by Dalene Ingham-Brown
Whether you’re heading into South Africa, or out, being prepared for crossing South Africa’s border will make your journey a stress-free one. Here I’ve put together a few helpful essentials to eliminate any nasty surprises at the border.
Visas and passports
If you’re a South African citizen and you’re heading into Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana or Namibia, the good news is that you don’t need a visa to enter the country. The bad news? There is none! There is an exception to the rule though. If you’re travelling with a temporary passport, you’ll need to present a visa with it when crossing the border into Botswana.
Keep all important documents in a folder to prevent them from getting lost. Before approaching a border crossing, make sure you have all the documents you need ready for the border official. Make sure you have a few black pens kept with this document folder too – they always come in handy at the border.
If you’re a South African and are planning to do the driving on your journey, you’ll be happy to hear that a South African driver’s license is valid in Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia.
International driver’s permit
The chances of the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe Steam Train running again seem as remote now as they did in August 2006 when severe floods destroyed most of the tracks. Transnet have recently put forward the idea that the rolling stock may even be put for sale and have not responded to calls from the Western Cape Finance Economic Development and Tourism Minister, Alan Winde, to work out a formula that would enable the last remaining passenger steam train in South Africa to run again.
Climb Lion’s Head
Well you do need to be a bit fit for this one but a hike up Lion’s Head when it is full moon is a truly rewarding experience. From the top you can see across Cape Town, Robben Island, the peninsula and of course the ocean. Take a drink and some a picnic and relax with like-minded folk as you watch another beautiful day in South Africa come to an end.
Dipping your toes in the Ocean
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches around Cape Town. From Camps Bay to Bloubergstrand there are numerous endless sandy beaches just waiting for you. If you enjoy a spot of people watching then the beaches at Clifton are your best bet but if you want some heavy action then head to Bloubergstrand to marvel at the kite-surfers taking off in the waves. (more…)
You might be forgiven for overlooking Rustenburg as a place to stay in South Africa especially when you consider the close proximity of other attractions such as the Pilanesberg National Park, Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesburg to name just a few.
Words and photos by Roxanne Reid
The Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, in the far north-west of the Northern Cape, is the only true mountain desert in southern Africa. If you have even a small spark of wildness in your soul, here are six reasons why you should add it to your bucket list.
1. Mountain desert views
Don’t be put off by the entrance to the Richtersveld Transfrontier Park via Sendelingsdrif, which passes through areas that are being mined for diamonds. But about 30km from the entrance gate, beyond the turnoff to the Hand of God and the Oena Mine, the scenery will knock your socks off.