South Africa’s diversity is captivating. The city is cosmopolitan and confident. But there’s also excellent game viewing in Kruger National Park and the Winelands and farmsteads. There’s even the wild Elephant Coast. South African experts have explored the land of contrasts from the Cape Peninsula to the north and can recommend the best South African experiences.
You can learn more about South Africa’s colonial past at the Battlefields of KwaZulu–Natal or explore its recent history by visiting Robben Island. Enjoy a relaxing road trip along the Garden Route with views of the wave-lashed coast. You can also go on a Big Five safari to the Eastern Cape. Rail journeys that traverse South Africa’s mountains, grasslands and semi-arid Karoo Desert offer a chance to explore the country’s remote, undiscovered areas.
Is It Possible To Travel To South Africa From The Uk?
Yes. Furthermore, the UK has no Covid travel rules as of March 18, which means that anyone returning from South Africa does not have to test, quarantine, or fill out a passenger locator form regardless of whether they are vaccinated.
What Are The Requirements To Enter South Africa?
South Africa is open to all nationalities and can be visited for up to 90 days without the need for a visa.
To enter South Africa, you may be required to complete a Health Form.
For more information, see Passport validity and Visas.
If you are fully vaccinated
You do not need to undergo coronavirus testing if you have been fully vaccinated. Your vaccination certificate will be required for travel and arrival.
South African officials have confirmed that the World Health Organisation has approved vaccines for use. This includes vaccines from Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech that were used in the UK’s vaccine program.
Documentation proving vaccination status
Acceptable is any valid vaccination certificate. It is important that you have a digital copy of your vaccination certificate with the QR code ready for you when you arrive. As an alternative proof of vaccination, you should also have a printed copy. Unverified vaccination cards will not be accepted.
South Africa will accept the proof that COVID-19 has been recovered and the vaccination record as well as proof of COVID-19 vaccine given in Crown Dependencies. The NHS appointment card issued by vaccination centres is not intended to be used for the verification of vaccination.
If you haven’t been fully vaccinated
Non-vaccinated persons must present a valid COVID-19 PCR certificate that was received less than 72 hours prior to travel.
If you have had COVID-19 within the last year
You must present either a valid vaccine certificate or a PCR test to avoid any disruptions to your plans. Before you travel, you will need to verify that you have a COVID-19-recovery certificate.
South Africa’s Top Places to See
South Africa is the ideal destination for adventure travellers. It offers a variety of amazing experiences, including off-roading on safari and diving with great white sharks. This land is full of beauty, incredible wildlife, magnificent vineyards and majestic mountains.
Although the southern tip of Africa has seen the end of apartheid, much of the country still suffers from poverty and a wide disparity in wealth and race. There are many opportunities to learn about the country’s turbulent history, land, and people through museums, trips to Robben Island, or visits to Township.
Get out of the city and get on your bike to explore the diverse landscapes along the Garden Route. Stop at Hermanus to see southern right whales, which is a popular stop along the coast. You can take a stroll on the wild side of Kruger National Park, where you will find lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalos. Take in the breathtaking views from Table Mountain. There are few other holiday destinations that offer as many options. Here are the top places to visit in South Africa.
The Mother City is a must-see on any South African bucket list. It has beautiful beaches, stunning mountain views, and friendly people. Although it is the second-largest city in South Africa, it is easily the most well-known. Cape Town is located in the Southwest Cape Province of South Africa. It enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate and stunning natural surroundings. Cape Town is a city that has everything. It’s surrounded by Table Mountain, and it overlooks Robben Island.
You can explore the vibrant streets of Bo Kaap, a Cape Malay region. Next, you will find yourself above the Kirstenbosch treetops before enjoying a picnic in the botanical gardens. You can do both by taking an open-top sightseeing tour of the city, complete with wine tasting!
The Houses of Parliament, South Africa’s legislative capital, is located in Cape Town’s city centre. Daily tours are available for a free look at the National Assembly, as well as the old Apartheid-era assembly. You can take a scenic drive up to Cape Point Nature Reserve, which is located on the rugged Cape Peninsula.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (meaning “Great Thirst”) extends out into South Africa and neighbouring Botswana. It is a unique desert wilderness that spans both Africa and Botswana. The Kalahari’s salt pans, bushveld and rust-red dunes are home to hordes of plains game such as wildebeest, gemsbok, and springbok, South Africa’s national animals. These are then hunted by predators such as lions, leopards, and cheetahs. The game viewing is amazing in this area, which is surrounded by barren wilderness.
One time, the Kgalagadi was split in two: Botswana’s Gemsbok National Park and South Africa’s Kalahari Gemsbok National Park were combined into one park in 1999. Part of the Kgalagadi’s vastness makes it difficult to access without a four-wheel vehicle. But even then, it’s an adventure.
Many people prefer to stay in one of the park’s camps, where they can take part in the included game drives and bush walks that will allow them to see the incredible wildlife. You can also explore the park on your own by following one of the many paths along the riverbeds of Auob or Nossob on South Africa’s side.
Named after the Kgalagadi tribes that once lived in this part of the desert. Some descendants of these original communities can still be found there today, including the Mier Community (Khoe-speaking Khomani Community), so make sure to include a visit!
Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park, South Africa’s most well-known and easily accessible game reserve, is a paradise for wildlife lovers. Kruger is located in the northern part of South Africa. It covers an immense area of ecosystems that support all types of wildlife, from thickets to dry riverbeds and grasslands to dense forests and thickets.
Although the park was first established in 1898, the park was opened to the public only in 1920. Kruger is a must-see for tourists and locals alike who are hoping to see one of the famous Big Five. Highlights include sighting crocodiles and hippos from the Crocodile River viewpoint and visiting Masorini’s Iron Age ruins.
Kruger, a great reserve for self-drives, is also available on park-run game drives. Follow the Crocodile and Sabie rivers to spot leopards, lions and rhinos in the undergrowth. Kruger is also a birding paradise so bring your binoculars!
The Drakensberg is a mountain range located in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province. Locals often refer to the Drakensberg as “The Berg”, but it is also known as “Mountains of the Dragon ”. You will be amazed at the power and beauty of these mountains. The area forms part of the Great Escarpment and is home to a variety of waterfalls as well as hiking trails that are divided into the northern and southern reaches.
Visitors are attracted to the Northern Drakensberg by its mild climate, which is ideal for hiking. This site receives very little snowfall. You can hike for one to two days to the Amphitheatre and then explore UKhahlamba Drakensberg Park or the Royal Natal National Park. Here you will find Tugela Falls, which is the second-highest waterfall in the world.
Adventurers will love the Southern Drakensberg. You can take the thrilling drive up Sani Pass to landlocked Lesotho via the highest pub in Africa or sign up for challenging trekking or mountaineering tours.
Hermanus, a once sleepy and touristy town in the Western Cape, is now the whale-watching capital of South Africa. Each year, the southern right whales visit this area of Walker Bay to have their young. Whale watching from the cliffs, while not as popular as boat trips, is just about as spectacular.
Visitors can enjoy a 10km (6 miles) long cliff-side walkway with benches and built-in telescopes that offer many opportunities to see these social animals, especially during the Hermanus Whale Festival.
Hermanus is surrounded by majestic mountains and the aquamarine waters of the Atlantic. It also has idyllic beaches and the Hemel en Aarde Wine Valley, which offers a variety of wine-filled experiences. The name means Heaven and Earth. You can spend your days hiking to waterfalls or fishing in the oceans and lagoons. Or riding on horseback along the beaches. Hermanus offers it all.
Blyde River Canyon
The Blyde River Canyon, tangled in subtropical leaves, is one of the deepest natural canyons and the largest green canyons on Earth. The Panorama Route is a spectacular tourist route that runs through the canyon. It’s home to many sensational hotspots, including waterfalls and unusual geology.
Bourke’s Luck Potholes is one such highlight. These are a series of giant potholes created by the swirling water from the Treue and Blyde rivers.
The Blyde River Canyon’s lush valleys and mountain scenery, such as the Three Rondavels, make it a popular spot to explore by horseback, car, or on foot. You will see various wildlife, including hippos, crocodiles and Samango monkeys. Also, you might spot the Cape vulture and African fish eagle along the route. This is one of the most popular bird-watching spots within Mpumalanga.
Returning to the UK
It is not necessary to fill out a UK passenger locator before you travel. Also, you don’t need to take COVID-19 or quarantine upon arrival in England.