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South Africa

Cheap flights to South Africa

This huge country boasts some of the most spectacular scenery and wildlife in the world. Steeped in history, there are iconic sights all over South Africa. From awe-inspiring Table Mountain to rolling vineyards and vast National Parks, South Africa is one giant safari.

Indeed a safari to see the ‘big five’ animals is a must on any trip to South Africa. Kruger Park is the most popular place to see lions, elephants, rhinos, giraffes and more. Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park, South Africa’s oldest Game Reserve, is the best place to see rare Black Rhinos. For the brave a kayak on the Orange River gets up close and personal with the crocodiles that inhabit it. Adrenalin junkies can stock up on thrills by zip-lining through the trees on a Canopy Tour, or stare into the toothy jaws of the Great White Shark on an unforgettable cage dive off Dyer Island in the Western Cape.

For more sedate pursuits, South Africa’s rolling vineyards promise tranquillity and fine vintages, while the beautiful sprawling grasslands of the Boer War Battlefields in KwaZulu-Natal are a reminder of the country’s history. A game of golf set to a spectacular south coast backdrop is as relaxing as it gets.

A short boat ride to Robben Island transports visitors to the site of Nelson Mandela’s 27 year incarceration. The Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg also brings South Africa’s history to life through moving video footage, photographs and newspaper clippings.

Drive the famous Garden Route that winds from Mossel Bay to the Storms River, passing some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. Be sure to make it to Cape Point, the very tip of the continent. There the Flying Dutchman funicular transports visitors to the top of the lighthouse that stands on the country’s edge for the most breathtaking views imaginable.

Cultural Cape Town’s markets and boutiques are an antidote to its adventurous side, like paragliding from Lion’s Head and abseiling Table Mountain. Alternatively, see Table Mountain the easy way, via cable car. Hike the Drakensburg Mountain Trails or kick back on Boulders Beach or the white sands of Port Elizabeth; walk the Blyde Canyon, explore the vast Cango Caves or scuba in Sodwana Bay. It’s all about the great outdoors in South Africa. A township tour through Soweto in Jo’burg or the Cape Flats in Cape Town gives a rounded view of South Africa. Be sure to book this with an organised group or guide as safety is paramount.

Fly In

With 90 airports in South Africa, visitors have planet of choice! However, the most popular destination in South Africa is Johannesburg. Served by its own airport, Tambo International Airport, this is where most international flights to South Africa land. It is located 14 miles east of Jo’Burg and easily reached by car or public transport within 30 minutes. Tambo International also serves Pretoria and is only 4 hours away from the famous Kruger Park.

Other airports include Cape Town International, King Shaka International and Kruger Mpumalanga International airports serving Cape Town, Durban and Krugar Park respectively, however a smaller number of international flights land at these locations.

What you need to know

Currency: The South African Rand (ZAR)

Visas: British Nationals along with many others are not required to have a visa prior to travel to South Africa as long as they are in possession of a valid passport, sufficient funds to travel and are staying no longer than 90 days. Occasionally a yellow fever certificate (obtained from your doctor) is required. Please check with the Foreign Office or a local embassy for more information.

Laws: South Africa has a smoking ban in place in all public places while the legal age for drinking alcohol is18 or over. Everyone is required to carry a form of identification at all times.

Best Time to Visit

South Africa’s winter months have the least rain and are the best time to safari (apart from Cape Town which is more Mediterranean and sees most of its rain in the winter months). The summer months are best for those wanting to spend their days on South Africa’s beautiful beaches. Durban in KwaZulu-Natal is the best option, with the warm Indian Ocean water perfect for swimming. Grappling with the country’s vast outdoors is better in summer however; the Cape Winelands are often best seen in winter. For hiking in the Drakenburg Mountains, be aware that in winter temperature can drop below freezing. Hiking is best in spring and autumn.  

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