The Farmstay Assurance

By making use of FARMSTAY, the tourist can be sure that he/she gets what is offered on the internet. Only businesses that have been visited and approved by FARMSTAY are included in our guides.

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 Passport and Visa

Any one who visits South Africa must have a valid passport and, if necessary, a visa. 

Visitors who wish to travel to and from SA's neighbouring states must apply for multiple entry visas.

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 Means to Cover Costs

Tourists must be able to provide proof that they have sufficient means to support themselves during their stay and also that they are in possession of a return or non-stop aeroplane ticket.

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 Health Certificates

With regard to health certificates, visitors from the yellow feer areas in Africa and the USA as well as those who move throught these areas to South Africa must provide proof of the necessary inoculation against yellow fever.

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 Value-added Tax

Foreign tourists who visit South Africa can claim back VAT (14 %) on condition that the value of items purchasd exceeds R250. VAT is repaid at the point of departure when tourists leave the country.

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 Transport

South Africa's transport infrastructure - airways, luxury intercity tour buses and self-drive cars - is such that visitors can move with ease from their point of entry to their destination. Please note that distances - especially when compared to distances between European destinations - are generally much longer because of the vastness of the country, e.g. 1 400 km by road from Cape Town to Johannesburg. Always take distance into account when planning your routes. 

Train journeys (except the Blue Train (http://www.bluetrain.co.za) -- which is one of the most luxurious trains in the world and the Rovos Rail (http://www.travelsa.com) offered specifically to tourists) are generally not recommended as, in our opinion, trains do not comply with international tourism standards.

 

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 Tours

A large variety of all-inclusive tours to all the main tourist destinations in South Africa is offered by a well organised travel agency industry. A useful suggestion is to use only those agencies that are members of recognised accreditation associations, viz ASATA and IATA. It is compulsory that all travel and tourism agencies who offer their services on FARMSTAY should be accredited with one or more of these organisations. 

Also note that there are a number of agencies who focus specifically on agricultural tourism and who are known for their particular service to agricultural tourists.  Further particulars are available through the relevant key on FARMSTAY's main page.

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 Tourism Routes

There are various tourist routes in South Africa.  FARMSTAY emphasises agricultural and eco-routes, including wine, crayfish, dairy, maize routes.  Further particulars are available via the main page.

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 Airports in South Africa

For the convenience of the agricultural tourist, a complete list of airports in South Africa, with contact particulars, is provided.  

 

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 Embassies in South Africa

It is often worthwhile for the overseas tourist to make contact with his/her embassy or consulate. This is also an important point of contact should you be faced with urgent problems such as a lost passport, etc. A contact list of embassies is provided for visitors' convenience.  

 

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 Climate

The climate is generally sunny and temperate and the average number of sunshine hours each day are among the highest in the world. Winters are mild and clear, although occasional snowfalls occur on the higher mountain ranges of the Eastern and Western Cape and KwaZulu/Natal, causing brief cold spells in the surrounding areas.   

Over 40% of South Africa lies more than 1,210 m above sea level, and this factor exerts a significant influence on temperatures and rainfall in the interior of the country.

The Western Cape Province enjoys a Mediterranean-type climate (dry summers and winter rainfall), while on the whole, the remainder of the country experiences summer rainfall, mostly in the form of short afternoon thunderstorms. As the country lies in the southern hemisphere, seasons are the reverse of those prevailing in the northern hemisphere.

The average maximum temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit of four of South Africa's major cities are: 

Cape Town Summer 80 Winter 69
Durban Summer 83 Winter 77.2
Johannesburg Summer 81.4 Winter 78
Pretoria Summer 87 Winter 74

Agri SA offers a unique agricultural weather forecast service on its agricultural internet website http://www.agriinfo.co.za which can be very useful to tourists. Apart from the daily forecasts, 365 days of the year, our team of meteorologists also provide forecasts 1 to 7 days in advance with warnings when necessary. Simply click on the weather index when entering the website.

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 Language

South Africa has 11 official languages.  English is understood by most people in the country. It is recommended that tourists who do not speak English should preferably make use of organised tourism services where interpreters are available to clients.

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 Credit Cards

Credit cards (Master, Visa, Diners en American Express) are accepted by most stores, hotesl and restaurants. Some guest-houses in rural areas, however, do not accept credit cars. When selecting a guest-house on FARMSTAY, check whether credit cards will be accepted. An indication of this will be given in all cases.

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 Crime

Crime is one of the few negative aspects which a tourist must bear in mind during his/her visit to South Africa. A golden rule is that tourists should always comply with internationally accepted guidelines. They should never move around alone in deserted places, especially at night. Keep your cameras and other equipment out of sight; don't carry large sums of money (or valuable items such as jewelry) on your person and use lock-up facilities where you are staying overnight. South Africa and its cities are beautiful but remember that such beauty can be only "skin deep" insofar as crime is concerned.

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 Water

Tap water can be safely used in South Africa with the exception of some deep rural areas. Mineral and other bottled water, however, are available throughout the country.

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