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The Most Beautiful Country In The World

22/08/2015

According to a recent report on www.buzzfeed.com/travelguru/ - South Africa was listed as No 1 among the 20 most beautiful countries in the world.

This country sweeps international travel prizes and has travellers raving about its beauty so much that it has the highest repeat tourism of any long haul destination in the world! Considering how crazy people are about the place, it’s not surprising that South Africa takes the top spot in the beauty stakes.

Not only does the country have stupendous natural beauty, but it’s urban-amazing too. The town of Franschhoek has been named amongst the five loveliest in the world, and the metropolis of Cape Town is more often than not picked as the most beautiful city on earth by travel lists and tourists alike, because of both its unparalleled natural setting and gorgeous architecture.

This setting is on a coastline hailed as the most beautiful on earth. In fact the country has three of the world’s ten most beautiful coastal drives including Clarens Drive and Chapman’s Peak. These were number one and number two most beautiful coastal drives respectively.

South Africa also has an astonishing variety of marine life, with almost twice the number of marine species as the whole Mediterranean in a coastline only 2000 miles long. It’s the best place in the world to view whales from shore, and to swim with great white sharks. The world’s largest migration of Ocean life occurs here, and is one of the two largest migrations of any kind on earth.

With some of the finest national parks in the world, including the Kgalagadi, Isimangaliso, Hluhlue Imfolozi and Tsitsikamma, South Africa has been rated the finest wildlife destination on earth and is Africa’s most bio diverse. That’s much of where it leaps ahead of other countries in terms of beauty.

What’s better than a great sunset? A great sunset with giraffes or elephants in front! The Greater Kruger National Park and Limpopo Transfrontier Park has more species of large mammal than anywhere else in the world. Surrounding Cape Town is the world’s densest plant kingdom by species count. The King Protea flower is a gorgeous bloom the size of a dinner plate!

Surrounded by Cape Town is one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, Table Mountain. When viewed from across Table Bay this world wonder provides one of the greatest views on Earth, and has been named one of the world’s greatest mountains.

Incredibly, two of the eleven mountains chosen for this honour are located entirely within South Africa, more than is claimed by any other country. The other is the Amphitheatre, a gigantic cliff regarded as one of the most impressive in the world. Its cliff face is around ten times the size of the main South Western face of Yosemite’s El Capitan and six times the size of the North Face of Switzerland’s Matterhorn!

The Amphitheatre is found in the Drakensberg, one of the world’s most beautiful and utterly distinctive mountain ranges. It has been named the third in the list of must see mountain ranges you’ve probably never heard of. Falling off its face is possibly the tallest waterfall on earth, though officially the second tallest, which is about twenty times the height of Niagara! ‘The Tugela Falls’ plunge over 3000 feet in 5 abrupt steps! This, together with the Augrabies falls, is one of two South African falls named in the Top 10 waterfalls in the world. In the North of the Drakensberg is one of the greatest and most beautiful canyons in the world, the subtropical Blyde River.

Other mountain ranges in the country include the best-exposed fold mountains in the world, The Swartberg or ‘Black Mountains’. Unlike their name suggests, these mountains display astonishing Technicolor sandstone cliffs folded in all directions through what geologists call anticlines and synclines. They house one of the most beautiful cave systems in the world, the Kango. Four of the ten oldest mountain ranges in the world are found in South Africa, including the breathtaking Waterberg and the stunning Makhonjwa range, the oldest in the world

This is a country of astounding age, and is the place where both the oldest fossils and the oldest gold have been found. Even the deserts in this country are astonishingly beautiful, from the powdered red sands of the Kalahari to the Karoo and Namaqualand. The latter is an incredible arid area larger than California that turns into the world’s largest garden each spring in a floral display unrivalled anywhere on earth. Thousands of species of flowers bloom and transform the landscape unimaginably. It, together with Technicolor city suburbs like the Bokaap, is part of why the country has been called the worlds most colourful.

Unsurpassed wildlife and mountains, whales and waterfalls, architecture and antiquity, the world’s most beautiful city, and the world’s most stunning Spring, plus a host of natural treasures make South Africa “The Most Beautiful Country In The World”, and a must-see traveller’s dream.

1 June 2015 - New immigration law for children under 18

20/09/2016

As of 1 June 2015 children travelling into, through and out of SA are required to produce an unabridged birth certificate.

This notification from Home Affairs
The new requirements for children travelling to or from the Republic of South Africa take effect on 1 June 2015. The requirements are aimed at establishing the principle that all minors require the consent of their parents when traveling into or out of the Republic.


1. APPLICATION OF THE NEW REQUIREMENTS

1.1. The documents listed under paragraph 4 shall upon request be produced at a port of entry by:

South African minors upon leaving the Republic, and Minors who are foreign nationals and who are visa exempt when travelling through a port of entry of the Republic.
1.2. Minors who apply for a South African visa at any mission or VFS service-point shall be required to submit as part of the application, documents listed hereunder at paragraph 4, prior to such visa being issued.

1.3. Where a minor applies for a visa inside South Africa or at a South African embassy abroad it shall be standard practice for all supporting documents to be submitted prior to the visa being issued. Sworn translations of the documents should be submitted with the visa application as stipulated in Regulation 9(4) of the Immigration Regulations, 2014. However, persons who are visa exempt need not submit any translations when reporting to an Immigration Officer at a port of entry. Supporting documents should either be the originals or certified copies of the originals.


2. EXEMPTIONS

Minors who began their journey prior to 1 June 2015 shall not be required to produce the documents listed in paragraph 4 should the return leg of the journey occur after 1 June 2015.
No supporting documents will be required in the case of minors in direct transit at an International Airport.
Minors in possession of valid South African visas shall not be required to produce the documents listed in paragraph 4 when travelling through a port of entry of the Republic.
In the case of countries that endorse the particulars of parents in children’s passports, or other official identification documents, these documents shall be acceptable for the purpose of establishing the identity of parents of the travelling minor. Example: Indian passports record the parents’ names on the passport. In this instance, the requirement of an Unabridged Birth Certificate as stated in paragraph 4 may be dispensed with.

3. DEFINITIONS

3.1. Alternative Care

Section 167 of the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005), states that a child is in Alternative Care if the child has been placed in:
foster care; the care of a child and youth care centre following an order of a court in terms of that Act or the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act No. 51 of 1977); or
temporary safe care.

3.2. Child/Minor

South African law regards any person younger than 18 years as a child or minor.


3.3. Equivalent Document

Any official document (Example: identity document or passport issued by the relevant authority of any country) or letter issued by a foreign government (including a foreign embassy) or a letter issued by the Director-General of Home Affairs of the Republic of South Africa, recording the identity of the parents of a child shall be accepted in lieu of an Unabridged Birth Certificate. These instruments shall serve to identify the parents of the child intending to travel through a port of entry of the Republic.

3.4. Parent

Unless the context indicates otherwise, the word “parent” includes adoptive parents and legal guardians.

3.5. Parental Consent Affidavit

Parental Consent Affidavit is an affidavit which must accompany an Unabridged Birth Certificate or Equivalent Document when any parent is not travelling with his or her child.
A South African Embassy in the traveller’s country of residence may be approached to commission the oath or solemn declaration required in the Affidavit free of charge.
The Affidavit must not be older than 4 months when presented. The same affidavit will still be valid for the departure or return in relation to the same journey regardless of the period of the journey.
A suggested format of the Parental Consent Affidavit is here: ParentalConsentAffidavit

3.6. Unabridged Birth Certificate

In South Africa, an Unabridged Birth Certificate (UBC) is an extract from the Birth Register containing the particulars of a minor and those of his or her parent or parents. UBCs are official documents issued by the Department of Home Affairs in terms of the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1992 (Act No. 51 of 1992). All birth certificates containing the details of a child as well as the parents of the child shall be accepted for the purposes of these Requirements as UBCs , regardless of the country of issue.
In the case of countries that do not issue UBCs, an ‘Equivalent Document’ containing the particulars of the child and his or her parent or parents, issued by the competent authority of that country, or an embassy of that country may be used instead of an UBC. A suggested format for such an Equivalent Document is available at: http://www.dha.gov.za/files/EquivalentDocumentForeignGov.pdf


4. DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR TRAVEL THROUGH A PORT OF ENTRY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

4.1 Where both parents are travelling accompanied by one or more of their children, such children have to produce:

Valid passports and an UBC or Equivalent Document for each child travelling.


4.2. Where only one parent is travelling with a child, (or children), each child has to produce:

A valid passport, an UBC or Equivalent Document for each travelling child and the Parental Consent Affidavit from the non-travelling parent whose details are recorded on the UBC or Equivalent Document.


4.3. An unaccompanied minor has to produce:

A valid passport; an UBC or Equivalent Document; Parental Consent Affidavit; letter from the person who is to receive the minor in the Republic containing such person’s residential and work address and full contact details in the Republic, a copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the minor in the Republic.

4.4. A person who is travelling with a child who is not his or her biological child, such child must produce:

A valid passport, an UBC or Equivalent Document and Parental Consent Affidavit.
These requirements apply also to children travelling with school groups.

4.5. A child in alternative care shall produce:

A valid passport and a letter from the Provincial Head of the Department of Social Development where the child resides authorising his or her departure from the Republic as contemplated in section 169 of the Children’s Act (Act No. 38 of 2005).

4.6. Explanatory Notes:

One of the following documents may be presented in the absence of a Parental Consent Affidavit referred to above:
A court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or full legal guardianship of the child exclusively to the travelling parent ;
A court order granted in terms of section 18(5) of the Children’s Act, 2015, (Act No. 38 of 2005) which is a court order granting permission for the child to travel in the event that there is a dispute or no consent forthcoming from the parent/s of a child; or
a death certificate of the deceased parent.
Where only one parent’s particulars appear on the UBC or equivalent document, no parental consent affidavit is required when that parent travels with the child.
In the case of divorce, where custody of a child/children is shared, parental consent by both parents is required.
Where a Parental Consent Affidavit is presented, also required are full contact details and copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child.
The consent of parents recorded as such on the Unabridged Birth Certificate or Equivalent Document shall be required regardless of the marital status of the parents of the child.

5. INABILITY TO CONSENT DUE TO RECENT DEATH OR MENTAL OR PHYSICAL DISABILITY:

5.1. Where any parent/s recorded in an UBC, or equivalent document, are unable to consent to the travel by a child due to recent death, or mental or physical disability, persons acting on behalf of the child/children may apply for a special dispensation in lieu of the parental consent affidavit by directing a request and full motivation, together with all supporting documents (example, treating medical practitioners certificate), to the Office of the Director-General of Home Affairs, at the following e-mail address: consent@dha.gov.za

5.2. Explanatory Note:

This dispensation only applies to incapacity, and does not apply where a parent is either unwilling to consent or unable to be located due to separation or divorce.
Where a parent refuses to give consent, a court order in terms of section 18(5) of the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005), may be presented in lieu of such parental consent.

See pdf document here