South Africa - South Africa is sometimes called "Noah's Ark" - due to the unique geographical position of the country is represented here unimaginable variety of species of animals and birds living in the equatorial, tropical and subtropical latitudes. In addition to the amazing fauna, South Africa is world famous for its diamonds - they are here except under the feet do not roll. A lover's holiday to the highest European standards can not please the fact that South Africa is still the most cultured, the most civilized and the whitest country in Africa.
The total area of South Africa: 1,219,912 square meters. km. At 5 times larger UK 2 times - France and is on the territory of Germany, France and Italy combined. The length of the border: 4750 km. It shares borders with Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Zimbabwe.
Coastline: 2,798 km. Highest point: Ndzhesuti (Njesuthi) - 3408 m. Capital - a metropolis consisting of two cities: Johannesburg and Pretoria (c recently called Tshwane). South Africa consists of 9 provinces - Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, North West, Northern Cape, Limpopo, Western Cape.
On the territory of this state, there are 2 enclave - independent states: the Kingdom of Swaziland and the Kingdom of Lesotho. West coast of South Africa, bordered to the south side of the Atlantic, while the eastern coastline is on the Indian Ocean. The total area of 1,219,912 square meters. km. In the north of South Africa, is bordered by Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, and in the north-east - with Mozambique.
South Africa - one of the most unique countries in Africa. Lush blend of ancient African cultures and rationalism of the freedom of European settlers, rich mineral and majestic nature where penguins live close to antelope and crocodiles, "meeting zone" two oceans and many cultures, this country is truly one of the most attractive on the African continent. Unique Drakensberg Mountains and Veld, and are natural monuments, and mountain resorts, considered one of the most beautiful mountain ranges of the world. And the legendary Cape of Good Hope and beautiful nature reserves of the country are known, perhaps, the vast majority of people on the planet.
North-west of the country, the area Gotang province (Gauteng) and arid plateau of the Transvaal, South Africa is the historic center - hence, from the area of the Witwatersrand gold-bearing veins, and started a real colonization of these lands. Also located here are the most important cities of the country - Johannesburg and Pretoria. In fact, it's one giant metropolis, which concentrated all the financial, industrial and commercial power in South Africa.
Johannesburg, or as it is known locally - Joburg (Josy), was founded in 1886 when the Australian prospector George Harrison discovered in the area gold-bearing vein. Since then the city is growing rapidly, today turned into one of the richest cities in the world. Townscape initially produces a painful impression - hundreds heaps surround the city on all sides, giving it an industrial look. But in the center of Johannesburg quite original blend ultra-modern building of glass and concrete buildings and old colonial buildings.
The most interesting building is the "Old Mail" (1897, is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in the city) and Garden Oppenheimer her, Central Library (1935, now a museum housed the country's history and the Geological Museum), a complex of "Market-Fieche" (three theaters, art galleries, restaurants and pubs), the largest multi-storey shopping center in Africa - Sandton, "Market-skvea" - one of the largest markets of the continent, the Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of History, "300 area stores" Oriental Plaza open to visitors Exchange (JSE), the most beautiful building in the city - skyscraper "Diamond", neoclassical architectural complex "Benksiti" Adler Museum of Medicine, Paleontological Museum, Planetarium at the entrance to the campus, the Museum of rock art in the territory of the Zoological park, and so on. h.
No less interesting is the historic core of the city surrounding the former suburbs, which worth to visit Museum Africa in Newtown, the house-museum of Nelson Mandela, an amusement park, "Gold Reef City" and the best on the African continent zoo in Soweto, fashionable areas Parktown and Westcliff Museum pharmacy in Melrose et al. also, many tourists are attracted to the Lesedi Cultural Village Svartkops Hills north of Johannesburg, the historic village Sibaya Zulu-Zulu-Bohm effect, the present Zulu kraal Fumangena-Zulu National Botanic Garden of the Witwatersrand, and the Sterkfontein caves and the Massif Magaliesberg. Lie close to Park Vadderbil - this bird sanctuary, nature reserves and Krugersdorp Klufendal, "Gold Mine" in Rendfonteyne with good National Railway Museum, Center for wildlife ranching de Vildta, private reserve Mountain Sektyuari etc.. Etc..
One of the nation's capital and administrative center of the province of Transvaal - Tshwane (Pretoria), lies 60 km. north of Johannesburg. It is interesting to city center - the area of the old town hall Kerkplats (1899), Cathedral Square with the buildings of the Old Palace of Justice and Raadsaalya (1898.) Brayntirion Park, which houses the official residence of the President of the South African State Theatre, Kruger Museum (dedicated to the first president Paulus Kruger of the Transvaal and the history of the Anglo-Boer War), Melrose house, one of the world's largest office buildings - "Union buildings" (1910), Monument to the first settlers (1949), Fort Klapperkop (now here is the Military Museum ), the building of the South African Reserve Bank (the tallest building of the city), the National Zoo of South Africa, the observatory "Radcliffe", Institute for African Studies, the South African Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Municipal Art gallery, the Museum of Natural Science and industry, the Museum of national Culture , Police Museum, the Museum of Stenberg Court, Transvaal Museum of Natural History, open-air museum Pernif Museum Sammi Brand not far from the Tswana and Ndebele cultural Village Mapocho, in the vicinity of which there are, besides, the beautiful vineyards.
Durban - one of the largest ports in Africa and the center of the province of KwaZulu-Natal, the most popular among tourists from all over the world. Rich trading city and luxurious resort, famous for its bazaars, golden beaches and the nearby seaside Indian Ocean, Durban is considered one of the most picturesque cities in the continent. Worth seeing the church of St.. St. Paul (1853), a beautiful park on the ruins of the old fort, City Hall City Hall (1910) to the memorial complex on the contrary, the old train station (now here is the tourist office), the temple of Sri Ambalavaanar alli - the first and the largest Hindu temple in Africa, as well as the largest mosque in the Southern Hemisphere Juma Indian district (area of 975 square meters. m.). Very popular are the National Museum of Natural History, Museum of Natural Science, the Museum of the old buildings, the Center for African Art, Reptile Park Fitzsimmons, dolphin Sea World and Durban Botanical Gardens. And, of course, thousands of visitors visit the luxurious shopping districts. In Ulundi is the residence of the King of the Zulus Goodwin Zvelithini in Newcastle - Historical Museum of Fort Amiel, Dundee - Talana richest museum in Ladysmith - beautiful mosque (1898) and the old cannon in front of City Hall, and in Pietermaritzburg - Natal Museum, Park Queen Elizabeth Vortrekker Museum and the National Botanic Garden of Natal.
Forming the boundary with East Lesotho Drakensberg Mountains (highest point - Mount Tkabana-Ntlenyana, 3482 m.) - An enormous basalt wall length of about 250 km, is a great area for outdoor activities and a stunningly beautiful place, and picturesque areas of Zululand and the North Shore provide excellent opportunities to explore the culture of the peoples of the Zulu. Most of the mountain is occupied by national parks, of which the most spectacular is considered a national park Royal Natal. The southern boundary of the park formed the so-called "Cirque" - stretching for 8 km. cliff, which has absolutely fantastic views. Nearby is the famous waterfall Tugela (948 m.) Of the five stages. Lake St. Lucia and the surrounding area (275 thousand. Hectares) on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Lake Sibaya is the largest natural freshwater lake in South Africa (the area of 77 square meters. Km.). In the surrounding area has plenty of reserves - Loten, Haymvil, Swamp, Jaintia Castle, Itala, Valley Ndumo, Mkuze, Wilderness, Royal National Park, and so on. D. In the eastern part of the country, near the borders of Swaziland, for many kilometers lovely Umfolozi reserves (more than 50 thousand. hectares) and Hluhluwe.
Durban "Golden Mile" ("Marin-Go"), the one where Vasco da Gama landed in our day is the best place for recreation, spearfishing, surfing and other active forms of recreation in all Africa. A long line of golden beaches, modern hotels, cafes, bars, restaurants, entertainment centers, swimming pools, promenades and various places of entertainment here extends for tens of kilometers. In Amlanga Rocks (one of the most luxurious resorts in South Africa) is the Institute for the Study of sharks, Gallery of African Art and the forest reserve Hawa and Umgeni River Bird Park is considered one of the best in the world. In Tongate interesting Hindu temples Dzhaggernaf Puri and Visvarupa and beautiful fruit market. The ancient capital of the Kingdom of the Zulu Standzher (Dukuzov) interesting Museum of the North Coast and a huge bazaar.
One of the most remote and wild areas of South Africa - Maputalend, earth peoples Tsonga. This area is known for the world's highest sand dunes and vast territories with a completely unspoilt nature. Here are facing tropical and subtropical climate zones, so you can find and moist savanna, and tropical forest, and wetlands teeming with life, river deltas. In Maputalende inhabit almost all kinds of wild animals in South Africa, more than four hundred species of birds and excellent opportunities for outdoor activities. Coral reefs in Sodwana Bay National Park attracts hundreds of diving and sea fishing (there are beaches and first-class), and a unique area Cozy Bay is known for its salt lakes ecosystem.
North Western Province is famous for its excellent natural conditions for recreation and abundant wildlife and numerous caves (most of which are of great interest for the study of human origins), pristine lakes and streams. Pilanesberg National Park, nature reserves Medikve, Botsalano, Tanach-Meyntzhies, Center for the reproduction of wild animals in Lichtenburg, Reptile and Animal Park in Hartbispurte, amusement park "Gold Reef", the river Waal, numerous places associated with the Anglo-Boer War - all this attracts many visitors. And the presence of the city of entertainment Sun City, sort of "Las Vegas is yuarovski" allows the district to provide guests with everything for pleasure.
The extreme south of the country, the famous Cape Peninsula, is currently the focus of historical and cultural attractions. Cape Town (founded in 1652, another name Kapstadt) - the location of the country's parliament, the capital of the Western Cape Province and one of the most interesting cities in Africa. Located on a peninsula that separates the two oceans and the "crowned" the famous Cape of Good Hope, the city lies at the foot of Table Mountain (elevation 1086 m.) - The ancient landmark for sailors and the present character of the modern city. The sights include the oldest building in Cape Town, South Africa - Castle (1666-1679, Now a collection of antiques and paintings), the Houses of Parliament and the Cathedral of St.. George in the old park Kompaniz Garden, the residence of the President of South Africa, mosques Pink Palm Tree and Nurel-Nameyda, Turkish baths (1906), the continent's longest shopping street - Furtrekker Road, one of the world's luchschih botanical gardens - Kirstenbosch on the eastern side of Table Mountain, the commercial center of the City Bowl filled with artists and craftsmen Avenue George, rope the way to the top of Table Mountain, the mansions of old-Dutch architecture and lush Victorian-era buildings in the old quarters.
Interested in the South African Cultural History Museum in one of the oldest buildings in the city - Slave Lodge, the Jewish Museum in an old synagogue in South Africa, Cape Town Art Gallery, the Museum Quarter Bo-Kaap, numerous monuments, the National Park at the top of Table Mountain Reservation Kaggi Khama, the island-prison of Robben, district fashionable shops and restaurants Waterfront and many leisure facilities scattered throughout the city.
From Cape Town begins the famous "Garden Route" - one of the most beautiful excursion routes in the world, as well as routes to Cape Agulhas, the resort of Hermanus, with its "whale festivals" to Cape Point Nature Reserve and Fernkluf. Individual attention, endless beaches Kleinmond, Camps Bay, Clifton, Lianduno, Sandy Bay, Vitsends, Scarborough, False Bay, Mulzenberg, Fish Hoek, Boulderz, Smitsvinkelbaal island Dyulker seals, a huge bird colony in Hout Bay, and also the area of vineyards Bolend with its famous wine centers of Stellenbosch, Parley, Franschhoek and Constans. Mossel Bay and Richards Bay - the largest port and resort town, between which stretches along the coast chain of first class hotels and beaches.
In Port Elizabeth are beautiful Oceanarium, Elephant Park and Museum Complex Port Elizabeth, as well as the Victorian quarter of the old part of town. These pearl district - the "most English" city of South Africa - Grahamstown, Ecological Reserve Cape Recife Nature Reserve Shamvari with only one in South Africa real traditional village of Kaya Lendaba and National Park Addo Elephant-(Addo) - one of the main attractions of the country.
Northern Cape - the largest province by area of the country. District of the great desert, unique wildlife, beautiful landscapes and immense wealth of mineral resources, the Northern Cape is attracting large numbers of visitors from all over the world.
Kimberley, the diamond capital of South Africa, grew up around the diamond mines. Until now, in the center of the city-museum is the Big Hole ("The Great Hole") - the world's largest mine, quarry, which marked the beginning of "diamond rush" of the century (for a small fee, and now you can try to find a diamond on your own) . Today Kimberly - a modern city with wide streets, beautiful parks and gardens, comfortable hotels, private tourist tram lovely Museum of Fine Arts, William Humphries, of course, luxurious mining museum, located on the edge of the Big Hole. 5 km. Kimberley is still operating diamond mine Bultfonteyn, which offers tours. Interesting rapids Thunder Alley and Egerton Rapids on the Orange River, the farm-reserve Lindbergh Lodge, hence the same (as of Sun City) starts and most of the routes in the great Kalahari Desert.
Kalahari - one of the most extraordinary places on earth. Desert on the ocean shore, one of the driest places on the planet, land of fantastic landscapes and unique wildlife, this area is becoming increasingly popular with tourists from all over the world. Besides the usual dating of the desert, you can visit the "home of the Boy Scouts movement" - Mmabatho Mafikeng Museum with its, boundless prairie Stellalend National Park Augrabis away a two-stage waterfall, "bulwark of Christianity" - the city Kuruman with his famous source of the "Eye of Kuruman" and vineyards, explore the cave paintings cave Wonderwerk Museum Kalahari Orange avenue and Palm Dale (a monument protected by the state) in Upington, and visit the beautiful National Park Kalahari Gemsbok-area of 2 million. hectares.
In the Eastern Cape of interest are many national parks and reserves (Tsitsikamma, Neyches Valley, Donkin, Mkambati National Park "Mountain Zebra" and the National Elephant Park "Addo" on the border of the Cape, a magnificent beach area Bay Algoa Bay (more than 40 km . superb beaches, including Hobie, Hyumvud and np.) untouched "Wild Coast" with giant sand dunes and oyster shoals, and the picturesque valley of Happy Valley.
To the south of the Orange River is semi-desert Karoo plateau, known thanks to the Karoo National Park and to the largest river port of the country - East London. In the city of East London Aquarium contains about four hundred different species of marine and freshwater fish, and the Museum of East London is famous for the rare exhibits presented here. Also interesting museum Francis Pienar in Prince Albert, the Grotto Church Kirk (1886) and more than 200 historical monuments in Graaff-Reinet, Schreiner House Museum and museum hotel Tuyshuze in Cradock, "the capital of ostriches" Oudtshoorn and reserves GABA Mountain, sand dunes and forest Alexandria, as well as the famous Cathedral of St.. Michel and George (1824-1952) in Grahamstown, picturesque plateau Small Karoo, a unique valley Kamkaslof etc..
Kruger National Park, located in the Eastern Transvaal - the card of the country. Equal in size small country, this unique Reserve protects flora and fauna of the savannah and semi-deserts of southern Africa - more than 50 species of fish, 114 species of reptiles, 507 species of birds and 147 species of mammals. Around him focused somewhat less original reserves - Sabi Sand, nursery Skukuza Manieleti-Heim et al.
Gauteng province - the most populous and also the smallest in area. In fact it is - a single giant metropolis, which includes financial, industrial and transportation heart of South Africa - Johannesburg, or, as it is known locally, Joburg. Here is one of the three capitals of the country - Pretoria.
North West Province - the main supplier of diamonds, gold and platinum in the country. There is also one of the best resorts and entertainment complexes in the world - Sun City. This resort is located in a two-hour drive from Johannesburg, where the middle of the desert plain created artificial cliffs and tropical forests, lakes and waterfalls. In Sun City has artificially created a 750-meter lake with water sports, golf courses, a variety of bars and restaurants, bowling, bingo, a fitness club with gym, sauna, Turkish bath, Jacuzzi, horse riding, mini golf, tennis courts eleven squash, leisure centers, casinos, slot machines, movie theaters, night club, concert hall, a children's club with a mini-zoo, "Valley of the waves" with water slides, wave pool and the beach. For the convenience of travelers in Sun City operates the monorail, on which you can quickly reach any point of the complex.
In KwaZulu-Natal, the endless sandy beaches of the warm Indian Ocean always side by side with the green hills of Zululand and the majestic Drakensberg mountains. Here are the Kingdom of the Zulu, the city of Durban and the relict lake Santa Lucia made by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Durban - a major port city, which is famous for its bazaars, golden beaches and the nearby seaside Indian Ocean with an excellent location for a beach holiday, diving and surfing.
Western Cape - The excitement of the Western Cape - Cape Town, Cape Peninsula with the legendary Cape of Good Hope, wine regions and the famous Garden Route. Unspoilt scenery of unspoiled nature, two ocean washes the shores of the province, soft "Mediterranean" climate and excellent infrastructure have made the Western Cape is an important tourist region in southern Africa.
In overgrown with dense tropical forests of the Limpopo province are the main protected and hunting areas in Southern Africa.
Mpumalanga - one of the jewels of South Africa. Weight luxury mountains and hills covered with forests, mountain streams and waterfalls, canyons and the famous Kruger Park made the province a very popular holiday destination of active tourists.
In general, the climate in South Africa is sunny and very pleasant. Winters are usually mild, although snow falls in the mountains and sometimes in the lower regions. This fact must be taken into account if you are traveling to South Africa in the autumn-winter season, from March to August. I must say that the jacket in such travel will never be superfluous, and if you are traveling from March to August, and expect to participate in a safari, you just need to bring warm clothes.
South Africa occupies the southernmost tip of the African continent, stretching from the Limpopo River in the north to Cape Agulhas in the south. Time difference between Moscow and cities of South Africa is: -1 hour.
South Africa - a multilingual country, in addition to the 11 official languages, there are many other dialects, as South Africa is at the crossroads of Africa. Here indeed there are 11 official languages, which is designed to reflect the diversity of ethnic groups and nationalities living in South Africa. Here they are: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu.
The majority of South Africans speak English, so you should not have any problems when traveling. Here you can meet, and the British and American English.
Another common language in South Africa - Afrikaans. Initially, it was the language of Dutch settlers, which is a mixture of Dutch, Flemish and local African dialects. Now the situation has changed significantly and the majority of people who speak Afrikaans - is black.
It is also possible, especially in the cities that you come up with language Tsotsi Taal - a hybrid of Afrikaans, English and local African language, originally invented in order to facilitate communication between the various groups.
In any case, do not panic. You can always ask again, or ask you to translate.
1 rand (R) = 100 cents. Exchange rate: 1 USD. USA is approximately 6 Rand.
Foreign exchange can be made in airports, railway stations, hotels and numerous bank branches. In the hotels exchange money relatively unprofitable, as the course is usually somewhat high and pay a commission fee (about 1%). Need to keep receipts of currency exchange for reverse conversion when leaving the country.
In all the major shops, hotels and restaurants accepts major credit cards. In the calculations on the gas stations are only used cash. Traveler's checks can be cashed at banks and tourist offices (approximately 1% commission).
The minimum term of registration - 10 days. Number of profiles and photos - 1 pc. Profiles are given in English. By request accompanied by the original invitation or fax, health insurance is obligatory. Validity of the visa to enter specified in the visa. Consular fee - $ 47. States (regardless of the type of visa). When crossing the country by road need a transit visa.
When crossing the border must present a passport with entry of South African visa.
The import of: cigarettes - 400 pcs., Cigars - 50 pcs., Cigarette or pipe tobacco - 250 g, wine - 2n., Other alcoholic beverages - 1 liter. Spirits - 50 ml Eau de Toilette - 250 ml, gifts, souvenirs and other goods in the amount of 500 rand (about $ 100. dollars). Prohibits the importation of fruits and vegetables, export - rough diamonds (on articles of precious metals with diamonds require a certificate from the store).
Import of foreign currency is unlimited, national - not more than 500 rand per person. The same conditions are maintained when exporting currency.
Certificate of vaccination is required. When importing pets to produce a veterinary certificate.
Religion: mostly Christians and followers of traditional local beliefs. Also there are Hindus, Muslims, and Jews. The country has full freedom of religion, the state does not interfere in the affairs of religious denominations.
January 1 - New Year's Eve.
March 21 - Human Rights Day (Sharpeville Day).
April 13 - Good Friday.
April 16 - Family Day.
April 27 - Constitution Day.
May 1 - Labour Day.
June 16 - Youth Day.
August 9 - National Women's Day.
September 24 - Day of the population.
16 December - Day of Reconciliation.
December 25 - Christmas Day.
December 26 - Thanksgiving Day.
If a holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is considered as the output.
In Cape Town from 1 to 17 January passes Cape Coon - a music festival in honor of the New Year.
In Durban, to spend the holiday watersports "Darby Point Easter" (April 14-17), supermarathon Durban - Pietermaritzburg (end of May) and the unofficial world championship windsurfing "Ocean Water Sports Africa" (7-16 July). Every year in July in the vicinity of the city is Durban steeple-chase (steeplechase). In Amlanga Rocks Festival is held every April waterskiing. There are many local and international cricket and rugby. Very popular Festival Pretoria-Show, held during the third week of August.
International Film Festival held in Johannesburg at the beginning of October, and the Festival of the Arts Arts-Eliv - in September and October. In Vrayburge hosts the annual Agricultural Fair, considered one of the largest on the African continent. Every year in May in the Bay of Algoa held National Week sailing. Holiday wine and gastronomic art runs October 25-28 in Stellenbosch. In Grahamstown annually National Arts Festival (July). Every Easter in Zion City runs a multimillion pilgrimage.
In the resort town of Knysna is held annually in July "Oyster Festival". In addition to the competition of oyster farms and cooks at this time there are a variety of sporting events and shows. Every year in late September - early October in the town of Hermanus passes "Festival of Whales", within which are monitoring the whale migration flocks, theatrical and musical performances, academic lectures on the life of whales and many exhibitions on a variety of topics, sports marathons, competitions for children and much more.
Traditional cuisine RSA
Cuisine of South Africa offers a huge variety of dishes, from crocodile fillet and fried caterpillars to sheep heads baked. All of the above is considered very good. For those who do not dare to expose your stomach test such unusual dishes, there are a myriad of local delicacies such as biltong (biltong salted meat, cut into narrow strips) Bobotov (an improved version of casserole with meat) and boerevors (village sausages that made by hand and fry on an open fire). For those who are not willing to take risks, fit the family menu, which includes everything from burgers to sushi and spaghetti bolonezski. And you can just drink water.
A striking example of the variety may be the fact that on the same street in Johannesburg are several Italian restaurants, two or three different Chinese, Japanese, Moroccan, French, Portuguese and Indian. Is found close to the Congolese, Greek and even Brazilian! The same is true in other cities of South Africa.
If you want to enjoy the national cuisine of South Africa, you have to try, such as restaurants, specializing exclusively in the traditional kitchen, much less. Among the most famous - Gramadoelas in the center of Johannesburg, Vendi's Place in Soweto, the African Cafe in the heart of Cape Town and a number of smaller restaurants.
Lovers can taste a great variety of dried and roasted meat many inhabitants of South Africa. And sometimes in posh restaurants can be found a kind of fusion of north and south: marinated ostrich in a restaurant in Pretoria and Sage Ravioli with bovine tails under the saffron cream sauce in a restaurant Bartholomew clip in Hermon on the west coast of the Cape. In the menu you can find a crocodile, antelope kudu and impala and even warthog, but here you will not find gulls or Penguins, who initially served as sustenance for the Dutch and Portuguese sailors to sail to the South African coast.
One of the most famous restaurants with national cuisine is African Carnivore restaurant in Johannesburg's suburb, situated near the hotel Misty Hill. Entrance to the restaurant is made in the form of the alley under a thatched roof, walking through the gardens with native plants and an impressive water complexes.
Separately, it should be said about South Africa wine. For many Europeans, Americans and the concept of "wine of the Black Continent" - a very strange phenomenon. In fact, the vineyards are spread throughout Africa. Algeria and Morocco have been producing wine for many decades, and not so long ago to winemaking actively involved in Zimbabwe and Kenya.
But it is on the southern tip of Cape climatic and topographic conditions are so identical, with the same conditions of traditional wine-producing countries that are getting the best wine of the continent. South Africa's wine regions stretches from the southernmost point of the African continent - Cape Agulhas, where two oceans meet - to semi-desert Karoo and the Free State, vineyards cover an area of more than 100 thousand. Hectares. It should be noted that the vineyards of South Africa is perhaps the most picturesque in the world and because of this (as well as the amazing taste of wine) so-called "wine tourism" is very prevalent in this country.
Wine History of South Africa goes to the 350 years of the history and traditions associated with both the "old winemakers': France, Germany and Italy, as well as" new wine-makers ": the United States and Australia. Because of this South African wine is unique because combines both these wine-making tradition. So do not miss the chance to taste the local wines and please bring them to my friends, because it is - the best souvenir and wonderful memories of South Africa.
Political system RSA
South Africa - a republic with a presidential form of government. Independent member of the British Commonwealth. Legislative - bicameral parliament (the Senate and the National Assembly). Each of the nine provinces of the country has its own parliament, the legislature and the government answerable to the Prime Minister of South Africa.
Can be exported duty-free: alcoholic beverages - 1 liter, wine - 2n., Cigarettes - 400 pcs., Or cigars - 50 pcs., Gifts and souvenirs in the amount of up to 500 rand in South Africa. When importing to customs control shall be weapons, antiques and art. If the value of the imported items exceeds 10,000 rand South Africa, will be charged a fee of 20% of the total. Prohibits the importation of automatic weapons and combat, explosives, ammunition, drugs and narcotic drugs in any form.
Tourists must obtain permission from the Reserve Bank of South Africa (phone: 12 313 39 11) if they are in possession of more than 500 rand in cash at the entrance.
Medical aid RSA
An adult is not required to make any special vaccinations before visiting South Africa, unless you come from a country in which documented cases of yellow fever (yellow fever belt countries in South America and Africa). If you decide to be vaccinated, it is better to make it 4-6 weeks prior to departure, since the vaccine is activated within 10 days, and this can damage the flight. Vaccinated against yellow fever do once in 10 years.
Children under 12 years old, who as a child did not complete the vaccination, it is recommended to be vaccinated against hepatitis B. It is also desirable to have been immunized against tetanus and measles (such vaccination does not happen too much in any case).
In most tourist areas, malaria is not found, so it can just about forget. However, in the area of the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga Lowveld, Limpopo River and the northern part of the province of KwaZulu-Natal in the summer months there is a risk of malaria, therefore it is recommended to take preventive measures. It is better to consult a doctor as prevention methods are constantly changing.
Working hours RSA
Banks are open Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 15.30 on Saturday - from 8.30 to 11.00. ATMs are open around the clock, as well as bank offices and airports.
Most shops are open Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 17.00 on Saturdays - from 8.30 to 15.00. Some shops are open on Sundays from 9:00 to 13:00. Large chain stores usually set longer hours. Convenience stores and gas stations there.
Most wine shops are open on weekdays from 8.00 am to 18.00 pm and on Saturdays from 8.30 to 14.00 hours.
In order to rent a car in South Africa, you must have a valid international driver's license (although fit and Russian, if all the basic information translated into English) and have at least five years' experience of driving. The driver must also be at least 25 years of age. Machines can be rented directly at any of the nine major airports or with the help of representatives of car rental companies.
South Africa has an excellent infrastructure of roads and the journey can take a real pleasure, but South Africa - a large country, which can not go round in a day, so plan your trip well. If you are not used for a long time to sit behind the wheel, better arrange a respite, as fatigue is a major cause of road accidents.
While most of the national roads are in excellent condition, village roads may be in enough disrepair.
Road maps and information on their status, as well as on possible options for accommodation provides Automobile Association of South Africa. The main roads are indicated by colors and numbers, and not proper names, but if you have a good map you will have to try very hard to get lost.
Keep in mind that the roads in many rural areas are not fenced off, so on the road you may encounter a dog, chicken, sheep and even horses or cows, so be careful, especially at night. In some parts of the road often cross antelope, as indicated by special characters, so in such places is better to slow down, especially in the evening.
The most common speed limit is 120 km / h on secondary roads - 100 km / h, but in any case, pay close attention to signs.
Petrol stations are located throughout the country, but sometimes the distance between them can be quite large, so it's best to refuel in advance. Keep in mind that usually credit cards at the pump will not be accepted, please understand with a sufficient amount of cash. At all gas stations will serve you, you do not even need to leave the car, but do not forget to give the staff a tip of 2-3 rand.
Most companies hire cars have offices at airports and major cities, so rent a car is not difficult.
Potable water RSA
Unlike many countries in Africa, in South Africa you can safely drink water from the tap. In some areas, water is rich in minerals, so the first two days until get used, you may feel some discomfort. Virtually anywhere you can buy bottled water as a gas, and without. However, drinking water directly from rivers and streams can be unsafe, especially if they occur in the vicinity of settlements. The water in the springs in the mountains is usually absolutely free. In particular, at the Cape of Good Hope, the water contains humic acid, which stains the water to dilute the color of Coca-Cola. It is absolutely safe for health and the water tastes just unusual. In some areas, water is the same color flows out of the tap and it's absolutely fine, just looks a little strange in the bathroom.
Voltage: 220 - 250 volts, but you must use a special adapter for the charger camcorder and a hair dryer. Adapter, you can ask at the front desk.
The ban on smoking in public places.
The restaurant: 10-12% of the total cost of the order (including drinks), porter service, from 2 to 5 rand a piece of luggage, guide / driver: 15 - 20 rand per day per person per day of work.
Regardless of if you are taking malaria pills, always use mosquito repellant (preferably spray), wear long pants and closed-toe shoes, and at night sleep in a long-sleeved shirt under a mosquito net (this is most important for hazardous areas). It is strongly recommended to avoid dangerous areas, if you are pregnant.
Helpful information RSA
Telephone information service - 1023.
General help system ("Yellow Pages") - 10118.
The international telephone operator - 0009.
International telephone inquiries - 0903.
Train timetables - (011) 773-58-78.
Buy tickets for long-distance trains - (011) 773-29-44.
Weather Forecast (Cape Town) - (021) 40-881.
Police - 10111.
Criminal police - 0800-111-213.
Ambulance - 10117 or 999.
Rescue - 1022.
Automobile Association of South Africa - 0800-010-101.