Climate: Monsoon season is from December to February. March until May can still have a light shower or two, but nothing serious. The dry season is from June to September with October and November also having a light shower or two. The temperatures can vary between 23 – 30 degrees Celsius. Being on the equator, tropical humidity is a given, we can compare it with Durban weather in South Africa.
Clothing (what to pack and wear): Do pack casual clothing in natural fabrics with at least one smart-casual outfit for the top class restaurants (we will advise you in advance). One warm top, but bear in mind this need not be a winter top like we are used to for South African winters. Comfortable shoes like sandals and one pair of closed shoes. Shoes should be removed before entering a private home and it is customary to wear a sarong and waist sashes when visiting temples, all which are provided at the entrances.
Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) – current exchange rate: ZAR 1 = IDR 900 on average. Credit cards are widely accepted, but when venturing off the beaten track it is advisable to have sufficient cash on hand.
Bargain hard: Nothing is ever at face value in Indonesia. Bargain with sellers as most of the time, the price they’ve quoted will not be the price you’ll pay if you bargain!
Electricity: 220V and 110V. We recommend bringing a universal plug adaptor.
Health: Travellers should be inoculated against typhoid, cholera, hepatitis A and B, tetanus and polio. Malaria and dengue fever are present in Indonesia and it is advisable to take precautions. It is essential to have a good medical insurance that covers the cost of an evacuation flight should it be required. From experience we find it very handy to take the following along in a small medical kit: plasters, mosquito repellent, tablets to keep the stomach regular, good pain tablets and a proper anti-biotic and a general anti-allergic skin cream for heat rash. It is better to come prepared. Please note that some countries will not allow medicines containing codeine, unless you are able to provide a doctor's prescription.
Mobile phones: 3G and SIM cards are widely available and really an inexpensive way to keep contact with the family and friends at home via SMS, Whatsapp or BBM. Most hotels have Wi-fi in the rooms or public spaces. Roaming is very expensive, do keep it in mind.
Population: 245 million.
Religion: Islam, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Khonghucu to name a few.
Safety: Indonesia is generally a safe country with really friendly and tourism minded people, though you should never leave your belongings unattended and be vigilant for touts in tourist areas.
Time Zones: Java and Sumatra – GMT +7 / Bali, Sulawesi & Flores – GMT +8
Tipping: It is customary, but not expected, to tip your tour guides and drivers.
Water: Don’t drink water from the tap or consume ice cubes from simple street vendors or small local restaurants. All hotels will supply you with a daily bottle of water. It is advised to always order water per bottle and also to drink a lot of water to keep your body hydrated.
Visas: Most visitors to Indonesia need a visa to enter the country. Most nationalities can get a visa on arrival at international air- and seaports. South Africa citizens do not need a visa for up to 30 days.