Things to do - general


Africa has 54 sovereign countries—the most on any continent—and is the second largest continent in terms of both land area and population. Africa is bounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, by the Red Sea to the northeast, and by the Indian Ocean to the southeast. Africa is a vast continent spanning over 8,000km (5,000 mi) north to south and 7,500km (4,800 mi) east to west (not including islands) and contains a wide array of peoples, skin colours, religions, and cultures. Africa contains the world’s longest river—the 6,650km long (4,100 mi) Nile River running from Burundi to Egypt—while the Congo River in the DRC is the second largest in terms of discharge as well as the deepest with a depth of over 230m (750 ft) in some spots. Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro is the world’s tallest free-standing mountain at 5,890m (19,340 ft). Djibouti’s Lake Assal is the second lowest point on Earth, the saltiest lake outside Antarctica, and one of the hottest places on Earth.

While the first activity most people associate with Africa is safaris, there are endless possibilities for adventure. You can purchase crafts in markets, venture into the Sahara with a Tuareg caravan, visit pygmy villages, hike through jungle to watch gorillas, relax on tropical islands in the Indian Ocean, snack on exotic treats, travel down a river in a dugout “pirogue”, travel across savannah on a colonial-era railway, and much more.

Africa is a very diverse continent, with each country, or even each part of a country having its own unique culture. While it is common for people in the West to refer to Africa as if it was a single country, one should remember the sheer size of the continent, and that Africa is not one country but 54 different countries, meaning that it is impossible to make generalisations of Africa as a whole.

Tragically misunderstood by many people as a land of poverty, corruption, war and famine, and simply as a land of suffering—a misconception only bolstered by the media and the numerous NGOs on the continent—Africa today is a vast continent with many bustling metropolises, friendly people, and amazingly diverse and beautiful landscapes. While there are some places resembling the stereotypical Africa of war, famine, and poverty, most of the continent is peaceful, well-fed, and of working class.

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Any Africa cruise gives you a taste of the continent’s natural beauty. Orange dunes, yellow savannah, deep green hills and azure seas paint vivid pictures. Set against these backdrops stand vibrant cities and towns, full of zest and energy. The islands around its shores are memorable too, rugged outposts with many a story to tell.

Cruises to Cape Town offer poignant visits to Robben Island, an ascent of Table Mountain or excursions out to the acclaimed winelands. Elsewhere in South Africa, game drives may reveal lions, leopards and elephants, while Namibia’s dunes and resorts are just as breathtaking. Browsing for silver, spices or carpets in the souks of North Africa offers an incredible cruise experience too.

Africa’s history has been long and often difficult. Recent centuries have been marked by wars, hunger and apartheid, but the continent’s future is looking brighter. South Africa has grown into a booming country, with wealth coming from mining and agriculture. Other African nations are developing too, often with the help of tourism as we remain captivated by the continent’s beauty and vibrancy.

To give you an idea of Africa’s diversity, estimates suggest that somewhere between 1,500 and 3,000 languages are spoken across Africa. Africans are proud of their customs, so from our Africa cruises you can expect to see spectacular displays of costume, song and dance, along with captivating artwork made by traditional methods. Any cruise to South Africa reveals the huge cultural importance of sport, with rugby and cricket the most popular among them.

Like the continent itself, African cuisine is hugely varied. North Africa enjoys Mediterranean influences, whilst central African countries offer staples such as unleavened breads and spiced meats. South African cuisine is known for its eclectic use of different cooking styles – taken from the many visiting traders and settlers.

Visa requirements

General information about South African Visas

Visitors’ visas are for international travellers (citizens of other countries) who have permanent residence outside South Africa and who wish to visit the country on a temporary basis for tourism or business purposes for a period of 90 days or less.

A visa simply indicates that your application has been reviewed at a South African embassy, mission or consulate and that the consular officer has determined you are eligible to enter the country for a specific purpose.

The visa will allow you to travel to a South African port of entry where an immigration official will then determine if you are allowed to enter South Africa and for how long you can stay for that particular visit. Visitors are restricted to the activity or reason for which their visas were issued.

On entry to South Africa, a visa is considered to be a visitor's permit. The permit’s period of validity is calculated from the date of entry into the country and will be set out under the heading "conditions" on the visa label. You must ensure that you apply for the correct visa/permit. Entry in the country may be refused if the purpose of visit was not correctly stated.

Requirements for visitor’s visas differ from country to country (click here to see which countries are currently exempt), and the requirements are subject to change. As each application is treated as an individual case and you should make enquiries with your nearest South African mission or consulate abroad or any office of the Department of Home Affairs to see whether or not you are required to apply for a visa.

Remember that there is a fee charged for issuing a visa, and you should check the cost with the office as well as this is updated annually. The fee is payable in different currencies in different countries.

Visas are not issued at South African ports of entry, and airline officials are obliged to insist on visas before allowing passengers to board. If you arrive without a visa, immigration officials are obliged to put you onto a flight back to your home country.

Foreigners with long term status (work permits/permit residence) in the neighbouring countries who transit the Republic to return to their employment or residence are not subject to the transit visa, provided they are in possession of proof of their status.


South African visitors’ visas may be granted for:

  • visits to family or friends and also for tourism purposes
  • business purposes
  • spouse to join a spouse who is in South Africa on a work or study permit
  • children to join parents who are in South Africa on work or study permits
  • fiancée/ fiancé to join his or her partner with the intension of marrying within 90 days
  • study purposes (max stay 3-months)
  • charitable or voluntary activities
  • research
  • conferences
  • to work in the production of an movie or show (i.e. in the entertainment industry)
  • for medical purposes (max stay 3-months)
  • sport events


Documents required to apply for a visa

  • A passport or travel document valid for no less than 30 days after the expiry of your intended visit
  • Your passport must have at least TWO unused page for entry / departure endorsements
  • A completed Form BI-84 (application for a visa)
  • Payment of the prescribed fee
  • A yellow-fever vaccination certificate (if required)
  • Statement and/or documentation confirming the purpose and duration of your visit
  • Two colour passport photographs
  • A return or onward ticket if you are travelling by air
  • If you have children (minors) travelling with you or joining in South Africa, you will need to provide the following additional documents
    • Proof of guardianship or custody or
    • Consent from the guardian in the case of an unaccompanied minor
  • Proof of financial means to pay for your living expenses while in South Africa in the form of:
    • Bank statements
    • Salary advances
    • Undertakings by the host(s) in South Africa
    • Bursary
    • Medical cover or
    • Cash available (including credit cards and travellers’ cheques)


Requirements for entering South Africa

You will need the following if you wish to visit South Africa:

  • A valid and acceptable passport or travel document for your intended stay
  • At least one blank page in your passport for endorsements
  • A valid visa, if required
  • Sufficient funds to pay for your day-to-day expenses during your stay
  • A return or onward ticket
  • Yellow fever certificates if your journey starts or entails passing through the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America.


Don't forget that there are certain goods that you cannot bring into South Africa and other goods on which duties need to be paid.
For Customs requirements, click here:
For Agricultural requirements, click here:





Fees for the issuance of a visitor’s visa in terms of section 11(1) of the Immigration Act shall be collected in respect of passport / travel document holders of the following foreign countries when travelling on an ordinary passport (visa fees are not levied for diplomatic and official/service passport holders).  Please note that countries marked with an asterisk are only subject to visa fees if the intended visit exceeds thirty (30) days:


  • Aden
  • Afghanistan (Transitional Islamic State of)
  • Akrotiri and Dhekelia in Cyprus (Sovereign base area of)
  • Albania (Republic of)
  • American Samoa
  • Andorra (Principality of)
  • Angola (Republic of)
  • Anguilla
  • Armenia (Republic of)
  • Aruba
  • Ascension
  • Azerbaijan (Republic of)
  • Australia
  • Austria (Republic of)
  • Bahamas (The Commonwealth of the)
  • Bahrain (The Kingdom of)
  • Belarus (Republic of)
  • Belau (Palau) Republic of)
  • Belgium
  • Belize*
  • Byelorussia
  • Benin (Dahomey) (Republic of)*
  • Bhutan (Kingdom of)
  • Bosnia/Herzegovina
  • Bouvet Islands
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • Brunei Darassalam
  • Bulgaria (Republic of)
  • Burkina Faso (Republic of)
  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • Burundi (Republic of)
  • Cambodia (Kampuchea) (Kingdom of)
  • Cameroon (Republic)
  • Cayman Islands
  • Canada
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • China (People’s Republic of)
  • Comoros (Union of)
  • Congo (Democratic Republic of)
  • Cote D’lvoire (Republic of)
  • Croatia (Republic of)
  • Cuba (Republic of)
  • Denmark (Kingdom of)
  • Dahomey (Benin) (Republic of Benin)
  • Diego Garcia
  • Djibouti (Republic of)
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ducie & Oeno Islands
  • Eastern Caribbean
  • El Salvador (Republic of)
  • Ellice Island (Tuvalu)
  • Equatorial Guinea*
  • Eritrea (State of)
  • Estonia (Republic of)
  • Ethiopia (The Federal Democratic Republic of)
  • Falkland Islands
  • Fiji Islands (Republic of the)
  • Finland (Republic of)
  • France (Republic of)
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • Gabon (Republic of)*
  • Gambia (The)
  • Georgia (Republic of)
  • Germany (Federal Republic of)
  • Ghana (Republic of)
  • Gibraltar
  • Gilbert Island (Kiribati)
  • Greece (Hellenic Republic of)
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guam
  • Guatemala (Republic of)
  • Guinea (Republic of)
  • Guinea-Bissau (Republic of)
  • Haiti (Republic of)
  • Henderson
  • Holy See
  • Honduras (Republic of)
  • Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region)*
  • Iceland (Republic of)
  • Indonesia (Republic of)
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of)
  • Iraq (Republic of)
  • Italy (Republic of)
  • Ivory Coast (Republic of Còte D’Ivoire)
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kampuchea (Cambodia) (Kingdom of)
  • Kazakhstan (Republic of)
  • Kenya (Republic of)*
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Kiribati (Gilbert Island)
  • Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of/North)
  • Korea (|Republic of/South)*
  • Kyrgyz Republic
  • Laos (People’s Democratic Republic)
  • Latvia (Republic of)
  • Lebanon (Republic of)
  • Liberia
  • Libya (Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya)
  • Lithuania (Republic of)
  • Luxemburg (Grand Duchy of)
  • Macedonia (The former Yugoslav Republic of)
  • Madagascar (Republic of)
  • Malaysia (Federation of)*
  • Mali (Republic of)
  • Martinique
  • Marshall Islands (Republic of)
  • Mauritania (Islamic Republic of)
  • Micronesia (Federated States of)
  • Moldova (Republic of)
  • Monaco (Principality of)
  • Mongolia
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco (Kingdom of)
  • Mozambique (Republic of)
  • Myanmar (Burma) (The Union of)
  • Naura (Republic of)
  • Nepal (Kingdom of)
  • Netherlands (The Royal)
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria (Republic of)
  • Northern Marianas
  • Norway
  • Oman (Sultanate of)
  • Pakistan (Islamic Republic of)
  • Palau (Belau) (Republic of)
  • Panama (Republic of)
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines (Republic of the)*
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Poland (Republic of)
  • Portugal (Republic of)
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar (State of)
  • Reunion
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation (except private guests of Embassy or Consular staff)
  • Rwanda (Republic of)
  • Samoa (The Independent State of)
  • San Marino (Republic of)
  • Sao Tome & Principe (Democratic Republic of)
  • Saudi Arabia (Kingdom of)
  • Serbia & Montenegro
  • Sierra Leone (Republic of)
  • Singapore (Republic of)
  • Slovenia (Republic of)
  • Somalia
  • Spain (Kingdom of)
  • Sri Lanka (Democratic Socialist Republic of)
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • Sudan (Republic of the)
  • Suriname (Republic of)
  • Syrian (Arab Republic)
  • Tajikistan (Republic of)
  • Tanzania (United Republic of)
  • Thailand (Kingdom of)*
  • Togo (Republic of)
  • Trinidad and Tobago (Republic of)
  • Tristan da Cunha
  • Tunisia (Republic of)
  • Turkey (Republic of)*
  • Turkmenistan (Republic of)
  • Turks & Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu (Ellice Islands)
  • Uganda (Republic of)
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States of America
  • Uzbekistan (Republic of)
  • Vanuatu (Republic of)
  • Vatican City (Holy S ee)
  • Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
  • Vietnam (Socialist Republic of)
  • Western Sahara
  • Yemen (Republic of)
  • updated - 2016-07-20

Unfortunately there are no accommodations at this location at the moment.

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