South Africa

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** SA coastal forecast [] (couldn't find the SA link, but the text on the NOAA website is updated every 12h)
** SA coastal forecast []  
** SA offshore forecast [] (couldn't find the SA link, but the text on the NOAA website is updated every 12h)
** SA offshore forecast []  
* '''Mauritius Weather Service''' has a few goodies for this region too:
* '''Mauritius Weather Service''' has a few goodies for this region too:
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Revision as of 14:11, 4 October 2011


An online cruising guide for yachts sailing around South Africa. The "Cape of Good Hope" sailing route is a wonderful alternative to the Red Sea route for circumnavigating yachts, with all the wonderful Indian Ocean island stopovers en route. The sailing passage between Durban and Cape Town has a reputation of being difficult and dangerous but cruisers who are armed with the right information and backed by excellent South African weather forecasting resources the passage can be extremely rewarding. South African yachts sail along this coast all the time, however, timing of the longer passages is important.

South Africa
South Africa
Capital: Pretoria
Language: English, Afrikaans, others
Currency: Rand
South Africa has 11 official languages.

South Africa Climate and Weather for Sailing


Marine Weather resources

South Africa Customs and Immigration

Goods to declare:- Tobacco & cigarettes, Spirits, Wine, Saccharin, Narcotics, Beer, undesirable books/objects, Firearms, Articles for sale, or gifts.

Goods imported Duty leviable
Personal effects Duty free
Other new or used goods not exceeding ZAR1 250-00 Duty free
Additional goods new or used not exceeding ZAR10 000-00 Duty at 20%
Wine not exceeding 2 liters per person Duty free
Spirituous and alcoholic beverages not exceeding 1 liter per person Duty free
Cigarettes not exceeding 400 and not exceeding 50 cigars per person Duty free
260g cigarette tobacco or pipe tobacco per person Duty free
Perfumery not exceeding 50ml and toilet water not exceeding 250ml per person Duty free

N.B. Yachts should have a sealable locker/container if wishing to hold stores in excess of the allowance or for restricted goods (including firearms). This concession is only allowed once per person during a period of 30 days and is subject to an absence from the Republic of not less than 48 hours. Residents returning to South Africa after a period of less than 6 months do not receive duty-free allowances on new or used golf clubs, television sets, watches, firearms and fur skin apparel.

Those persons requiring South African visas can obtain them from any South African Consulate including the Consulate in Reunion. These can be obtained separate from your passport if so required. Ownership papers and a letter from the master accepting responsibility for the crew are necessary when getting visas.

The Immigration authorities must clear everyone aboard any yacht arriving from a foreign port and foreign vessels inbound from another South African port. Update 2011/10: No, as a foreign yacht one does not need to clear in and out with immigration between South African ports. Some immigration and port official still don't seem to know the latest rules, if needed, the yachtclubs can help clarifying.

The skipper/owner must write a letter requesting permission if signing off crew. This is presented to the Immigration Department, together with a completed ARRIVAL form, passport, air ticket or bank guarantee, and visa or request for temporary permit for each crewmember. The application is then submitted for approval. It is the master's responsibility to ensure that written authorization is obtained before a crewmember leaves his vessel.
Note:- Anyone wishing to visit a neighbouring country must obtain a re-entry visa before leaving.

South Africa Navigation Charts

See each sector.

Navigation Notes

See each sector.

Radio Nets

Also see Cruiser's Nets

  • South Africa Maritime Mobile Net. S Africa. Covers Indian Ocean & S Atlantic. 14.316Mhz & moves to 7.120Mhz @ 0630hrs and also @ 1130hrs (both frequencies)
  • Radio "Peri-Peri". Currently (2011/10) run by Norman (Regal), Paul (Northern Star), Roy (Good News Too). Covers Indian Ocean & S Atlantic. 8.101Mhz @ 0500hrs zulu (weather) & then 12.353hz after the weather. Again (both freqs) @ 1500hrs zulu.

Almost the complete coastline of South Africa is covered by VHF Radio. Prior to the weather bulletin, an announcment is made on Channel 16, and the listener is told to go "to the suggested channel". The three radio stations are combined for this.

The times are:
Weather predictions 1015 and 1815h GMT. Coastal weather reports at 1333h GMT. (local + 2 hours). These transmitters are roughly 60 miles apart. Tune in to the station closest to your location. Sometimes the broadcast can be a little late.

Station VHF Station VHF
Kosi Bay
Cape st Lucia
Richards Bay
Bluff (Durban)
Port Shepstone
Port Edward
Port St Johns
Mazeppa Bay
East London
Port Elizabeth
25 or 27
Pearly Beach
Cape Town
Port Nolloth
Alexander Bay

South African Ports

Also see the Indian Ocean section

* Use "Zoom" buttons top/left of map.
* Place curser over map, hold left mouse button and drag the map
* Click on Red Markers for details.
* Then, click on the links inside the marker's window that opens.

South African Ports Southern African Passages
Richards Bay
* Richards Bay to Durban

* Durban to East London
East London
* East London to Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth
* Port Elizabeth to Knysna
Port St Francis
* Port Elizabeth to Knysna
* Knysna to Mossel Bay
Mossel Bay
* Mossel Bay to Simonstown
Simonstown & False Bay
* Simonstown to Hout Bay
Hout Bay
* Hout Bay to Cape Town
Cape Town
* Cape Town to Saldanha Bay
Saldanha Bay

Madagascar to Richards Bay/Durban

Durban/Richards Bay to Madagascar & Mayotte
Maputo - Richards Bay/Durban
Durban/Richards Bay - Maputo
Durban/Richards Bay to Tanzania
Tanzania to Richards Bay/Durban
Richards Bay to Cape Town (Has data)
Cape Town to Richards Bay
South East Asia to South Africa
South Africa to Australia (Has data)
Atlantic Crossing (East to West)

Health and Security


  • HIV and AIDS is a major problem in South Africa.
  • Malaria - Malaria is not encountered along the coast south of Richards Bay. Make local enquiries when planning to travel inland in the NE areas of South Africa and north of Richards Bay along the coast.


  • South Africa has a high crime rate so be cautious when ashore. No acts of piracy have occured along the South African coast.

Tourism & things to do in South Africa

Among the main attractions are the diverse and picturesque culture, the game reserves (Safari Parks) and the highly regarded local wines.

Forum Discussions

List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)

References & Publications

Publications, Guides, etc.

Cruisers "Friends"

  • Tony Herrick (himself a circumnavigator) of Cruising Connections in Durban is always happy to assist yachtsmen visiting South Africa. Email

External Links

Also See

Personal Notes

Personal experiences.


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