South Africa is a parliamentary democracy with one of the most progressive constitutions in the world – homosexuality is legal, LGBT rights are protected and same-sex marriage is legal. The country is large and contains a wide range of landscapes including striking deserts, stunning beaches, majestic mountains and modern cities.
The country is a fascinating mix of the "first-world" and the developing world with cities offering the most modern of amenities. There are eleven official languages, but English is widely spoken and is understood by the majority of the population.
Throughout the year, standard time in South Africa is two hours in advance of Greenwich Mean Time and seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard (Winter) time. Our world-class infrastructure, astonishing vistas, mix of cultures, hospitality and gay nightlife make South Africa a veritable haven for gay tourists. For more information on the "World in one Country", visit the official South African tourism website.
Current is 220/240 volts at 50 cycles per second. A three-point round-pin adapter plug should be brought for razors and hairdryers.
Telecommunications and Internet Access
Most city hotels have direct international dialling from the phone in your room or you can be connected via the switchboard. They will also have internet access of some kind on offer.
3G internet mobile access is available across the country on main routes and in cities. Wi-Fi access is also offered in numerous coffee shops and restaurants.
Mobile phones ("cell phones" in South Africa) are widely used. South Africa uses the GSM Mobile Phone network and Mobile Phones can be hired at all airports and in major centres. The international code for South Africa is +27, which should be preceded by your international prefix (i.e. 00 if calling from the UK). When dialling from outside South Africa the ‘0’ at the front of the local area code should be omitted, but it should be used when dialling within the country.
Every person wishing to enter South Africa must be in possession of a valid passport for travel to South Africa and, where necessary, a visa.
Visitors who intend travelling to South Africa's neighbouring countries and back into South Africa are advised to apply for multiple entry visas. Passport holders of certain countries are exempt from visa requirements. For information on countries that do not need visas to visit South Africa click here.
As is the case with travel to most countries, tourists must satisfy immigration officers that they have the means to support themselves during their stay, and that they are in possession of return or onward tickets.