At a glance
Full Name: The Republic of South Africa
Capital City: Pretoria (official); Bloemfontein (judicial) and Cape Town (legislative).
Area: 1,233,404 sq km(476,217 sq miles)
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +2 ()
Languages: Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, English, Tswana, Sotho, Southern, Swati, South Ndebele
Religion: Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and traditional religions
Must See’s and Must Do’s
Climb Table Mountain, Drive the Garden Route, Explore the Apartheid Museum, Frolic among the spring flowers in Namaqualand, Get the adrenaline going on a shark cage dive, Hike the Drakensburg mountain trails, See the Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo)on a game drive, See what lies beneath at Sodwana Bay, Spot whales in Hermanus, Stand on the tip of Africa at Cape Point, Surf South Africa’s famous waves, Swim with penguins at Boulders Beach, Take a turn around Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Taste the Cape Winelands, Unwind in the old Transkei, Walk in Mandela’s footsteps on Robben Island.
South Africa has the cheapest electricity in the world.
The only street in the world to house two Nobel Peace prizewinners is in Soweto. Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu both have houses on Vilakazi Street in Soweto.
South Africa has the most luxurious train in the world, The Rovos Rail.
The first human heart transplant was performed in a Cape Town hospital in 1967
South Africa has the longest stretching wine route in the world.
South Africa is home to the highest commercial bungy jump in the world, called Bloukrans Bridge Bungy (216 meters)
Best time to go
Low Season (Jun-Aug)
Winter is ideal for wildlife watching. School holiday late June to mid-July. Prices sometimes reflect this holiday; otherwise they are low, with discounts and packages offered.
Also September and October. Sunny spring and autumn weather. Wildflower season late August to early September. School holiday late September to early October. Optimum wildlife-watching conditions autumn onwards.
High Season (Nov-Mar)
Peak times are early December to mid-January and around Easter. During peak times, accommodation in national parks and the coast books up months in advance.
Knysna Oyster Festival (March)
Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (March-April)
Comrades Marathon (May/June)
The Sardine Run (June & July)
National Arts Festival (June – July)
Namaqualand daisies (August/September)
Oppikoppi festival (August)
Cherry Festival (November)
Cape Argus Cycle Tour (March)
Money and Costs
Rand (ZAR; symbol R) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of R200, 100, 50, 20 and 10. Coins are in denominations of R5, 2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10 and 5 cents.
1 AED =3.70 R
South African Consulate in Dubai :
3rd Floor, New Sharaf Building – D79, Tel : +971 4 397 5222, Website : www.dirco.gov.za/dubai
South African Embassy in Abu Dhabi :
Opposite Mushrif Mall, 25th Street, Villa Number 202 – Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed St, Tel : +971 2 447 3446, Website : www.dirco.gov.za/abudhabi
FLIGHTS BETWEEN UAE AND SOUTH AFRICA
PLACES YOU MUST VISIT