Mini Guide to South Africa

Safety and Health

South Africa is, unfortunately, a notoriously dangerous country with one of the highest murder rates in the world (frequently ranking between 14 and 18). However, visitors who use common sense and are constantly aware of what’s going on around them should have a safe trip without having to worry too much.

Travelers are advised not to use public transport, wear expensive jewelry, or go for evening strolls. Always take taxis, and if renting a car, beware of strangers and don’t leave valuables inside.

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Weather

South Africa has a temperate climate as it’s surrounded by oceans on three sides. The north west of the country ranges from desert to semi-desert while the east enjoys subtropical temperatures. The southwest climate is akin to Mediterranean temperatures, where the winters can be wet, but summers extremely dry (the area is also famous for its intermittent wind all year round). Temperatures during the summer can reach 35 degrees Celsius and around zero in the winter months.

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Food and Drinks

Due to years of international influence (British, Dutch, and other African countries), South African food and drinks are diverse, so visitors will be spoiled for choices. Travelers can try Braaivleis (a meat barbecue roasted over an open wood), Pap (a maize porridge that can be served runny or “couscous” style), or Bunny chows (loaf of bread filled with lamb or beef curry). Popular drinks include Amarula Cream (made from the marula fruit), Rooibos tea, and a vast selection of local wines.

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