South Africa is the country at the southern tip of the African continent. It shares a common border with Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland, and surrounds the small state of Lesotho. The country has a 2,798-km (1,739-mile) coastline from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean.
Guide to South Africa Hotels
Here's a list of hotels in South Africa that you can book online, listed by city, with full description, star rating, address, location map, evaluation, and prices as offered by different booking sites.
More on South Africa
South Africa is renowned as the world's largest producer of gold. Cape Town is the administrative capital of South Africa while Pretoria is where Parliament is located. Johannesburg is the largest city as well as business centre of the country. South Africa has a population of 49 million, comprising 79% Black, 9% White, 9% Coloured, and 2% Asian.
South Africa is most infamous for its policy of legally institutionalised segregation called apartheid. Apartheid was in the making since the Pretoria Convention in 1881, and became a system of legal racial segregation enforced by the National Party government between 1948 and 1994. Under apartheid, while all the people in South Africa were grouped as black, white, coloured and Indian, the whites ruled at the gross disadvantage of the other groups, which were discriminated against.
As a tourist destination, South Africa is renowned for its wines, not to mention as the world's biggest producer of gold. South Africa is also a good place to view African wildlife.
Visitors to South Africa is often dismayed to find two worlds in one: a First World nation justaposed against a Third World, such was the effect of the decades to enforced segregation. It has well-developed cities as well as the poorest of slums, and the massive gap between the have's and the have-not's result in high crime rate and high security pravalent in all its major cities.
There are 10 international airports in South Africa. The two major ones are the Cape Town International Airport and the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. Some visitors also arrive at the Durban International Airport.
It is possible to enter South Africa by road, from Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Swaziland.
The currency used in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR). The following are the latest rates for South African Rand in the last 24-hours.
Planning your travel within South Africa
The most practical way to get from place to place is by plane. There are a number of domestic airlines offering flights between the major cities in the country.
Train travel in South Africa covers the whole range from the basic to the luxurious. As foreigners, you should opt for either the mid-range, such as the Bushveld Train Safaris and the Shongololo Express, or the luxuries, such as the Blue Train and Rovos Rail, for better comfort and security.
Due to high crime rate in South Africa, visitors are advised to always keep their car doors locked and windows wound up, especially when stopping at the traffic lights. They should never pick up hitchhikers, or leave valuables in the car. Cars should always be locked when it is left unattended. Always park in busy, well-lit places and avoid going to remote areas at night. One should also avoid confrontations with aggressive road users.
Robbers often place obstacles on the road to stop cars. When you see large stones or other objects on the road, carefully drive around them without stopping.
On top of all, South Africa has a high rate accident rate, so visitors are urged to consider the options before deciding to drive.
Recommended Travel Guidebook
My favorite travel guidebook for further reading in preparation of your trip is the South Africa Eyewitness Guide, because it follows a format that I find useful to users, not to mention I have also contributed to some of the titles in the Eyewitness series of guidebooks.