Best time to go: Year Round, depending on activities: spring is mid-March to mid-June, summer mid-June to mid-September, fall mid-September to mid-November, and winter mid-November to mid-March.
Best for: Winter sports, National Parks, Niagara Falls, UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Few countries in the world offer as many choices to the traveller as Canada. Whether your passion is skiing, sailing, museum-combing or indulging in exceptional cuisine, Canada has it all. Western Canada is renowned for its stunningly beautiful countryside; Eastern Canada mixes the flavour and charm of Europe with the bustle of New York; wildlife viewing is at its best in Northern Canada; and everywhere you will be surprised by how much more there is to this country than just maple syrup and Mounties.
Ontario is Canada`s most populous province, highlighted by the sheer size and energy of its two largest cities (one the federal capital, the other the provincial capital), Ottawa and Toronto. The far north and west of Ontario is a largely uninhabited wilderness of lakes, swamps and forests.
The Northwest Territories are part of Canada`s vast, remote north. Most of the territories` population and commercial activity is based in Yellowknife and around Great Slave Lake.
Even entering Prince Edward Island is elating. Confederation Bridge, the longest bridge in Canada and the longest bridge over ice-covered waters worldwide, connects this island province with Canada`s mainland, dramatically stretching far into the distance over shimmering blue waters.
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Capital: Ottawa (YOW)
Currency: Canadian Dollar (CAD). USD may be accepted.
Language: English and French
Dialling code from SA: +1
Time Zones: Canada has 6 time zones. Some provinces encompass two time zones.
Newfoundland Standard Time Zone: UTC / GMT -3½ (5½ hours behind South Africa)
Atlantic Standard Time Zone: UTC / GMT -4 (6 hours behind South Africa)
Eastern Standard Time Zone: UTC / GMT -5 (7 hours behind South Africa)
Central Standard Time Zone: UTC / GMT -6 (8 hours behind South Africa)
Mountain Standard Time Zone: UTC / GMT -7 (9 hours behind South Africa)
Pacific Standard Time Zone: UTC / GMT -8 (10 hours behind South Africa)
Daylight Savings Time: from second Sunday in March to first Sunday in November: clocks move forward 1 hour. Saskatchewan does not observe DST.
Side of the Road: Right
Plugs: 110-120 volts AC, 60Hz. American-style flat two-pin and three-pin (grounded) plugs are standard.
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink. Outside of the main towns, water may be contaminated.
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. If you are travelling to a remote area / camping, healthcare facilities may be more limited. It is advisable to carry basic medical supplies.
Customs: Normal social courtesies.
Local Offences / Laws: Smoking is banned in most public areas.
Travel Tips / Warnings: Tax is added at the till and not to the price tag.
Duty Free: The following goods may be imported into Canada without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes and 50 cigars and 200g of loose tobacco and 200 tobacco sticks per person over 18 years of age.
• 1.5L of wine or 1.14L of spirits or 8.5L of beer or ale per person over 18 years of age if entering Alberta, Manitoba and Québec, and over 19 years if entering British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and Yukon.
• Non-residents can bring gifts to the value of C$60 per gift (excluding advertising matter, business-related materials, tobacco or alcoholic beverages).
• Canadian residents can bring goods to the value of C$200 for trips out of the country of 24 hours or more (excluding alcohol and tobacco) and C$800 for trips of 48 hours or more (including alcohol and tobacco).
Prohibited Imports: The import of firearms, explosives, endangered species of animals and plants, animal products, meat, dairy, and food and plant material is subject to certain restrictions and formalities. Check the Canada Border Services Agency website (www.cbsa.gc.ca) for further details.
Prohibited Exports: Some products made from endangered animals may require an export certificate.