Where is Brazil?

Brazil is the biggest country in South America and it shares borders with Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Its coastline meets the Atlantic Ocean.

Time difference

South Africa is 4 hours ahead of Brazil.


Brazil is home to 203-million people (2014), making it the world’s fifth-most populous country.

The majority of Brazilians live within 300km from the coast, making coastal cities and towns the most densely populated. Of these, the largest is São Paulo, followed by Rio de Janeiro.


Brazil has the world’s seventh-largest economy. At 67% its service sector is the largest contributor to the country’s US$2.24-billion GDP.



Trade statistics on Brazilian travellers in South Africa (2003–2008)

Visiting natural attractions and watching wildlife are the most favoured activities, followed by cultural, historical, heritage and business activities, and going to the beach and casinos.

The top three reasons for satisfaction among travellers to South Africa are the scenic beauty (54%), wildlife and safaris (40%), and our friendly people and hospitality.

The Western Cape and Gauteng are the most widely visited South African provinces, with visits from 60% of leisure travellers.

Mozambique and Mauritius are the most widely visited African countries for leisure purposes.

The volume of travellers from Brazil to South Africa is low compared to other overseas countries. The highest growth was during 2003-2008, from 17 000 to 36 000 respectively.

Brazilian arrivals to South Africa grew at 15% annually, during 2003-2008, after a stagnant phase from 1998-2002.

Brazil’s contribution to the South African economy is the lowest compared to other developing countries such as China and India.

The total number of travel retail outlets in Brazil increased by 6% annually, during 2003-2008.

The sales value of travel retail products almost doubled during this period. While ‘flight only’ and ‘package holiday’ options were the largest-selling products, accounting for 60% of sales in 2008, the ‘cruise’ sector experienced the fastest growth during 2003-2008.

A few large companies dominate the Brazilian travel retail market, but many small, independent agencies help to create a highly competitive environment.

Flytour, a 100% Brazilian company, is the second-largest

player with 16% of sales and 2 500 business clients in South Africa.

Connectivity between Brazil and South Africa is low, with only SAA offering direct flights from São Paulo to Johannesburg. Indirect flights from São Paulo are available via Buenos Aires (Argentina).

The majority of Brazilians travelling to South Africa are in the age group 25-44 years.

There is a fair distribution of all income categories among Brazilian travellers to South Africa.

Brazilian travellers contributed R1.5 billion to the South African economy during 2003-2008.

The majority of Brazilian travellers visit South Africa for holiday purposes, with business travellers being the fastest-growing segment.

Brazilian manners


Brazilians value punctuality

It’s respectful to say ‘bom apetite’ before you begin eating

Brazillians don’t often drink from a bottle or can, pour your guest’s drink into a glass

Brazillians do use toothpicks may at table, but will do so discreetly, behind the hand or seviette

Belching at table is considered extremely rude and guests are expected to visit the bathroom to blow their nose

Brazilian guests will probably leave their cutlery resting on their plates when not in use

Brazillian geusts will usually rather overdress than underdress.

At a hosted dinner, guests present the hostess with fresh flowers or a bottle of wine.

Black or purple gifts are frowned upon as these are the colours of mourning.

Brazillian guests will often use cutlery for all types of food, even pizza and chips. Eating with hands is considered unhygienic.

After each sip of a drink or mouthful of food, a serviette is usually used to wipe the mouth, so be sure to provide your guests with clean serviettes.


Blue-collar workers such as those in construction for example, may avoid eye contact with those of a higher social standing.

Punctuality at meetings is considered a mark of respect.

Brazilians prefer to interact with individuals rather than companies, so try to establish relationships of trust.

Good conversation topics include soccer, family and children. Avoid discussing Argentina, politics, poverty, religion and the rain forest.

If you are unaware of the marital status or academic qualification of the person you are meeting, use the same title they use to greet you.

How to make a Brazilian person’s day

Greeting: Hello, how are you? ‘Olá, Como está?’ (olah, komu eshta?)

Recommend the best game reserves in your province (or other provinces if they are willing to travel) as this is the most favoured tourist activity in South Africa.

Suggest some scenic routes and walking trails that your visitors might enjoy.

Brazilians love football, so suggest they attend a local soccer match or visit one of our magnificent stadiums.

They also love dancing, so a nightclub visit would be a highlight.

You could also offer suggestions regarding local Catholic churches (73% are Catholic) or larger, older cathedrals where they could attend mass.