So, I’m no expert when it comes to touring South Africa as I’ve visited only once. As a JJC, it took a while to figure a lot of things out, coupled with the fact that we had only one day to plan our trip! Anyway, it was all part of the adventure and part of what made the trip exciting…
If you’re planning a first visit to South Africa, here’s something to get you started…
Nigerian citizens visiting South Africa require a visa for entry. Visa fees vary based on the exchange rate and your location. At the time of this writing, applying from Lagos and Abuja cost the same, a total of N20,660 while applying from Port Harcourt costs N40,660. The VFS site contains up to date information regarding this.
Documents Needed for Entry
- Passport + Visa
- Yellow Card: A yellow card is as important as your passport. You would be asked for it everywhere; before you leave the country, at the immigration desk in SA.. you’ll even be asked to present when flying back home.
- Return or onward ticket
- Birth Certificate if you’re traveling with kids.
- Hotel Reservation: It is equally important to hold a valid hotel reservation. You may be refused entry if you don’t have this.
- I tend to take documents used to apply for the visa as well.
- The official currency is the South African rand.
- Travel with cash (R, $, € e.t.c)
- Travel with multiple cards, including a Visa card or a domiciliary MasterCard. My Naira MasterCard was completely useless while my sister’s own worked
Renting a car would pretty much be the best option, I guess but note that South Africans drive on the left, so it might take some getting used to for you to drive around there. If you plan to travel between cities, there are options to fly, take a bus (roads are generally good) or a train.
As my friend suggests, you’ve got to use your ‘African street sense’ and you’ll be fine! We had no safety issues during our stay.
If you’re traveling as a single lady, consider getting a ring that looks like an engagement or wedding ring. This tip doesn’t apply to South Africa alone but this was the first trip I found the most need for it.
South Africa is a country with different climatic zones and tourism regions. The best time to visit would largely depend on the activities you’re interested in. The seasons in the year are as follows; Spring (September & October), Summer (November to February), Autumn (March & April) and Winter (June to August).The best time for a South African safari is from May to September_October. (i.e. the dry season). The months of May and September are especially lovely as the weather isn’t so cold and the wildlife viewing is excellent.
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