8 Day KZN Safari and Beach Stay

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South Africa

This vast country is undoubtedly one of the most culturally and geographically diverse places on earth. Fondly known by locals as the 'Rainbow Nation', South Africa has 11 official languages and its multicultural inhabitants are influenced by a fascinating mix of cultures. Discover the gourmet restaurants, impressive art scene, vibrant nightlife and beautiful beaches of Cape Town; enjoy a local braai (barbecue) in the Soweto township; browse the bustling Indian markets in Durban; or sample some of the world’s finest wines at the myriad wine estates dotting the Cape Winelands. Some historical attractions to explore include the Zululand battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal, the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg and Robben Island, just off the coast of Cape Town. Above all else, its remarkably untamed wilderness with its astonishing range of wildlife roaming freely across massive unfenced game reserves such as the world-famous Kruger National Park. With all of this variety on offer, it is little wonder that South Africa has fast become Africa’s most popular tourist destination.


Banking and Currency

Currency

The currency is the Rand, which is divided into 100 cents. There are R200, R100, R50, R20 and R10 notes. Coins come in R5, R2, R1, 50c, 20c, 10c and 5c.

Banking

Banks are found in most towns, and are generally open from 09h00 to 15h30 on weekdays and 08h30 to 11h00 on Saturdays (Closed Sundays and Public Holidays). Most of them offer foreign exchange services - with cash, bank & credit cards as well as travellers cheques. You can also obtain cash from automatic teller machines (ATMs). Several international banks have branches in the main city centres. Always advise your bank that you are travelling outside of the country as they might block your purchases if they are not informed. 


Travel, Transport and Getting Around

Travelling around South Africa is relatively easy by air, road and rail.

Principal air routes are serviced by SAA and British Airways. There are also low-cost carriers on main routes, namely Kulula.com, Mango and Safair. Facilitating travel around South Africa are 10 airports managed by the Airports Company South Africa (Acsa). In addition, there are some 90 regional airports, including the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Nelspruit and the Skukuza Airport, offering access to the Kruger National Park.

An extensive tarred road system makes travelling in South Africa by vehicle convenient and easy. You will find gravel roads in rural areas though. Please note that a valid international driver's licence is required. We drive on the left-hand side of the road. Most global car hire firms have branches in South Africa and Uber is available.

Another means of getting around South Africa are inter-city bus services such as Greyhound and Trans-Lux. Metrobus buses are available for in-city transport. Metered taxis must be ordered by telephone.There is the popular MyCityBus system in Cape Town as well as a hop-on-hop-off tourist bus in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The rail system includes the long-haul, inexpensive Shosholoza Meyl Metrorail trains. More luxurious options are the Blue Train, Premier Classe and the steam train Rovos Rail.  There is also the Gautrain rapid transit railway system in Gauteng Province llinking Sandton and Marlboro to the O.R.Tambo International Airport and a Commuter Service linking Rhodesfield, Marlboro, and Sandton (east-west link) and Park, Rosebank, Sandton, Midrand, Centurion, Pretoria Central and Hatfield (north-south link). All stations with the exception of the Airport station have integrated car parking facilities.


Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

Standards of hygiene in relation to food health and safety in South Africa, are generally high in hotels, restaurants, pubs and nightspots. Tap water in South Africa is safe to drink and cook with when taken from taps in urban areas. Not all tap water in rural areas is safe for consumption, so take precautions if necessary.

It is safe to eat fresh fruit, vegetables and salads, and put ice in your drinks. South Africa's fish, meat and chicken are of excellent quality, so there is no need to limit yourself when enjoying the local cuisine.

Restaurants are subject to South Africa's food safety control legislation, which is implemented by local government.  Regulations include certification and regular inspections by health inspectors to ensure hygienic standards are maintained.

Street food is not as common in South Africa as it is in other countries, although vendors selling traditional snacks and meals can be found in city centres and townships. Food safety in such instances cannot always be guaranteed.


Climate and Weather

South African temperatures, which are measured in centigrade, average at highs of 28°C to average lows of 8°C in the summer months while winter temperatures range from 1°C at night to around 18°C in the day.  Average annual rainfall is on the low side at under 500mm a year, making the country somewhat dry.  Much of the rain falls in the Western Cape in the winter, differing from the rest of the country, which experiences summer rainfall. On the plus side, the South African climate boasts more than its fair share of sunshine, recording an average of 8.5 hours a day.


Clothing and Dress Recommendations

Summer

Bring clothes that are cool, light and comfortable because summer temperatures can get well into the 30 - 40 degree Celsius range in some areas. Also bring an umbrella or raincoat during summer as this is when most of the country gets its rain, but don't forget a swimming costume (bathing suit).

Winter

The winters are generally mild, comparing favourably with European summers.  But there are days when temperatures dive, especially in high-lying areas such as the Drakensberg, so be prepared with jerseys and jackets. Cape Town gets its rain during the winter season so it’s advisable to bring rain gear along.

General

Always bring a hat, sunglasses and sunblock as the sun can be strong even in the winter months.

Walking shoes are a good idea all year-round, with warm socks in the winter.

If you are doing business in the country, business attire  (suit and tie) is generally called for in the corporate sector, but media for example generally dress more casually.

For game viewing, a couple of neutral-toned items will be useful, but there's no need to go overboard. A good pair of walking shoes is also advisable.

For the evening, if you are dining at an upmarket restaurant or seeing a show, smart-casual attire is recommended.


Electricity and Plug Standards

Electrical sockets in the Republic of South Africa are Type M (SABS-1661).  If your appliance's plug doesn't match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Travel plug adapters simply change the shape of your appliance's plug to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into. If it's crucial to be able to plug in no matter what, bring an adapter for all types.

Electrical sockets in South Africa usually supply electricity at 230 volts AC / 50 Hz frequency. If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 230 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need. If your appliance isn’t compatible with 230 volts, a voltage converter will be necessary.


Mozambique

Situated on the east coast of Africa, this tropical paradise is blessed with 2500 kilometres of spectacular coastline. With its idyllic beaches fringed with palm trees and lapped by crystal-clear waters brimming with a dazzling array of marine life, this enchanting African nation is an ideal adventure holiday destination, with an abundance of activities on offer such as snorkelling, sunset cruises, horse-riding, dolphin tours and world-renowned scuba diving. Mozambique’s two major centres, Maputo and Inhambane, offer an exotic kaleidoscope of art, music and delicious local food as well as a lively nightlife scene. Spend your days immersing yourself in the fascinating local culture, marvelling at the impressive colonial architecture and interacting with the fabulously friendly local inhabitants. Those seeking a more remote getaway can head for the isolated beaches of Benguerra Island; the historic Portuguese and Muslim architecture of Mozambique Island; or the outstanding wildlife of Gorongosa National Park. However, you choose to spend your time in this exceptionally scenic destination you are likely to leave with a heavy heart and a burning desire to return time and time again.


Banking and Currency

Currency 

The currency of Mozambiqueis the Mozambique Metical (MZN; symbol MT) = 100 centavos. Notes are in denominations of MT1,000, 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20. Coins are in denominations of MT10, 5, 2 and 1 and 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 centavos.

The new Metical replaced the old Metical (MZM) on 1 July 2006. 1 MZN = 1,000 MZM. The old notes ceased being legal tender on 31 December 2006.

The import and export of local currency is prohibited. The import of foreign currency is unlimited, subject to declaration. The export of foreign currency is limited to the amount declared on arrival.

Banking

Banking hours: Monday-Friday 07h30-15h30 

Credit cards’ are increasingly accepted in Maputo, but not generally beyond the capital.

Travellers' cheques are not commonly accepted, and where accepted are slow to process and often attract high rates of commission.


Travel, Transport and Getting Around

Public transport is not recommended within Mozambique, however there are reliable bus shuttles to the north and international/local planes. 

There are scheduled flights into Maputo and Vilankulo. Flights are generally routed via Johannesburg in South Africa. There are a variety of smaller airstrips for smaller charter flights (to the islands, etc). 

Driving is on the left in Mozambique. You need to make sure that you are carrying ID, your drivers licence, the car registration papers and your insurance details. It is also obligatory to carry a warning triangle and I would also recommend a high viz vest. The wearing of seat belts is compulsory.

The roads are generally not in good repair. Many of the main roads have an awful lot of potholes and some are very deep. 


Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

Mozambique offers some of the best cuisine in Africa, providing a popular blend of Portugese, Indian and African influences. The country is well known for its seafood, which includes excellent prawns and crayfish, and the wildly popular grilled catch of the day, locally known as peixe grelhade. Local dishes, mainly along the coastal areas have a certain flair which makes them unique from the foods found in neighbouring countries. Mozambicans believe in the liberal use of coconut milk and their favourite local hot pepper, peri peri to add a zesty burn to their meals. For more carnivorous visitors, there is a decent variety of high quality meats, usually, bought into Mozambique from neighbouring South Africa.

In Mozambique all town treat their drinking water, travellers are however advised to boil the tap water before drinking it, alternatively would be to buy mineral water. Tap water can safely be used for showering and brushing your teeth.


Climate and Weather

The Mozambique coastline stretches for almost 2,000km, covering latitudes from about 11° to 27° South, and has a tropical ocean current running north to south along its length for the whole year.

Despite this range of latitudes, the whole country broadly follows a southern African weather pattern, with the rains falling largely between December and March.

This does vary a little between the north and south of the country, with the rains lasting a few weeks longer in the north than the south, but the pattern is the same. Humidity can be uncomfortably high during this period.

Most of Mozambique's rain arrives on moist southeast trade winds, but glance at a map to see that it lies in the rainshadow of Madagascar. This gives Mozambique a relatively low annual rainfall – and a great deal of protection from the tropical storms and the occasional cyclone which head towards it during this period.

By around April or May the rains subside, the sun comes out and the humidity drops – better weather spreads gradually from the south to the north.

June to October is the dry season, with often perfect tropical weather: clear skies, plenty of sun and almost no rain. This is the best time for most people to visit Mozambique. Although still tropical, JuneJuly and August are Mozambique's coolest months; you'll need a light duvet at night, even though the temperature reaches over 30°C by day. During September and October it remains dry as daytime temperatures climb, though it cools down a lot at night.

November is a less predictable month of transition. Sometimes the rains start, although many days remain sunny and hot. The rains generally start earlier in the north of the country.


Clothing and Dress Recommendations

Light clothing is a must for most of the year (do not forget your swimminwear and sunscreen!). However, during winter (June-August) it can be chilli in the evenings, so pack something warm. When visiting game reserves, remember to pack sensible walking shoes, a hat and colour appropriate clothing (browns, greens, etc). In the evenings, it is advisable to wear long sleeved shirts to protect from the mosquitoes. 


Electricity and Plug Standards

Electrical sockets in Mozambiqueare one of two electrical socket types: Type C (CEE 7/16 Europlug) and Type M (SABS-1661). If your appliance's plug doesn't match the shape of these sockets, you will need a travel plug adapter in order to plug in. Travel plug adapters simply change the shape of your appliance's plug to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into. If it's crucial to be able to plug in no matter what, bring an adapter for all types.

Electrical sockets in Mozambiqueusually supply electricity at 230 volts AC / 50 Hz frequency. If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 230 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need. If your appliance isn’t compatible with 230 volts, a voltage converter will be necessary.


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