Time zones and jet lag
South Africa operates two hours ahead of
Greenwich Mean Time throughout the year, making it
an hour ahead of British Summer Time and two hours
ahead of British Winter Time.
The beauty of this for British visitors is that it
means you won't suffer from jet lag when flying to
or from South Africa.
Travellers with a disability
If you have a disability, make sure you tell
your airline when booking your flight ticket so they
can make appropriate arrangements.
Generally speaking, South Africa's facilities
for disabled visitors can be improved. However, an
increasing number of accommodation establishments
have wheelchair ramps and bathroom facilities for
Almost every national park has at least one
accessible chalet and many accommodation
establishments have one or two wheelchair-friendly
rooms and bathroom facilities.
Hospitals and medical care
There is a large network of State and private
hospitals across South Africa.
Hospital treatment in large cities is generally
excellent but can be expensive.
Medical facilities in rural areas can be basic.
In remote areas, air evacuation is sometimes the
only option for medical emergencies.
We strongly recommend that you obtain
comprehensive health insurance before travelling to
South Africa, including cover for medical
You should check the small print for any
exclusions. Exclusions could include injury or death
through acts of terrorism or nature; accidents
caused through drinking alcohol or engaging in
dangerous sports (the list of these will vary from
policy to policy); or problems arising from a
previous illness that you have not declared to the
Food and water
As a rule, tap water in South Africa is
perfectly safe to drink as it is treated and
is free of harmful micro-organisms.
In hotels, restaurants and nightspots,
the standards of hygiene and food
preparation is top-notch. It is safe to eat
fresh fruit and salads and to put as much
ice as you like in your drinks - a good
thing, too, after a day on the beach or in
the bush (more...)
Malaria is found only in the Lowveld of
Mpumalanga and Limpopo and on the Maputaland
KwaZulu-Natal. Although the
incidence of malaria in South Africa is
low, it would be best to take adequate
precautions if you choose to visit these
Immunisations & vaccinations
Immunisation against cholera and
smallpox are not necessary and no other
vaccinations are required when visiting
South Africa (more...)
The risk to you of catching tuberculosis
in South Africa is not high (more...)
South Africa and the whole of the
sub-Saharan region of Africa have a high
prevalence of HIV/AIDS.
South Africa actively promotes an
HIV/AIDS awareness campaign, but given the
high level of HIV/AIDS, you should seek
immediate medical advice if you are sexually
assaulted or otherwise injured.
South Africa promotes the ABC
if you can't abstain
faithful! if you can't