South Africa is the southernmost country on the African continent. It is noted for its magnificent natural beauty, cultural diversity, and varied topography, which have made it a popular travel destination. From black-maned lions in the Kalahari dunes and lush mountains to the beautiful desert with star-studded skies and stunning beaches, this country is a dream destination for many people.
Aside from its ultimate beauty and diversity, the country welcomes an ever-increasing number of international medical tourists as well. Most of the medical tourists come from other African countries with an inferior healthcare system. African medical tourists come to South Africa for medical treatments because of the cost savings and the advanced infrastructure, skilled doctors, and medical technology. For medical tourists from Europe, the Americas, and Asia, the country offers an affordable alternative for a wide range of cosmetic procedures, with breast augmentation as one of the most popular.
Popular Cities and Regions in South Africa
Cape Town, the legislative capital of South Africa, is an interesting city with a lot to offer. Tourists can climb up the Table Mountain to get the best view of the city, go to District Six Museum, explore Hout Bay, visit the UNESCO-listed Robben Island, go to Kirstenbosch Gardens, Hike Lion’s Head, or relax at Muizenberg Beach. Along with Cape Town, Johannesburg is another popular city in South Africa. This ultra-modern metropolis is the largest and most populous in the country. Some of the most popular attractions are the Apartheid Museum where tourists can learn more about the country’s turbulent past and the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens.
Transport in South Africa
O. R. Tambo International Airport is the main airport in South Africa; it serves both domestic and international flights to and from numerous major cities across the globe. There are several budget airlines operating from this airport, offering a good alternative for domestic travel. To get around the country, various long-distance buses and trains are available. Taxis are available and are considered as one of the most convenient modes of transport inside major cities.
Visas in South Africa
South Africa allows nationals of 46 countries (including the US, Zambia, and the UAE) to visit without a visa for up to 90 days and 25 countries (including Barbados, Jordan, and the Maldives) for 30 days. The country offers medical visas for any foreigner who wants to undergo medical treatment in South Africa for more than 3 months.
Weather in South Africa
South Africa has varying regional climates. In general, May to September is the dry season, with mostly sunny days and cold evenings. The wet season runs from October to April, characterized by occasional brief rainfall in the afternoon.
Local Currency: The official currency is South African Rand (ZAR). 1 USD converts to approximately 16.6 ZAR.
Money & Payments: ATM machines are widely available in South Africa and credit cards are widely accepted. It is best, however, to always carry enough cash. Tipping is expected, usually around 10% to 15% in restaurants/cafes and 10 ZAR to 20 ZAR in hotels.
Local Language: Zulu is the most commonly spoken language in South Africa, followed by Xhosa, Afrikaans, and English. Though English is not as widely spoken, it is understood in major cities and is used as the dominant language in the media and government.
Local Culture and Religion: Almost 80% of South Africa’s population identify as Christians. Other religions including traditional African religion, Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism, are practiced by the rest of the population.
Public holidays: Some of the most celebrated holidays in South Africa are Human Rights Day, Freedom Day, Day of Reconciliation, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.