Before you finalize any plans and book that return ticket to one of Africa’s most interesting travel destinations, you may want to take a step back and consider the logistics of the trip. Although travelling within the African continent has less strict administrative requirements than travelling into another continent, one could always do with additional information about the bureaucratic processes you might have to go through and some of the novelties you’ll encounter along the way!
So, before you make any travel plans, you’ll have to apply for a visa first! If you’re heading down south to visit family or friends, a short term visa can be issued to you which provides access to the country for three months. This pass cannot be converted into a long term visa, so if you’re thinking of exceeding this period to pursue other plans, like enrolling as a student or simply travelling, you may want to apply for a long term or student visa, instead.
Next, you’ll have to make sure that your passport documentation is in order. To apply for a passport to South Africa as an adult, you’ll need a formal application letter, your original passport, as well as copies of it, and a Nigerian driver’s license or national ID. You can find more information about this process at the Nigerian Consulate of South Africa. Upon crossing the borders of South Africa, you’ll also have to declare any foreign currency that you intend to bring into the country before you enter; note that a limit of R 25,000.00 (around NGN 625,000.00) can be taken in and out of its borders, so declaring a foreign currency may be the simpler path!
You’ll also have to go through some mandatory routine vaccinations. Tick off the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine before you take your trip. Vaccinations for Chickenpox, Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid and Hepatitis A are also recommended, and you may want to get your yearly flu shot before you travel!
Acclimatizing to South African weather is one thing, but transitioning into its social climate is another altogether. The country is home to eleven official languages, and is equally diverse in its religious and racial demographics. Its two largest cities, Cape Town and Johannesburg, each harbor roughly around 4,000,000 people of different cultures and ethnic groups, including Hindu, Muslim, Christian, traditionally South African, or even a combination of these religious and cultural demographics. You’ll also encounter individuals from Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, English, Sepedi, Tswana, Sesotho, Tsonga, Swazi, Venda and Ndebele groups with interesting and nuanced cultural differences. If you’re on your way to this country, take some time to research the various cultural complexities you’ll be exposed to once you arrive!
When travelling to any country, it’s important to take care of your belongings and be vigilant at all times. Here are some safety guidelines you may like to follow:
- always try to travel in groups and avoid dark and isolated areas,
- keep your travel documentation in a safe place and
- avoid displaying expensive jewelry and other valuables in populated areas.
Contact the South African Police Service in the case of an emergency on their 24-hour crime reporting line at 10111 at any time!
South Africa remains one of the most breathtaking travel destinations on the African continent, so book your holiday today! If you are looking to travel South Africa from the Bushveld to the Winelands, view our amazing resorts.