Planning to visit South Africa? Here is your travel guide
Even though the Omicron variant continues to pose a threat, you can plan a hassle-free trip to countries like South Africa if you adhere to Covid restrictions. Some of the destinations you can explore are here.
Discover the Drakensberg full of adventures
KwaZulu-Natal is home to the Drakensberg Mountains (the Zulus call them the ‘Spear Barrier’) in uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, a World Heritage Natural and Cultural Site due to rock art and the natural beauty of the mountains , and a popular destination for local and international tourists. The mountains provide spectacular views and outdoor activities, and are an important cultural resource, containing several thousand San rock art works that date back to the late Stone Age.
Travelers can head to the Drakensberg on weekends to stretch their limbs and indulge in outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, hot air ballooning, helicopter rides and horseback riding in the mountains .
Ostriches in Oudstshoorn
Inland of Cape Town’s famous Garden Route, travelers will find Oudtshoorn – popularly known as the ostrich capital of the world. The city is home to several interesting attractions such as the Cango Caves with its truly awe-inspiring stalactite and stalagmite formations and Cango Wildlife Ranch, which offers thrilling crocodile cage dives. It is also one of the few places in the world to enjoy a meerkat safari.
Look for the Big 5 at Limpopo
Known for its huge rivers, splashing hippos, and immersive culture, Limpopo is one of South Africa’s most interesting and abundant provinces. Here you will find vast open spaces with wildlife galore and breathtaking mountainous landscapes covered in mist. With seven of South Africa’s eleven official languages spoken here, travelers have a good chance of meeting people from the majority of the country’s ethnic groups.
The region is also blessed with a remarkable number of game and nature reserves, home to one of the country’s largest rhino populations and a multitude of elegant antelope species. With the Kruger National Park – Africa’s largest national park – located here, this province can easily be called a ‘wildlife mecca’. Wildlife seems bigger and more exciting in this place of strong gushing waterfalls, huge trees, open skies and endless bush.
Contemporary surroundings and relaxed charm give East London a distinctive identity. Indians who have traveled extensively would appreciate this picturesque town, still untouched by tourist commercialization, as the perfect solution for a quiet vacation with a variety of adventure experiences in a very unspoiled natural setting. East London is also one of the few places where the White Lion can be seen in Inkwenkezi National Park.
Slice of history in Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth is home to South Africa’s third largest national reserve, where travelers can observe hundreds of African elephants roaming freely, making it a great safari experience. Addo National Park is also home to thriving marine life and rich flora and offers the only Big 7 safari options in the world. This safari is a combination of a marine safari in search of sharks and whales and the famous Big 5 safari. Port Elizabeth also includes Nelson Mandela Bay where Route 67 is located – a collection of 67 works of art celebrating the years dedicated by Nelson Mandela in public life.
Nestled on the rugged coastline of the Eastern Cape Province is Coffee Bay, a beautiful coastal town that attracts enormous interest from visitors due to its unspoiled beaches and rich, traditional Xhosa way of life. Coffee Bay is also widely known for the Hole in the Wall, a geographic wonder that rests within its doors. It is a pile of rocks offshore through which the elements have eroded a hole; this hole amplifies the sound of the waves on the rock, inspiring the local Xhosa to name it esiKhaleni, which means “place of sound”.
Enjoy water sports at Sodwana Bay
Sodwana Bay is located on the east coast of South Africa, in one of the most unique and unspoiled regions in the world. Sodwana’s spectacular coral reefs in a National Marine Protected Area are some of the most southerly in the world and a mecca for scuba diving and snorkeling. Notice to all fishing enthusiasts: there is no shortage of game fish.
A 90-minute drive from Cape Town, the West Coast is a local favorite for a restful weekend. Travelers can hike, explore the cycle paths through the fynbos (small belts of natural shrub land) or visit the icy waters of Langebaan Lagoon for kayaking and sailing. The West Coast National Park is great for spring wildflowers (between August and September, when the flowers are at their peak). Southern right whales can be seen between August and November.
Your visit to the Rainbow Nation would be incomplete without a walk along Panorama Route. With some of the most unique and breathtaking scenery, the highlight of the route is the Blyde River Canyon: one of the longest sinkholes in the world, made up of spectacular geological shapes and the most breathtaking panoramic views in the country.
South Africa is currently open to all international tourists, including Indians.
– Travelers intending to visit the country will be required to produce a negative PCR test, no later than 72 hours after departure from the country of origin to South Africa.
– South Africa does not have a quarantine period for anyone entering the country and passing all Covid-19 checks at the port of entry.
– Visa: Visa fees, e-visa or not, single / multiple entry, processing time.
– There is no visa fee for Indian nationals.
– The VFS logistics fee to process Mumbai and Delhi visas is Rs 2,040 and Rs 2,301 to process Gurgaon, Jaipur, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune, Bangalore and Goa visas.
Processing time :
A minimum of 05 working days in Mumbai and Delhi; a minimum of 07 working days in other centers (Gurgaon, Jaipur, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Pune, Bangalore and Goa)
– Vaccine passport: Currently not available.
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