|Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa||Cape Town||5 nights||B&B|
|Jock Main Lodge||Southern Kruger||3 nights||FI|
|Peermont D'oreale Grande Hotel at Emperors Palace||Johannesburg||1 night||B&B|
|Heritage Awali Golf & Spa Resort||Bel Ombre||5 nights||FI|
Resting at the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic oceans, situated between the slopes of the iconic Table Mountain and the glistening sapphire waters of Table Bay, the exceptionally scenic city of Cape Town is in a class of its own. Some cities boast rich culture, vibrant nightlife, a cosmopolitan atmosphere and extraordinary architecture, while others boast breathtaking landscapes and extraordinary natural wonders. Cape Town is fortunate to be blessed with all of these attractions and so much more. With its bustling harbour, world-class beaches, top-notch vineyards, and its mountainous surroundings brimming with diverse flora and fauna, Cape Town consistently captivates the hearts of all who visit.
The southern area of South Africa’s most famous game reserve is separated from lush farmland by the Crocodile River, a popular spot for lazy crocs, playful hippos and thirsty animals. The game viewing area is known as the ‘Southern Circle’ and is renowned for its rhinos and lions, of which there are different prides with definitive hunting techniques and behaviours. Also found here, near the Hippo Pool, are ancient San rock paintings.
Johannesburg is one of Africa’s biggest and most vibrant cities. It is the economic capital of Africa and the gateway to Southern Africa. Although not as famous as other South African destinations, there is plenty to do in Johannesburg and nearby Pretoria. The old city is a multi-cultural mixture of traditional medicine shops, Chinese restaurants, taxi ranks and ultra-modern skyscrapers. There are excellent museums, art galleries and organised tours of historical and political interest. The shopping is Southern Africa’s best and the many restaurants cater for all tastes. The nearby township of Soweto is Johannesburg’s most popular tourist attraction.
Sandwiched between forest-clad mountains and an exquisite turquoise lagoon on the southwest coast of the island of Mauritius, Bel Ombre is a small tourist village known for its pristine white sand beaches and spectacular natural scenery. While there are a few luxury resorts strung along the coastline, the area remains mostly undeveloped with the Frédérica Nature Reserve and the Black River Gorges National Park right on its doorstep. This unspoiled natural wilderness provides an ideal environment for an array of outdoor activities including hiking, mountain-biking, 4x4 safaris, quad biking, golf, swimming and kiteboarding. Notable attractions in the area include the beautiful Rochester Falls, the cliff top viewpoint at Gris Gris, and the Vanilla Crocodile and Tortoise Park.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Located off the eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean, the idyllic island of Mauritius is a remarkably romantic holiday destination. Renowned for its crystal-clear turquoise waters, gorgeous powder-white sand beaches and a wonderful tropical climate, most visitors spend their days relaxing on beaches or in one of the many luxurious holiday resorts fringing them, but there is much more to this little island than merely cocktails and coconuts. Those who venture inland will discover lush, jungle-clad mountains, glistening blue lagoons, impressive rivers and waterfalls, extinct volcanic craters, charming little ramshackle towns and villages, and some fabulously friendly locals. Must-see attractions include: the bustling capital of Port Louis with its lively local markets; the remarkable 85 metre-high Chamarel Waterfall; and Eureka, a historic plantation mansion turned museum offering visitors a glimpse into the island's colonial past.
The currency in Mauritius is the Mauritian rupee - MUR or rs, which is divided into 100 cents
Do not change money in your home country as you are likely to get a lower exchange rate. The rate in Mauritius is much better. When you arrive at the airport in Mauritius you will see a host of exchange bureaus at the arrival halls. Just bring your own currency and change it over there for a better deal. If you do not manage to change at the arrival halls there are branches of Thomas Cook and Shibani Finance in the popular tourist areas of Grand Baie and Flic en Flac.
Banks are open from Monday to Friday 09h15 to 15h15 and Saturday from 09h1 to 11h15 (Some banks only).
Credit cards are normally accepted by banks and most hotels, restaurants and tourist shops.
One major highway runs north to south, otherwise a good network of paved, if sometimes narrow, roads cover the island. There are numerous car hire firms include major international and independent firms. People in Mauritius drive on the left-hand side of the road.
Taxis are regulated and metered and linked to provinces or hotels, printed on a yellow panel on the drivers' door. Bus and taxi services are best used in urban areas. Bicycles and motorbikes are also available for hire.
Men can usually spend most of the time in short trousers unless you want to enter a hotel for the evening, in this case long trousers are required. Additionally the maid in the house washes and returns clothes by the next day so that you do not need to take much with you. Do not overload your suitcase with unnecessary clothes. Leave some room for any shopping that you do on Mauritius.
Mauritius has a well advanced textile industry so that instead of taking all your holiday clothes with you might consider buying them locally on the local market. The shops are full of ready to wear polo shirts, T-shirts, shorts, shirts, trousers, pullovers, dresses and beachwear at low prices.
Disposable nappies for babies cost about 2 times the price on Mauritius as they do in Europe. We recommend either taking enough with you or taking nappies which the maid can wash.
Mauritius is a paradise for the senses, not only for the eyes with its beautiful landscape but also for the palate. Featuring culinary traditions from France, India, China and Africa, the best-known and appreciated cuisines in the world, have been passed on through generations.
Depending on the region, rice or a variety of flatbread called chapattis or roti, called farata (paratha) by the local people, is eaten with curries. The extensive use of spices like saffron, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves and herbs like thyme, basil, and curry leaves are the common ingredients that provide some powerful, yet subtle, savour.
You can buy many snacks on the streets of Mauritius. Mauritians have a sweet tooth and make many types of 'gateaux', as they are called. The cakes vary and you can find cakes very much like those in France and others similar to Indian sweets like Gulab Jamun and Rasgulla among many others.
Mauritius produces a wide range of cane rum. Don't forget the coconut water with a dash of lime and a splash of local rum over ice. The local beer Phoenix and is usually served very cold.
The local water is relatively clean and the Mauritians drink it. You need therefore have no fear if you use it for cleaning your teeth etc. However, it is better you boil the water before drinking it or buy bottled water which is freely available in the local shops or at hotels and resorts.
Current is 220/240 volts at 50 cycles per second. A three-point round-pin adapter plug should be brought for your electrical appliances - such adapters are also available at major airports.
The hottest time of the year on Mauritius is December / March when you can expect temperatures of 30 degrees C (approx. 90 F) but with less humidity. There is always a breeze from the ocean however so that most people will find it pleasant. Cyclones (tropical storms) can also occurr during this period.
For those people who do not enjoy warm weather or want a more active holiday, we recommend going in July/August when the temperature is 24-26 C. On the coast the temperature can go down to 16-18 C during the night so that we recommend taking a pullover.
As you can see the variation of temperature on Mauritius is small such that enjoyable holidays can be spent there at any time of the year. Although the weather is normally sunny it does rain. The rain showers are normally short and are a pleasant change from the sun.