infected animals and transmitted to humans through bites, scratches or contact of saliva with broken skin and can be fatal once symptoms manifest themselves. All travellers who have possibly been exposed to the rabies virus, whether by bites, scratches or other exposure, should seek medical advice without delay (even if pre-exposure vaccine was received). This also applies to travellers in low risk areas in case other animal-transmitted infections are present, or the animal may have strayed across the border from an endemic country. More information can be found on the National Travel Health Network and Centre: (NaTHNaC website.).
You should seek medical advice before travelling and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date. For further information on health, check the Department of Health website at: www.dh.gov.uk.
There is a high incidence of credit card fraud and fraud involving ATMs. Users of ATMs should be vigilant to ensure their PIN number is not observed by others when withdrawing money. Offers of assistance from bystanders should be refused. Do not change large sums of money in busy public areas.
Closely protect any documents containing details of credit card, PIN numbers and bank accounts.