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South Africa

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Season
Cricket season runs September to March

When to go
September to March are the best months, and although the winter is cooler, on the coastal areas it is still extremely pleasant

Foreign Office Information
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British nationals visiting South Africa on holiday for less than three months do not require visas. British visitors, while not needing South African visas, should note that their passport must have one clear blank page for the South African entry stamp. SA Immigration officials will not allow the passportís Child/Infant page to be used for this purpose. British visitors without a free blank page in their passports will be denied entry. Passports must also be valid for no fewer than 30 days after the end of the intended visit.

Pros
Beautiful country and wildlife, inexpensive, climate.

Cons
Distances between centres, law and order in cities.

Contacts
South Africa Tourist Board website
South Africa - Lonely Planet guide

British High Commission
255 Hill Street
Arcadia 0002
Pretoria
Website

South African High Commission
South Africa House
Trafalgar Square
London WC2N 5DP
Website

 

General
South Africa is a sporting mad nation, always willing to accommodate touring teams, offering them excellent sporting facilities in all the major centres. The weather is ideal all year round while the Rand is very favourable to European visitors. For the tourist the country offers a wide variety of sights, from the majestic Cape in the south to the sights and sounds of the Kruger Park in the north. The splendour of Sun City just 2 hours from Johannesburg and Pretoria and the beauty of Garden Route between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town will reward the visitor with many wonderful memories. An ideal cricket tour could start in Cape Town, work its way up the Garden route and finish in Johannesburg/Pretoria area. Various airlines regularly cover all major routes at economic prices while luxury bus companies are available for those interested in the sights between cities. Numerous car rental outlets offer excellent deals for those making their own way, on some excellent highways, around the country. Travelling by train would be the last resort.

Grounds
The Test venues are among the best in the world. Centurion has been described as the ground with the best player facilities in the world while Newlands remains one of the most picturesque around. The Bullring at the Wanderers is widely known for its atmosphere while the friendly coastal venues ooze with enthusiasm. Many club sides make use of the Test venues as their home grounds while others have their own high-grade club sporting complexes. The majority of public and private school teams have excellent ovals. There are also numerous private and representative teams with their own facilities. Municipal grounds are available offering the touring party well prepared pitches.

Opposition
Clubs and schools offer various standards, or there's the opportunity for fixtures against representative sides. Club competitions are played between September and March taking place mostly over weekends. Some schools compete in Wednesday matches. Midweek and Sunday games are preferable. The local cricket unions will have all the details and help assist you in finding the correct opposition.

Entertainment
Clubs, bars, restaurants, theatres, shopping arcades, casino's and cinemas cater for all tastes. The major cities all have museums, galleries and organised tours. The Wine Route in the Western Cape is a must for any visitor while a visit to Robin Island, the 27 year "home" of Nelson Mandela is mandatory. Whale watching up the West and East coast could be followed by Great White shark cage viewing. Miles of white unspoilt beaches will satisfy many a surfers dreams. The sights of Mpumalanga, on the way to the Kruger Park, will satisfy many an outdoor lover while many five star holiday resorts will cater for your every need.

Conclusion
The value of the Rand makes South Africa a very viable place to tour. The weather and the beauty of the land will entice many back for a second or third visit while the friendships made will last forever.